In July and August 2017, we spent eleven unforgettable days in the North-East of the U.S.A. that we coupled together with a stay in Canada. After we marveled at the breathtaking Niagara Falls - that are a link between those two fabulous countries - we got into the discovery of that wide region we had never been to before. The couple of friends who came with us during our trip to Slovenia in October 2016 joined us again to share that unforgettable adventure. We had the pleasure and privilege to attend their marriage proposal from the second day. Then, we moved on with our journey crowned with that new and refreshing happiness that we carried in our hearts until the end. That embellished each moment of that trip which was already full of promise.
After we discovered with a great happiness Western America with J.R. in 2013 and 2016, thus making a several years dream come true, we decided to take a dip into culture in the birthplace of that amazing country which is varied in many ways. Indeed, it is a different America, scene of significant events - sometimes epic, sometimes bloody or even barbaric - that built the recent and hasty history of that young nation. That America is more urbanized, noisier, more vibrant, even if it is possible to get far from that hustle and bustle to seek tranquility in breathtaking landscapes, cut off from the world for some of them… before returning to those cities with an asserted character, and their delightful cacophony that we catch ourselves loving: indeed that makes them paradoxically likeable and we feel so incredibly alive there. We were far away from the Western great wide open with vanishing horizons, where we like to get lost in infinity, taking up that indefinable sense of freedom we can feel nowhere else but there. Lifestyle there is naturally quite different, mentality as well: certainly, we enjoyed much once again the typically American sense of hospitality, sympathy, helpfulness and enthusiasm; but we realized they did not take as much time to talk with us, to ask us where we are from, for example. It is simply because life there is different: people are sometimes hurried, for they have many things to do, to see, to discover even if they are locals. Life moves too fast on that side of the country, and you must not miss the train even if you have to get on board while it is moving.
So, we left Niagara Falls, leaving Canada behind us to return there at the end of our trip. We crossed the state of New-York along U.S. Route 219 in the heart of breathtaking green landscapes to reach Bradford, Pennsylvania, just beyond the state border. We chose that small town as a night stop for purely geographical reasons. Nevertheless, it turned out to be a very nice surprise, like Sonora, California in 2016: we were charmed by its city center, a real jewel of architecture.
We carried on with Washington, the capital, which surprised us like Ottawa - capital of Canada - did: we also thought it would be noisier and more sprawling. But we could enjoy the sweetness of living of some districts like Georgetown, cradle of the city. It was both the place of visit of monuments and memorials as colossal as filled with historical value, and the starting-point of various trips to the states of Maryland and Virginia, notably a day in Shenandoah National Park, which allowed us to enjoy a real return to wilderness: a pleasant interlude in that mainly urban journey.
On the road to New-York, we made two stops in Pennsylvania: one in Lancaster, very nice and typical town located in Amish country, the other in Philadelphia, city filled with history – with notably the Independence Hall and Liberty Bell – and world capital of street-art with its very numerous murals. That confirmed to us that state is beautiful and varied. After arrival in the Big Apple, a plethora of superlatives came to our minds: mythic city with a tireless fervor, it gives off an incredible energy, like perpetual motion. Its streets are like a fast-moving kaleidoscope in which colors, cultures and languages from different backgrounds mingle. The «city that never sleeps» has what it takes to keep us awake all along your stay, whether it is short or long. Given that we were only there for one evening and two full days, we did not get into an impossible marathon visit, but we chose a relatively limited area in which we wanted to immerse ourselves, with the idea and above all the strong desire to come back during a next trip to see more. Obviously, we had a boat ride to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We would slowly approach it every morning as we took the ferry from Staten Island – where we stayed in a private home – to Manhattan, thus mingling with locals. What we felt while contemplating that mythic statue was unspeakable. And finding ourselves at its base during that short trip deeply left its mark on us, because it is so imposing and filled with powerful symbols.
Then we entered New-England, region with a turbulent past and hub of the country’s tormented history. After we made a stop on an idyllic beach in the fabulous Cape Cod, Massachusetts, we visited the small town of Plymouth, where Pilgrim Fathers disembarked in 1620 on the famous Mayflower. So, that is where it all began. We took a very instructive dip into history, before we get to the splendid city of Boston, one of the most beautiful in the country. Its extraordinary architecture reminds inevitably the one in some districts of London, and it is also filled with a lot of history, in which we immersed ourselves walking along the whole of the Freedom Trail, which allowed us to discover the major places of the city on the theme of the American Revolution. Boston hooked us and we left it as well as the U.S.A. with the best impression: we attended a rock show in the BOA Pavilion on the last night, with four bands on the bill, mingling with locals to share that wonderful moment with them. It left us with an undying memory. We left that beloved country on a very positive note before we return to Canada to finish that great adventure, but feeling unavoidably a twinge of sorrow… even if we already knew we would come back with a big happiness in the near future.
Published on December, 28th 2018
Click on the state you choose to have access to its description. We gave priority to the chronology of our trip rather than the logic of geography.