U.S.A. and Canada East Coast Travel Part I(Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.)

August 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment
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U.S.A. East Coast Travel Part I(Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.)

(Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.)

Day 1 Friday, 12 June 2015

Air-Flight from Singapore to Philadelphia, U.S.A. Via Qatar

On 12 June 2015(Singapore date), my wife and I joined a group of Singaporeans headed by Andy Yuan, a tour-manager of  EU Holidays Pte. Ltd.(Singapore), at Terminal 3, Changi International Airport in Singapore to experience a 10-day U.S.A.-Canada land tour. At 9.50 p.m. we flew off on a a Qatar plane and arrived at 4.50 a.m. at Doha Airport in Qatar on 13 June 2015(Singapore local time and date).

Choo Chaw and wife at Terminal 3, Changi International Airport, Singapore

The U.S.A.-Canada 12-day land tour

Choo Chaw(Right) in the tour group

 

At the airport we immediately changed to another Qatar plane which departed at 5.a.m.(Singapore local time) for U.S.A.. At 8.45 a.m. on on 13 June 2015(U.S. local time and date) we arrived at Philadelphia International Airport in U.S.A.. The total time we spent on the air-flight from Singapore to U.S.A. was about 16 hours!

 

Andy Yuan, our tour-manager from EU Holidays Pte. Ltd., Singapore

Air-flight from Qatar to Singapore

Air-flight from Qatar to Philadelphia in U.S.A.

 

Philadelphia, U.S.A.

On arrival at Philadelphia International Airport in the morning on 13 June 2015(U.S. local time and date), we went through a stringent security check, like taking off our belts(for men), socks and shoes, and emptying our pockets. After a long immigration clearance, we entered the arrival hall where a large U.S.A. national flag hanging down from the middle of the ceiling greeted us.

U.S.A. National Flag

The U.S.A. national flag has 50 stars that represent 50 states and 13 stripes that represent the 13 British colonies that declared independence from Britain in 1776. It was adopted on 4 July 1960.

 

National Flag of U.S.A.

Roanne, the group’s capable, friendly and courteous coach-driver

Coach that brings the group on a 12-day tour on the east coast of U.S.A. and Canada

 

 

 

Independence National Historical Park

Coming out of the airport, we boarded a coach driven by a middle-aged, friendly and courteous American lady, Roanne. She brought us straight to a well-known historical place in Philadelphia City. It is known as Independence National Historical Park which was established in 1948 due to the effort of Judge Edwin O. Lewis.

Independence National Historical Park established in 1948 in Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Independence Hall

In this famous area, there is a very important, well-preserved building, Independence Hall, which was built in 1732 and completed in 1753. It was in this building three very important documents were debated, drafted and signed leading to the birth of a new nation, the United States of America, in 1776. The documents were Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution of USA. These documents are displayed in the building. A statue of George Washington(the first President of U.S.A.) can be seen in front of the Hall.

Independence Hall built in 1732 and completed in 1753 in Philadelphia, U.S.A.

A statue of the first President of U.S.A. in front of Independence Hall, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Choo Chaw and wife at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, U.S.A. on 12 June 2015

 

 

 

Old “White House” Site

A site located over 100 metres from Independence Hall is marked as the location of the old residence(“White House”) of the first two Presidents, George Washington(1789-1797) and John Adams(1797-1801).

Location of the old “White House” where the first two Presidents of U.S.A. had stayed at the Park

Liberty Bell

Besides, there is an old, large bronze bell which has a crack, Liberty Bell, displayed at the Liberty Bell Centre. It carries a biblical quotation: “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the Land unto all the inhabitants”. Created in Britain in 1752, it was used to summon lawmakers to legislative sessions and alert citizens to the public meetings and proclamations in Philadelphia. As the queue was long we did not get inside to see it. But we saw it through a glass-window outside.

Liberty Bell as seen through a window-glass from outside the Liberty Bell Center at the Historical Park in Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Long queue of tourists outside the Liberty Bell Center at the Historical Park, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Drawing of the Liberty Bell with a crack

 

 

Freedom Bell

There is another bell in front of Independence Hall. It is smaller and shiny known as “Freedom Bell”. It is put up by the U.S. Army in honour of their armed forces of the past, present and future.

“The Freedom Bell” set up by the U.S. Army in honour of their armed forces of the past, present and future at the Historical Park, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Independence Visitor Center

This centre provides information on the Independence National Historical Park. Besides, visitors can listen to talks on American history in “Once Upon a Nation” corner, buy souvenirs at a gift-stall , listen to American traditional musics or snap a photo with Rocky who was a heavyweight boxer in a movie made in 1976. Sylvestor Stallone acted as Rocky in the movie that earned three Oscars. Later, Stallone became the major star as Rocky in another four movies: Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV and Rocky V.

