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2017 - U S A - October
No motorhome this time but a flight to U S A to visit Brian and Alexa in Jersey City and then fly with them down to Georgia and the town of Savannah. We were joined in Savannah by John and Maryann (Alexa’s parents) and afterwards we returned to their home in Sergeantsville NJ for a few days before returning home.
JERSEY CITY Brian and Alexa have an apartment in Jersey City which is just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. You can walk for 5 minutes and you are right on the riverside. A ferry will whisk you across to New York City. We have ‘done’ New York several times and the city does not really have any appeal to us now. It is very busy, noisy and expensive. Instead we explored the Jersey City side and took a walk into Liberty State Park. This used to be a busy railhead and ferry terminal for commuters but now the area has been cleared and a very pleasant park has taken its place. However, the old commuter station and ferry terminal remain as a museum to earlier times.
The old photograph (below) shows how the terminal looked back in 40’s and 50’s. In the centre of the photo is a large, taller building which is the station itself oriented to passenger traffic. Above and diagonally left are the glass canopies of the platforms. I think there were about 20 or more platforms. Below and diagonally right you can see the passenger ferries bustling for slipways. Either side of the passenger termonal are the freight lines where wagons were loaded on to rail ferries. You can see these longer, flat ferries with two lanes of six freight cars already loaded. The inset photo is just one of the busy platforms with the train jsut departing to allow room for the next one to arrive. Not a disimilar scene to our London commuter termini but the river crossing and the freight adds much more activity.
(right) the station platforms and canopies still remain but the tracks, trains and passengers have long since disappeared. Click on photos on right to enlarge The passenger terminal has been restored and is a spectacular building. There is no evidence now of the freight yards but in their place are large areas of parkland with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. (below) A short distance away to the south, on the same bank of the Hudson River, is the Statue of Liberty
Within Liberty State Park is a memorial to all those who lost their lives in the 9/11 disaster. Click on photos on far right and below to enlarge. The momorial is two parallel, black, stone walls which have all the names engraved in them. Looking through the gap between the wall takes your eye across to Manhattan and the location of the Twin Towers.
In Manhattan, there is also a dramatic memorial where the Twin Towers stood. Each tower base is represented by an enormous, square, walled water feature. In the centre of each is a square hole where the water pours into; you cannot see the bottom. A very moving reminder of the tragedy.
SAVANNAH After a couple of days in Jersey City we flew from Newark down to Savannah in Georgia. The weather was warm and sunny but quite humid. We took an Uber taxi into town to meet up with John and Maryann (Alexa’s parents) Their hotel which was located on the town quay and was a converted cotton warehouse. Our accomodation was about a mile away. Brian and Alexa had booked an AirBnB for the four of us. The AirBnB was a delightful location in the old part of town.
It did not look much from the outside but inside it was beautifully furnished and provided all the appliances and equipment that you need for a comfortable stay.
Click on the photos to enlarge. We could not resist taking a snap of the Savannah style motorhome which had been customised from an old school bus.
Brian, John and George decide to have a hiking trip through the back country swamps. Skidaway Island State Park was short ride away in an Uber taxi, which dropped us off at the Ranger Station. Below is a clip from the State Park website which gives you a good feel for the countryside.
As usual clip to zoom Upper right, Brian and John take a break. We did not have high enough boots to wade through this small river and so we had to be good boy scouts and build a makeshift bridge from branches to get across with dry feet! (lower right)
Savannah was built in the colonial days and influenced by both English and French. The houses are charming and full of character. Every few blocks you will find shady squares with fountains and flowers. We loved it!