Chapter 14: Philly – Here we go!

Do you remember from the previous chapter when I wrote about the some special days when the kids were supposed to leave the camp and enjoy the waterpark or some other activity? If yes, than that was a day when we (as kitchen boys/girls) had a free day as well. Actually it was so free that there was almost nothing cooked for the day as really everybody was out. Luckily we have been told about this day in advance, so we all agreed and decided to make a one day trip to Philadelphia.

If you remember, Matt did not want to give me a car. He was maybe a bit overprotective or just did not trust my driving licence. Actually it was not only my driving licence. He did not give a car anybody from the kitchen boys/girls. Therefore we had to rent few cars. Few days before the trip we sit together at our place and were celebrating the birthday of Tibor and Jurij. The girls made nice decoration, we bought drinks/food and we had also a birthday cake. It was really nice.

During the party we agreed the details of the trip. Next day I went to Matt and asked him whether he could give all of us (with the Van) a ride to the nearest car renting company. Of course he agreed with that and instead of him he sent Michal. Before going there Tibor and Adam checked which cars are available and made the reservation. We were well prepared.

If I remember correctly, it was the end of July and Wednesday. We packed our stuff and went to the Van. Michal took us to the nearest car renting company. We were really excited. All together we were 12 (Vitalii, Helen, Rico, Jurij, Izmail, Eva, Joanna, Viktor, Tibor + one of the counselors he met in the camp, Adam and myself). Therefore we had to rent 3 cars. Right after our arrival it turned out that the cars we reserved were not all available. This was not good. There were few other cars, however not so strong as needed and not on the same price. We got the cars, however I got the oldest and slowest one. It was an old Kia, with automatic engine, however so weak that we almost crushed when I tried to come before a track. It was not very close, however it was close. I almost forgot to mention that we also agreed about the drivers. In the first round Tibor, Adam and I was driving. On the way back Vitalli, Viktor and Rico. Luckily we received GPS (which was not a usual thing back in 2009), so we knew where to go.

The road to Philadelphia was not bad. I really enjoyed driving in the United States. Everywhere highways, cars and the roads were in a very good condition. Back in my country we have terrible roads. Specially in the cities. Outside of the cities, the highways are not so bad, however still not close enough to those in US. It was a really calm and convenient ride, which took us something more than 2 hours. Finally we arrived to Philadelphia. We have found a parking garage in the city center where we left the cars. We took are belonging and went to the city center.

I’m not sure how much you know the history of the United States, however Philadelphia played a very important role in it. Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape (Delaware) Indians in the village of Shackamaxon. The Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are also called Delaware Indians, and their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases, mainly smallpox, and violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people occasionally fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin. The American Revolutionary War and United States’ independence pushed them further west.

The city became an important trading center, however Philadelphia’s importance and central location in the colonies made it a natural center for America’s revolutionaries. By the 1750s, Philadelphia had surpassed Boston to become the largest city and busiest port in British America, and second in the British Empire after London. The city hosted the First Continental Congress (1774) before the Revolutionary War; the Second Continental Congress (1775–76), which signed the United States Declaration of Independence, during the war; and the Constitutional Convention (1787) after the war. Several battles were fought in and near Philadelphia as well. (Source: Wikipedia)

Therefore there are many historical and cultural artefacts, which we decided to visit. I could really go to details, however I let the pictures speak for themself. Do you recognize some of the places? 😉

I’m sure you did. We as typical Europeans discovered everything by walking. We went to see the famous Liberty Bell. Walked to the Barnes Foundation and Independence Hall. Actually I bought (and still have) a copy of the Declaration of Independence. We have seen the City Hall and some other tremendous place. What we missed was the Musuem of Art and the famous stairs, where you can find the statue of Rocky. I don’t remember why, but somehow we did not go there. However if you once will travel to the East coast, you should definitively visit this city. It has so much to offer you.

Sometimes during the walks we got lost, however we always found a way to get back and reach the places we wanted to see.

Anyway, Philadelphia was a great one-day adventure, which for sure would deserve at least 3-4 days of visit. Maybe next time. I need to admit we had a wonderful day, seeing beautiful place, enjoying good food and having great weather. Therefore I (and for sure also the others) would like to thank this city to the hospitality, which offers to visitors. We loved it there as you can see from the picture below. 🙂

Stay turned, next story will come soon in the upcoming chapter. 😉

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