29.09.2013 - 29.09.2013
Up early to pack our bags and eat some hotel breakfast which was served at 6.30am. Our cab to Rapid City Regional Airport picked us up at 6.45am. The flight was scheduled to 7.45am and the guy (who booked our cab yesterday) said we would have plenty of time to check in our baggage and pass the security check and everything. But when we arrived at the airport and check in our baggage they told us to hurry up. So we basically ran through security check and towards the gate (the gate was like 30 meters away from the security check though) before realizing all the other passengers sat there nice and calm just waiting. Bummer the staff at the check-in had to scare us like that?! We had plenty of time to use the restroom and buy water. We sat and calmed down before boarding the flight. The flight to Denver was a small jet plane with 1+2 seats, almost claustrophobic. But it took only about an hour to fly down to Denver so it was OK. At Denver International Airport we had about 2 hours to grab something to eat and stretch our legs. We found an Asian restaurant with wok-menu. I ordered fried rice and chicken which tasted great.
The flight to New York and Newark Liberty Int’l Airport departed at 11.13am and thank God it was a normal sized airplane with spacious room for your legs. Nice, since we had 4 hours before reaching our final destination for today. The screen in front of me didn’t seem to work (or maybe I didn’t get how it worked ;P ), but I had my mp3-player to listen to instead. When the airplane approached New York I had an amazing view of Manhattan and Statue of Liberty. Mighty yet beautiful! 5pm local time we arrived at Newark and we picked up our baggage. We managed to find a bus towards New York City that accepted credit cards (since I still hadn’t managed to get some cash yet) so we boarded the bus and got ready to pay. But the guy with the credit card machine told us it was broken. But what the f***! So we had to get off the bus and back into the airport to buy the tickets over the counter instead. Tired and hungry we walked out to the bus stop again and it felt like forever until the next bus arrived.
The bus ride to New York City took about 40 minutes and we got off at Bryant Park. Our staying Equity Point Hostel @ Times Square was only two blocks away. We crossed Broadway and 7th Avenue and right in the middle of 41st Street between7th and 8th Ave we finally found the sign Equity Point Hostel. The reception was modern and esthetically designed. A short grown woman put up her head above the counter and welcomed us with a big smile. She had a weird accent so sometimes I had difficult to understand what she said. But I paid my share of the room and we got our room keys. The elevator took us to the third floor and our room was in the end of the corridor with windows towards the inner yard. That was convenient since we now could open the windows without hearing the traffic too loudly. We were relieved that we finally were here, being able to leave the baggage and just lay down on the bed knowing we had nothing more scheduled for today. We went down out on the street to eat something. We walked along the streets of New York and found a place that served warm vegetarian sandwiches that had to do for tonight.
When we had finished our sandwiches it started to get dark and the streets were lighten-up by gigantic neon signs with big screens. We had arrived at Times Square! The ads and information almost overwhelmed the traffic chaos on the streets. Times Square had cut off all traffic for vehicles (due to road repairs) so the traffic around Times Square was chaos and then all thousands of people trying to get places. The New York City Police presence in almost every corner of the streets made you feel safe walking the streets. But as a Swedish citizen I have to say that the presence of the police made me nervous in the beginning, since I barely ever see the police back home in Sweden and if you do something bad has happened. We imbibed the sounds, the lights, the scents and vibrating life at Times Square for a few minutes and just were. Now we were really here! And it was hot, even though it was 8pm. The locals said it was Indian summer now in New York.
We walked to Bryant Park and sat for a while. Towards south we saw Empire State Building piling up well lighten up against the starlit sky. We walked towards east, passed Grand Central and had Chrysler Building straight ahead of us with its art-deco style and well-known architectural structure. The top spiral was lit-up in the evening and we almost had to pinch ourselves to remind us we actually were here in New York! Close to our hostel were Madame Tussauds and one of Parsons New School of Design’s buildings (well-known from the reality show Project Runway). By 10 pm we were back to in our room at the hostel, full of new impressions, information and longed to discover more!