New York – the city that never sleeps

Hello!

New York skyline seen from our car

After approximately eight hours of driving we finally arrived at New York, or the Big Apple. Fritiof was driving the last miles past New York. Even though we were completely close to the well-known island of Manhattan, we didn’t stay there. Instaid we moved on towards Amagansett, a small town two hours east of New York. It was pretty quiet in the car, since everyone was so excited about seeing all the skyscrapers of Manhattan. Luckily, we were going to go back to New York the next day!

Fritiof and Alex at the beach in Amagansett.

Fritiofs second cousins live in Amagansett, that’s the reason why we went there! They welcomed us with – believe it or not – Swedish food. After eating dinner, we just wanted to relax and enjoy our holiday for a while. We walked by the beach and played golf with our wealthy innkeepers in the afternoon. Although they are in fact of Swedish origin, they do not speak Swedish at all. They, as many other Europeans, emigrated to the USA in the early 20th century, with the aim of starting a new succesful life. They wanted to be a part of The American Dream! Fritiof’s grand-uncle explained that more than four million American citizens are Americans with Swedish descent! With more than 500 000 Swedes, Minnesota is the home to most of the Swedish Americans in the US.

The next day, it was back to serious business. We drove all the way back to Manhattan to experience what a huge city really is like. And it was crowded! People were all over the streets, cars honking on each other, yellow cabs everywhere. They could barely fit between the seventy-storey buildings squeezed into an island less than half the size of Hisingen. We had never seen a city like this before in our lifes! Our plan was to get to Ground Zero, the site were the Twin Towers used to add a silhouette to the New York skyline.

Ground Zero

The second day we decided to visit Ground Zero. On the 11th of September 2001, two hijacked airplanes crashed into the twin towers of World Trade Center, and it shook the entire country. Americans are generally very patriotic and reacted strongly about the terrorist attack. Ground zero is the place were the Twin Towers used to be. Now, a new skyscraper is taking form, called Freedom Tower.What kind of name is that huh? But that’s what USA is all about, freedom.

A street in Harlem

If a random New Yorker would have asked us about New York, we’d probably say it’s an upperclass city with modern high-rises almost everywhere. But that’s not the truth. Jamila came up with a brilliant idea. She explained that Harlem is a different neighborhood in northern Manhattan. The crime rate there is much higher than in the other parts of New York. In the early 20th century crime increased, especially between different gangs because of drugs. Fortunately it’s much better nowadays. Tourist from all over the world are visiting Harlem as well as Manhattan.

Almost everyone know that New York is a multicultural city. People from all over the world live here. Litteraly. There are most white Europeans who live in this big city. But among them there are tons of other people! For example Asians. Chinatown is the highest concentration of Chinese people in America. The fourth day in the state of New York, we took the subway to discover Chinatown!

 

Alex and Golnaz at Times Square!

 

J, A, F and G in central park.

To the Batmobile! Washington awaits!

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Ohio here we come!!!

The first stop

We have now been in Cleveland, Ohio for three days and stayed with Aleksandar’s cousins in a beautiful suburban neighborhood.  The very first day we were exhausted from the jetlag, but were lucky to be taken care of by the Pantić family.

The next day we went to the center of the city for sightseeing. The people were very friendly and when we took the bus and didn’t know the system, a guy named Pete was more than happy to assist us! He also told us a lot about the city of Cleveland. With a population of 400 000 inhabitants, it’s the 33rd biggest state in the USA. He also mentioned The Cleveland Metropark Zoo, which has a lot of exciting animals and activities. We all agreed that we would go there the next day

When we got to the city and saw the magnificent buildings and we were fascinated by the awesome architecture. Later on we decided to get used to the American life, so – believe it or not – we went to McDonald’s to have a burger, and went to dunkin’ donuts for a sugary treat.

While Pete was talking we also asked where we could find cheap sunglasses because it was so sunny that day.  He recommended us a cheap place where we could buy glasses for only 4.99 $! It was plenty of different and colorful colors, from green to purple to yellow. It was a real bargain for us. We had a great sunny day and we ended our evening at a park bench with a magnificent sight of the beautiful sunset.

Here is a picture taken at the sundown and you can see how cool the city is where you can see lights everywhere.

The second day we went to The Cleveland Metropark Zoo. It was a wonderful and sunny day. We saw giraffes, zebras and other safari like animals. We were really amazed by the view it was so extraordinary. Nothing we would see in cold Sweden. After a while in the Zoo we got really tired so we sat down on the bench in the park eating ice-cream.

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Our road trip! We are going to visit the following states:

We are going to visit the following states:

Click on the picture so view it in a bigger size!

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Planning

Hello!

We have finalized our planning and we have all agreed on a decent plan for our road trip! We will be in America for 4 weeks, starting off with visiting Alex’s cousins in Cleveland, Ohio. Afterwards we’ll visit sites such as the White House and the Statue of Liberty on the east coast. Later on we’re going to drive through the southern states and experience the different cultures of Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and finally we will end our majestic trip in California!

The purpose of our trip will be to explore the vast varieties of cultures scattered across the country. We’ll taste tons of different foods and experience loads of different cultures and social varieties.

We’ve measured our driving path on Google Maps, and it was 3 684 miles (5894.4 km). The total cost of the gasoline will be approximately 565 $, but we will certainly drive a bit more in the cities etc. So we’ll bring 650 $ for fuel. Our car will be a Hyundai Accent, which is a green car – it’s fuel efficient!

Afterwards we’ll visit sites such as the White House
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Hello everybody!

This is our blog. We will make posts about our trip throughout USA here.

Fritiof, Jamila, Alexandar and Golnaz.

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