Travelogue "US Ooskust 2002 '
Washington DC - New York - Niagara Falls
May 21 to May 27, 200

schedule:
The insurance company Generali organized a six-day seminar at the American east coast with the cities Washington DC and New York were visited, as well as a trip to Niagara Falls . The reibureau Eagle Travel kept this trip, including hotels, lift buses and all sorts of trips accompanied by guides. Only food and drink were optional. A unique opportunity for a first visit to the United States. We flew with British Airways , a very customer-friendly society. After purchasing our passport and several Capitol-guides , we were ready for departure.

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Day 1 - Monday 21/05/2002: Brussels - Washington DC
In Zaventem airport, we get together with the other participants and depart at 11am from London Heathrow . As we move into a 747 to 8 hours later to land in Washington DC . The difference is here on the East Coast 6 hours earlier compared to Belgium, so we have ample time to take the bus through the capital from the US to our hotel Crowne Plaza driving. After checking everyone fairly and equally, we explore the neighborhood. This city is designed exactly on the drawing board. All streets are perpendicular and are numbered sequentially. The main streets, according to the wind direction (East, South, North, West) and the side streets according to number. Unable lost here to walk. The simple logic is apparently typical American. After dinner and a gezelige chat with the others, we go to our room. There awaits us tomorrow already a long and hard day.

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Day 2 - Monday 22/05/2002: Washington DC
After breakfast we drive by bus to the White House which is located just blocks from the hotel. A walk up to the heavily guarded fence gives a wonderful view of the official residence of the president. A little later we continue our trip and drive to Mount Vernon and visit there the vast estate where George Washington of his 22 th lived until his death. After a light meal at the Inn Mount Vernon Inn we leave the farm and make a brief stop in Alexandria , a charming suburb of Washington with plenty of little shops and restaurants in the small fishing port. The next stop is the Arlington National Cemetery buried an immense military cemetery on the green hills of Virginia, which includes John and Jackie Kennedy are. We are also also witnessed the changing of the guard at the "Tomb of the unknowns" (Tomb of the Unknown Soldier), which is guarded day and night by elite marines and honored to be able to find accomplish this task. Afterwards we drive back into town and visit there the Lincoln Memorial , built in honor of the murdered president in 1865. This building is at the end of the Mall , the very green heart of the city along which there are the most important public buildings and museums. It is at the other end Capitol . Then we walk through the Korean War Memorial Monument and the Vietnam War Memorial Merorial . Both remind us of the many casualties of both wars. It is evening and time to satisfy the many hungry stomachs in the famous Italian restaurant Buca di Bepo , where we are treated to a sumptuous meal in Neapolitan atmosphere. But not too late because tomorrow we rest a hard and long day.

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Day 3 - Thurs 23/05/2002: Washington DC - New York
These additional morgend up early. We want to visit with the group at the Capitol and this requires individual tickets. The attack on the WTC towers granted on 11/9/2001, only six months ago, one is here extra allert anywhere and access only to those who ask for it personally. Hence we stand before 7 o'clock in the morning already in the queue to be allowed in first. But the ticket is only valid for 11 hours, so we first have ample time to visit the famous Air & Space Museum , where you can see replicas of include the "Spirit of St. Louis" or capsule which landing happened on the Moon. Highly recommended. Afterwards we go back to the Capitol , which boasts stately on Capitol Hill. The building (82 m high, 229 m long, 107 m wide) is home to the headquarters of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The dome is a 6m tall statue of liberty. The appointment of the President of the United States always takes place on the broad steps of the main entrance. Once inside we are screened and must give everything until cameras increasing. Then we go to the majestic council and listen to an argument between Democrats and Republicans. The political heart of America. Once again outside as we walk around Capitol Hill and draw around noon to the station " Union Square " where we eat lunch and then embark on the AMTRAK train to New York . Towards the evening we arrive at the Penn Station in New York and take a few moments later move into the Hotel Parker Meridien , in the heart of Manhattan. This evening we are treated to a gala dinner at the famous restaurant Lundy's, located near the world-famous Times Square and many lichtreklames illuminating the facades of towering skyscrapers. A night to remember ... more

