Jun 15, 2008

Day 16 - Philadelphia to Baltimore

Today turned out to be another muggy day!

We woke up shortly after 7:00AM to make the best out of our time in Philadelphia. We were quite surprised to see the dining room fully packed with people on a Saturday in a city that does not look very busy. We found out as the day went by that there were lots of tourists in town today.

We wanted to start with something that is a bit far from where we were staying, which meant that we would start with the Philadelphia Museum and of course the world famous Rocky Balboa statue. However, we were immediately forced to change our plans as the Phlash sightseeing tram only starts from 10:00AM. We decided to head to the Historic District and Old City Cultural District.

A guy looking like a traffic police stopped and asked us if we needed some help while walking. This guy turned out to be genuinely very helpful, and told us that we'd better head to the Independence Hall soon as tickets for a tour tend to go very quickly. We managed to get tickets for a 12:00PM tour, and it turned out that all the tours became fully booked a few hours later.

We went to see the Independence Bell. The place was packed with people and we struggled to get our photo taken for a bit.

Historic District and Old City Cultural District are very pretty and nice to walk around. It is difficult for a visitor to realise that, after walking around these areas, there are some pretty rough areas in this city that they should not go to.

The Independence Hall tour that we joined was brilliant, thanks to our tour guide who had so much to offer. I must admit that I didn't know this is the place where the US Constitution was made, and it was based on the British version because of the history. Once we finished the tour, we headed to the food court nearby and grabbed Philly Cheasesteak, which was so delicious although seemingly having high calories.

Then we hopped onto the Phlash that we could not take early in the morning, and headed to one of our main attractions in Philadelphia - the Rocky Balboa statue. I don't think Teruko was bothered about this, but this meant so much to me as I have been a huge Rocky fan since the age of 13. Taking photos taken with the statue and on the top of the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum were dream come true! I was ecstatic.

We saw pretty much what we wanted to see in Philadelphia, so we decided to head back to town and our hotel. Before going back to the hotel, we had to go to the 15th station to get refund for the Metro tokens that we didn't want. As we went to the station, the guy at the window said they cannot give us refund because the ticket office is closed during weekends. I almost went berserk, but decided that I will just call their customer service and rant once our trip is over. Although we had nightmare with people at the Philadelphia Metro and also saw some crazy people on the street who are far more aggressive than those in Vancouver, I must say that we met some very friendly and helpful people in this city. We were very fortunate to have met them.

With a bit of a delay, we got on our train to Baltimore. Suddenly, the sky started getting dark and, by the time we realised, it was pouring heavily. It's amazing how weather can change in hours. Good thing was that we were on a train, so our sightseeing was not affected. It stopped raining by the time we arrived in Baltimore, but for whatever reason the train got delayed for over 30mins.

The standard of our accommodation changed a bit today with Sheraton Baltimore City Center. Neither Teruko nor myself can believe we got two night accommodation here with a view of the city and sunset just with my Aeroplan milage. Honestly, what an upgrade for free!

After check-in, we headed to the Baltimore Harbour as they were supposed to be doing a Jazz concert. The show was delayed due to the rain we had, and it kicked off about an hour late. The band was really good, and we listened to a few songs. But the signs were not so good in terms of weather, so we went to the Phillips Seafood for dinner. We really struggled to decide on which restaurant to go to before opening the door at the Phillips, but we were not disappointed.

Quite a packed, busy day, but Teruko and I again had some fun time together.

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