Currently sat in a food place called Merzi. I wanted to try something different to McDonalds and Dairy Queen all the time (although, Burger Kings new French fry burger was good yesterday) so it’s quite similar to Indian food with Naans and rice but just not quite as good. I got a mango drink too which I thought was a combination of juice but I read the contents and its made with milk. Tastes like mango flavored milk which you can imagine.. Makes you want to throw up. But other than that, things are okay. I seem to be having a bad reaction to the food in America. It’s just so much junk food, my tummy is upset 😦 I ate a lot of different foods in Philadelphia alongside a slice of giant pizza every night. So it’s hard to tell what is doing it in particular. But that brings me on to Philly.
I was never bothered about going here, it was just a stop on the way to the places I wanted to visit. So I went there with no plan whatsoever and no desire to see anything.
This worked out well because I had a blast. Checked into the hostel and it was one of those hostels that you could just tell you would meet people in. ‘Free beer’ ‘free walking tours’ etc. I’d recommend Apple hostels Philadelphia to anyone.
After I checked in I went up to my room and claimed a bottom bunk bed. Along comes a girl who asks me if the bed opposite is taken. I detect straight away that she’s British. She was a few years older than me and so incredibly well-travelled, she’s been everywhere. But we got on great and both had the same thing in mind so we headed to south street where we’d look for somewhere we could both have our first drink of the holiday in.
It was nice to just take advantage of happy hour and good conversation. We talked about travelling a lot but also about life. She was from Cambridge but her boyfriend was from…Chapel Town! Lol she was travelling alone too for the exact same amount of weeks as me only she started in Washington DC so had just come from there when I met her.
After a night out at the bar we headed back to go on a ghost tour. It was very simple just cos it was $2 but it was fun. Afterwards despite there being free beer we both crashed from the exhaustion of travelling.
The next day I slept in, by the time I actually got out it was midday and time to head over for my food tour. This tour began at liberty place and headed around central Philly. It was incredible. So much fun and the tour guide made the city seem so interesting. I was even shown around a bank vault that no longer operated as a bank but as a restaurant. It was super swerve and beautiful. It was so beautiful that I’m convinced I saw Mariah Carey enter the restaurant after we left.
We tasted tomato pie (just like pizza but with no cheese and the sauce tastes amazing). A Philadelphia pretzel which is even too salty for me. A Philly cheesesteak, definitely not my kind of food! (Pictured above) And finally cookies made from Hershey’s kisses and a cake truffle in the market. We also got shown around Macy’s where they have the famous Meet me at the eagle statue. I listened to the man play an organ with 1000s of pipes too. I learnt a lot of history on the tour and I’m glad I got to do it.
After this I headed back to the hostel for free pasta. Yum. Met a girl from Holland who spoke very good English. Me, her and Mel from England all set off back to South Street and headed for another bar. We went to one with open mic and then headed to an Irish pub where we drank sangria.
The next day was my final chance to see the city so I wanted to goto the hotspots. I started with the independence hall where they signed the Declaration of Independence. I love to hear about the history of America but unfortunately my tour guide of the building had a heavy accent and I couldn’t understand a word he was saying! So quite a wasted trip that one lol next I walked past the Liberty Bell again and headed for the art institute.
I must admit I ran up all the steps. But I didn’t do it for Rocky, I did it for Sherman Klump!
The walk took it out of me. The weather here has been incredibly hot and it makes you tired. So whilst I really wanted to go to the Philadelphia state penitrary, I just didn’t have enough time. I wanted to do the mosaic garden too but didn’t give myself chance. Whilst we definitely have the summers weather, we don’t have the summers daylight hours and things are closing much earlier unfortunately. I like to be back in the hostel after dark with how dodgy some neighborhoods are.
So I went back to the hostel for my final night there. There was to be a pub crawl with free beer. So I headed out for that and whilst it was quite quiet, I did meet a guy from Australia who was travelling around America for 6 months. He’d budgeted 20 grand which is exactly why I know travelling around Australia is going to take me a while to save for. He’s heading to Washington DC today, which is where I am right now.
Time for me to sign off and walk along the mall. I’m about to see what makes the capital so special and wave hello to Obama.