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Day 4 - Friday 24/05/2002: New York
The day begins with a breakfast buffet on the top floor of the hotel, 45 floors above the ground floor. The view is breathtaking when you see driving down the small cars and then have to look up to several buildings still reach far above us. We also have a beautiful view of Central Park , the 340 hectare "green lung" of the city. After breakfast we drive by bus to 5th Aveneu and visit the Empire State Building . After the attack on the WTC towers , this building is again the highest in the city and have you on the 86 th floor, 320 m above the ground floor, a magnificent view of the city nicknamed "The Big Apple" was . Back on the ground we walk through the bus include the districts Manhattan, Alpha Town (Far East Village), Greenwich Village, Soha, Little Italy, Chinatown and hold then stop at South Street Seaport . Here we embark on the speedboat " The Beast " for a high-speed cruise through the harbor to the Statue of Liberty (Statue of Liberty). From here you also have a very nice view of the city skyline with its many skyscrapers on a relatively small piece of territory. After the spectacular sightseeing we take lunch at Pier 13 , a shopping center converted to harbor pilot with numerous shops and restaurants. An hour later we will visit Ground Zero , the site where the Twin Towers stood the World Trade Center. Even six months after the attacks you pass here mark the havoc wreaked and you see the many pictures, scarves, flags and other types of aandeken how many victims there were, and the next of kin and / or sympathizers leave their tributes. Via a temporary ramp you can walk above the crater and read the lists of the missing. Here reigns a profound silence of mourners, like a pilgrimage. All surrounding streets are badly damaged from the crash debris, making it very difficult to walk is to nearby Wall Street , the financial heart of the city and perhaps the United States. The area is also the Flatiron Building , the first by an elevator-equipped building in New York that soon got this nickname because of his iron form. Quiet Lane is time to return to the hotel and then we eat a delicious ribeye steak near Times Square . Then some nice stroll through the neighborhood and enjoy the atmosphere in the beautifully illuminated streets full of neon advertising. New York is truly a unique city.

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Day 5 - Sat 25/05/2002: New York
Today there is only one trip to the districts of Uptown and Midtown on the program, such as Upper West Site, Harlem, Grand Central Station, etc. First we visit the Columbia University , one of the most famous in the country. Then we drive along the United Nations Headquarters , the building in which every country of our world is represented. A little further on we cross " The Bronx ," a notorious district of New York because of his criminal past and underprivileged. Here is the famous Yankee Stadium , renowned for its great baseball team. After a walk through the beautiful Greenwich Valley , a village founded by the first English settlers in 1696, we drive back towards Central Park and keep it stop at the famous Dakota Building , the building at the time John Lennon was murdered and is still very sought after by celebrities to live there. From here we walk Central Park inside and take a nice picnic. This park is a garden for every resident of the city to spend his or her free time. One already sunbathing, the other in the display of tricks on their rollerscates. Nowhere you will find such a wide variety of races and cultures as in this immense park. This afternoon we are free and we include hiking along 5th Avenue are famous for (expensive) brand stores. Here we also encounter the Rockefeller Center to, known for its annual huge Christmas tree and skating rink that will be constructed at Christmas. After a few stops at museums, shops and cathedrals we return to our hotel. This evening we dine again at Times Square and stay there high above the ground in the restaurant " The View " where the 45th floor every half hour completely rotates around its axis and you get a unique view of the New York Skyline. Our last day in New York is almost over.

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Day 6 - Sun 26/05/2002: New York - Buffalo - Brussels
Our last day is perhaps the toughest of the whole trip. At 5 am already out of bed and towards the airport for the flight to Buffalo . After one and a half hour flight we landed and put the bus heading toward the border with neighboring Canada for a visit to Niagara Falls . Because we are the best visibility and ronvaart with the boats we must go on Canadian territory, we must first through the heavily guarded border. Moments later we sail "with the Mist Maid of the " on the very turbulent water and brave the massive haze from the widest waterfalls in the world. After the boat trip we go to the Skylon Tower we have a beautiful view from 236 m height of the falls and the surrounding area. Here we eat lunch. An hour later we enter again with the bus and take America back to Buffalo flight to New York JFK . Here it is here waiting for our flight back home. It was a nice, tiring but a unique journey.

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Day 7 - Monday 27-05-2002: Brussels
Check in Zaventem. Normal life goes its own way again ...