A short bus ride took us to our modest accommodation, the Vanderbilt YMCA in Midtown Manhattan. After we had checked in
we went on a walk, in search of some of the iconic sights of Manhattan: Times Square, The Chrysler Building and Grand Central Terminal. We were guided by friendly locals, who were able to tell us a lot about of the history of the area.
Each morning a short walk took us to Times Square for our breakfast at the Hard Rock Café. After our breakfast we set off, with our subway cards, for a full day of activities. These activities included a visit to the Tenement Museum, which showed us how some of the first poor migrants to the USA would have lived in New York, and a boat ride to Ellis Island, where officials would have processed new immigrants to America. From here we also saw the HMS Queen Elizabeth sailing into port.
Later in the week, we went on a walking tour of Harlem, famous for the Harlem Renaissance. The USS Intrepid Museum,
which is an aircraft carrier that was used in WWII, the Vietnam War and the Cold War, houses numerous planes, including a
Concorde, a space shuttle and a submarine that was used in the Cold War. Finally, we heard a talk about the Civil Rights Movement from someone who was there at the protests. During our time in New York we visited other locations such as the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero, Central Park and the Top of the Rock, which has a fabulous viewing platform for looking across the iconic Manhattan skyline. We took a shopping trip to Macy’s, the largest department store in the USA, which has stood
for well over 100 years at its current location.
Overall, we were awed by the sheer height of the buildings and how busy and noisy the streets were as we walked around the city. We were amazed by the history, culture and welcoming people. I would recommend this trip to anyone studying History, as it is educational and really fun!