Day 4: Statue of Liberty / Ellis Island
I was up at 7.00am this morning, ready for our trip to the Statue of Liberty. Our ferry ticket was 11.00am that morning, so I got Aidan up around 8.00am, and we left around 9.00am.
Unfortunately, the weather had taken a definite turn for the worse after the nice weather we had had for the last couple of days – it was grey, misty and much colder than it had been. I was grateful that we had been up to the top of the Empire state and Rockefeller centre yesterday, as you couldn’t even see the tops of the buildings today, so we would have been able to see very little if we had gone up today.
We were going to find somewhere to have breakfast this morning, but in the end we couldn’t decide where to eat, so we decided to just get the subway down to Battery Park instead.
The closest station to Battery Park appeared to be South Ferry, which is on the 1 line, the station on 50th street, just a couple of blocks from our hotel was on the that line, so we made our way there. There are 2 entrances to this station, one you have to use if you’re going uptown, and one which is on the other side of the street if you’re going downtown, which was the one we had to use.
The metro cards worked without any problem, and a train arrived within a couple of minutes. From watching TV and films, I expected the trains to be covered in graffiti, but there was absolutely none of that, and they were in fact just as good, if not better than the London underground.
When we first got on, the train was reasonably full but after a few stations, it emptied out, and by the time we got to South Ferry it was pretty much empty.
When we came out of the station, we were right in front of the Staten Island ferry terminal, and Battery Park was only a couple of minutes’ walk away.
There are nice views of Liberty Island from the waterfront at Battery Park, but as I mentioned, the weather wasn’t the best, so the view was a bit hazy today.
We had a walk around Battery Park while we were waiting for our time slot –
We had a look round castle Clinton, which was a fort built in 1812 to keep the British out.
There is also a sculpture by in the park, which was originally in the plaza of the World Trade Center and was damaged on 9/11 and was moved to the park in 2002. There is also an eternal flame that burns there in memory of all the people who were killed.
When we first got to the ferry terminal, I saw a huge long line waiting for the ferry, and thought that it would take forever to get to the islands, but there was also a much smaller queue next to that one, which turns out was for people who had booked tickets for a certain time.
We looked around until 10.55 then joined the reserve ticket queue, again we had to go through a security check and then onto the ferry, our ticket time was 11.00am, and the ferry finally left the dock around 11.30.
They did announce that the standby line to get into the security check was an hour – so if you’re planning on visiting, I would definitely suggest booking a reserve ticket for a certain time (the earlier the better) online before you visit.