Taking full advantage of our 11 hour layover at JFK airport we headed in to New York City to spend about 5 hours taking in the sites as Rob, Joshua, and Meg had never been there. We used Uber to catch a ride into the city as the subway and trains are sometimes unreliable. We allowed ourselves an hour and a half to ride the 14 miles into NYC and the same amount for the ride back.
First and most important on our list of places to visit was the 9/11 Memorial. We could have spent all day there. The experience can only be described as strikingly beautiful and horrifying at the same time. The design of the memorial itself has been well executed. The vastness of the names, five rows deep, carries completely around the footprint perimeter of both of the twin towers. Water falls from beneath the names in a seemingly endless stream down the sides and into a dark square at the center continuing down into an eternal empty space. The dark void at the center, into which the water flows, reminded us of the hole that these lives left in the hearts of their families and in the world. Words can not describe the feeling that came over our own hearts as we stood there watching the waters flow on and on.
The new building World Trade 1 is very beautiful. On the other side of the block steel remnants from the original tower have been transformed into white architecture gracing the roof of a new retail area. The block is well designed, useful but still respectful of those who lost their lives on that terrible day.
We pulled ourselves away, mindful of the clock ticking, to see more of the city. Grabbing a quick bite at a New York hot dog stand we visited Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, NBC studios, Radio City Music Hall a host of other sites and wrapped up the day in Central Park. Vowing to see Lady Liberty close up next time we grabbed an Uber ride through the rush hours NYC traffic back to JFK.
We flew overnight into Edinburgh Scotland. We arrived midmorning after clearing customs at our comfortable hotel room. Today we had a quick look ‘round Edinburgh and hopped on an afternoon train to Newcastle where we will be staying until after congregation (graduation). Newcastle is a 15 minute train ride to Durham. Basing in Newcastle until after the bustle of congregation granted us much more affordable rates as there are loads of people in town at the moment. Tomorrow Durham and the completed Lego Cathedral Model, Open Treasure and much more… stay tuned