From Harrisburg, we drove for 3 hours to reach Corning and visit e Corning Museum of Glass.
Founded by Corning Glass Works , in 1951 this museum house over 45,000 glass objects. Some they claim are over 3,500 years old. It is non profit museum set up to tell the story of glass. Their master craftsmen present a show where they build a new object right in front of the visitors (check the video below).
You can purchase their wares and glass items imported by them. If you are planning to visit this museum please make a note that 3-4 hours in this museum are really not sufficient.
After the night stay at Marrriott, Harrisburg we headed straight to Pennsylvania State Capitol, seat of Pennsylvania Government in Harrisburg town. The Capitol building is truly majestic and is close to the Susquehanna river.
Harrisburg played a very important role in American history and the US Navy ship USS Harrisburg is named after it. During the mid 1920’s this town became one of the most industrialised cities in US.
The Capitol building houses the Legislative Chamber, Superior Courts of Pennsylvania and offices of Lt Governor and Governor.
Since we reached there on Saturday all offices were closed but still our Guide along with the Capitol staff was able to show us most of it.
From Washington, after lunch we drove through the beautiful countryside to Hershey, the chocolate town. It gets its name from the chocolate company whose headquarters are located here.
In 1894, The Hershey Chocolate Company was set up, by Milton Hershey. Today it is the largest chocolate manufacturer in US and its products are sold in sixty countries worldwide. The company has spent a lot in developing the town and built a stadium, the Giant Center (Ice hockey – Hershey Bears) and Milton Hershey School.
The factory has a Chocolate tour for the tourist and you reach the factory in a beautiful trolley, but unfortunately since we had landed there in April, it was off the roads for maintenance for the coming summer season. So from the parking lot, we walked till the factory gate and joined the queue for the Chocolate factory. It was fun knowing about how chocolate is made and their beautiful products like “kisses”. If you are visiting this place on your own, keep sufficient time as the tours are usually full.
We later drove to Harrisburg where we stayed for the night.
After lunch at Philadelphia, we drove straight to Washington DC and ran in the same kind of mad traffic again due to political rallies. Since we were late we were worried if the guide would wait for us. Thankfully, however, when our Tour Manager called him, being a professional he understood and agreed to wait for us.
By the time we rolled in, dark thick clouds were in the sky and before our bus could stop it started to drizzle. That however did not stop us from getting down and enjoying the beautiful city of DC in an equally awesome weather.
Washington, D.C was formally called the District of Columbia and is the capital of United States. It is located along the Potomac River. The federal district is formed out of land donated by 2 states, Maryland and Virginia. It was named in the memory of George Washington. It is not only home to White House but many other interesting and important landmarks, foreign embassies and museums.
Next morning, we went for the Capitol Tour and some of the pictures, I took there are appended.
We were short of time so only saw two museums and then after lunch, left the town for Harrisburg.
Our journey to Philadelphia, from New York started really early at 6am. We had to cover the 94 miles distance in a bus in3 hours. However, we took about 5 1/2 hours to reach, as Mr Trump, the Presidential candidate was campaigning in the city and there was too much traffic on the highway. As soon as we reached, our Tour Manager surprised us by a Duck Tour.
The 80 minutes tour is conducted in an amphibious vehicle which is an exact replica of DUKW, used in World War I to transport troops and supplies from water to land and back again. Our lady driver and the guide were both professional and knowledgeable and certified by the U.S. Coast Guards.
The tour covered all the important landmarks of the city and started from the Museum District and then dived or drove into the Delaware river. The tour offered us a spectacular view of the city. Thereafter, we drove through the historic Old city and saw the other major landmarks such as the Love Statue and Betsy Ross House. It is house of seamstress Betsy Ross (1752-1836) who sewed the 1st American Flag.
Philadelphia, is the largest city in Pennsylvania sate and is home to almost 7 million people. It was formed in 1682 by William Penn and has a special place in the American history.
After lunch at a popular mall, we proceeded to Washington DC. The trip was truly memorable and not be missed types.
After 11 Sept 2001, when World Trade Centre was destroyed, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (who have designed Burj Khalifa) and David Childs built a new building called One World Observatory or Freedom Tower. It is the 4th tallest building in the world and tallest in the western hemisphere.
On its 100-102 floors there is an Observatory with exhibits & restaurants. If you are in New York, you can’t and shouldn’t miss this opportunity to see New York city from 102 floors above.
It is difficult to describe this surreal experience in world as you can see from the pictures I took.
After the World War II, in 1945, it was decided to have a body for promoting international cooperation and to avoid another World War. With that objective in mind on 24October that year, The United Nations (UN) was established with 51 members. These later increased to 193.
The headquarters of UN is in Manhattan, New York with offices in Geneva, Nairobi and Vienna. Since we were in New York we did not want to miss this opportunity and bought a tour of UN.
Our guide was a very knowledgeable and he showed very keen interest in answering our questions. Since we all know about UN, I have tried to bring the high lights of our tour through my pictures.
Rockefeller Center is a complex of 19 buildings in midtown Manhattan. The centerpiece, 30 Rock, was completed in 1933 and named RCA Building after its famous tenant Radio Corporation of America. It was designed by Raymond Hood and his team. This 70 story building is the 14th tallest building in New York City and the 39th tallest in the United States.
It was the first building with elevators grouped in the central core. Rockefeller family occupied Room 5600 on the 56th floor and John D Rockefeller had a private elevator to take him to his private vault in the basement from his office.
The building is one of the most famous and recognized skyscrapers in New York and houses a shopping concourse connected to the lobby via an escalator. On the 65th floor there is an event room and the restaurant called Rainbow Room, whose inside was awarded landmark status in 2012. This building was also a part of a NBC sitcom called 30 Rock.
On top of this skyscraper there is an Observation Deck called “Top of the Rock” which reopened to the public on 1Nov05, after a major 75 million dollar renovation. It resembles the deck of an ocean liner, and gives a bird’s eye view of the city. It is considered the best panoramic view of New York City as you can see Battery Park and Central Park.
If you are in New York, do not miss this view. One note of caution, please get your tickets in advance as usually there is quite a crowd waiting to go up.
New York is one city that never sleeps and most of the action is in Times Square. It was perfect weather for April, when we took our 2 hour panoramic night tour in a Big Bus.
Our guide, Deborah, was unbelievable, very informative and simply put bloody damn good. She is an amazing talent and her anecdotes made this trip the best ever. The tour covered some major landmarks the city has to offer, all decked up in lights making it magical –
Radio City Music Hall
• Empire State Building
• Times Square
• Rockefeller Center
• Brooklyn Bridge