Independence Visitor Center at the Park

An American in a traditional costume playing a stringed instrument at Visitor Center at the historical park, Philadelphia, U.S.A.

Tourists listening to a lady talking about American history at Visitor Center at the historical Park, Philadelphia

Hotel Gaithersburg

At 2.30 p.m. we left Philadelphia for Gaithersburg in Maryland. At 5 p.m. we arrived at the place and checked in at Hotel Marriott where we spent a night, comfortably.

Snap a photo with Rocky at Independence Visitor Center at the Historical Park

Hotel Marriott at Gaithersburg, Maryland, U.S.A.

An old American horse-drawn carriage carrying tourists for sightseeing around Philadelphia Old Town, U.S.A.

 

Day 2  Saturday, 14 June 2015

After breakfast at 8 a.m. at Hotel Marriott, we went to National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washingto, D.C..

National Mall and Memorial Park, Washington D.C. 

Established in 1965, National Mall and Memorial Parks have some national monuments and memorials erected to honour, respect and remember Americans who had made invaluable contributions and sacrifices to their nation. It is also a place for visitors to reflect and be inspired by them.

A pictorial map of the National Mall and Memorial Park in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Andy Yuan, our tour-manager, talking to us about the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

Tour-members and Choo Chaw entering the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

 

On the National Mall and Memorial Parks, we visited the following places:

a. Vietnam Women’s Memorial

Created in 1993, the memorial honours the civilian and military American women who rendered their services in the Vietnam War(1955-1975). This memorial shows a statue of three American military nurses taking care of a wounded soldier.

Vietnam Women’s Memorial erected in memory of American women serving in the Vietnam War(1955-1975)

b. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Completed in 1982, the memorial honours American soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War(1955-1975). It shows a statue of three American soldiers looking at the Wall with over 58 000 of their unfortunate comrades’ names in the distance.

The Vietnam War was a long, costly war fought between the communist North Vietnam and the democratic South Vietnam. The principal allies of the North were China and Soviet Union whereas the South was the United States.

Owing to strong protest at home, the United States ended the war in 1973. Two years later, the two regions were unified under Communist control. The twenty year-war resulted in more than 3 million people killed, including 58 000 Americans.

A statue of three American soldiers of the Vietnam War(1955-1975) at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The Wall in the distance containing 58 000 names of missing or deceased American soldiers in the Vietnam War(1955-1975)

A statue of three American soldiers looking at The Wall in the distance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

 

 

 

 

c. Lincoln Memorial

Built in 1914 and completed in 1922, the memorial honours Abraham Lincoln, the 16th. President of U.S.A.(1861-1865). It houses a large statue of Lincoln sitting alone on a chair. His two famous speeches, “The Gettysburg Address” and “Second Inaugural Address” are engraved on a wall on his left.

Lincoln Memorial in memory of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th. President of U.S.A(1861-1865)

Choo Chaw and wife in front of Statue of Abraham Lincoln in the hall of the memorial

Some Abraham Lincoln’s Quotations

 

 

 

d. Washington Monument

Constructed in 1848 and opened to public in 1885, Washington Monument, a 169 metre-high obelisk, honours U.S.A.’s first President, George Washington(1732-1799) who was in office from 1789 till 1797.

I saw it in the distance, clearly, from the Lincoln Memorial and its reflection in a pool of water known as Reflecting Pool. I saw it again while I was at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

Washington Monument in memory of the first President of U.S.A., George Washington, as seen from Lincoln Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial in memorial of the U.S.A. and U.N. soldiers involved in Korean War(1950-1955)

Washington Monument as seen from Thomas Jefferson Memorial

 

e. Korean Veterans Memorial

Korean Veterans Memorial was added to the National Mall and Memorial Parks in 1995 to dedicate to the American men and women who were involved in the Korean War(1950-1953). Casualty statistics of the soldiers who fought in the war are engraved in four black granite blocks at the memorial, viz. Dead(US 54 245 UN 628 833), Wounded(US 103 284 UN 1 064 453), Captured(US 7 140 UN 92 970) and Missing(8 177 UN 470267).

The Korean War(1950-1953) was fought between the communist North Korea and democratic South Korea. The U.N. and U.S.A. soldiers fought for the South, while China and Soviet Union fought for the North. It ended on 27 July 1953, when an armistice was signed creating a 250km-long Demilitarized Zone at 38th. parallel north that separated and continues to separate North and South Korea. Occasional clashes happen between the two sides.

Information of U.S.A. and U.N. soldiers died in Korean War(1950-1955)

Information of wounded U.S.A. and U.N. soldiers involved in Korean War(1953-1953)

Information of captured U.S.A. and U.N. soldiers involved in Korean War(1950-1953)

 

At the memorial, there are 19 stainless steel statues of American soldiers, seemingly, “on patrol in a rugged terrain and a harsher weather in Korea” during the Korean War(1950-1953). They were created by a WWII veteran, Frank Gaylord. On a 50 metre-long, black, granite wall, over 2 500 photographic images of unidentified American soldiers involved in the war can be seen. They were sandblasted into the wall by Louis Nelson, a graphic designer.

Information of missing U.S.A. and U.N. soldiers involved in Korean War(1950-1953)

Images of unidentified soldiers involved in Korean War(1950-1955) on a 50 metre-long black granite wall at Korean War Veterans Memorial

19 stainless statues of U.S.A. soldiers at Korean War Veterans Memorial

 

f. Thomas Jefferson Memorial

This memorial was built in dedication to Thomas Jefferson(1743-1826) who was the third President of U.S.A.(1801-1809). He was involved in drafting and signing the “Declaration of Independence” in 1776 and a strong supporter of democracy and human rights.

In the memorial building, a tall statue of Jefferson was erected and surrounded by some of his speeches engraved on the walls. The speeches are his expressions of democracy, liberty, freedom, human rights, etc.

Choo Chaw and wife in front of Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Picture of Thomas Jefferson and his lawmakers inside the memorial

Statue of Thomas Jefferson, the 3rd. President of U.S.A.(1801-1809), in the memorial hall

g. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

In 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on Memorial Mall was created to dedicate to King.

King was a well-known civil rights activist seeking equality for the marginalised African Americans and helping to bring about the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights of 1965.

On 23 August 1963, King made a famous public speech, “I Have a Dream”, from Lincoln steps in front of over 250 000 civil rights supporters on Memorial Mall in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.

In 1964 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On 4 April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, he was assassinated at the age of 39. Third Monday of January every year since 1986 is a federal holiday in U.S.A. in honour of the King.

A huge statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., an American civil rights activist(1929-1968), at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

The U.S. Capitol, the seat of the U.S. Congress, opened in 1899

A long wall with King’s famous quotations at his memorial

 

 

 

 

h. The United States Capitol

The United States Capitol sitting on top of Capitol Hill is the seat of the United States Congress consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Opened in 1899, it is built in neoclassical architectural style. It holds major events, like presidential inaugurations, Independence Day celebrations, National Memorial Day and public paying their last respect to important persons lying in state.

Its dome is now under restoration and scheduled to be done in 2017.

Choo Chaw and wife and the White House, the residence and workplace of U.S.A. presdidents since 1800, in the distance

i. White House

Located at 1600 Pennsylvania in Washington, D.C., White House is the place where United States Presidents live and conduct the government of the nation. John Adams was the first president to occupy the House in 1800.

It has become a symbol of Presidency and stands for the power and statesmanship of the Chief Executive.

Fashion Centre or Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Virginia

Fashion Centre or Pentagon City Mall, Arlington

After the visit to the National Mall and Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C., we went to Arlington to have lunch at the largest enclosed shopping mall there, Fashion Centre or Pentagon City Mall. It houses 170 retailers and restaurants. After lunch at 2 p.m., we left the mall for Harrisburg.

Hershey’s Chocolate World, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Hershey’s Chocolate World

On the way to Harrisburg, we stopped at a famous chocolate shop, Hershey’s Chocolate World, where we learnt about chocolate making and bought a few kinds of chocolate. It has a few attractions, like Great Chocolate Mystery in 4D, Trolley Works and Wrap Happiness.

Hotel Radisson in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Hotel Radisson in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Then we continued our journey and arrived at Harrisburg in Pennsylvania at 8 p.m. where we stayed for a night at Hotel Radisson.

Home / Next

U.S.A & Canada East Coast Travel

Part I   Philadelphia & Washington D.C.

Part II   Niagara Falls & Toronto City

Part III Colborne, 1000 Islands & Ottawa City

Part IV  Montreal & Quebec City

Part V   Boston

Part VI  New York

Part VII Woodbury, JFK Airport & Home