Today we returned to Albany which is where we had hired the car from. Now I don't need to be reminded why we decided to train more of this trip than drive! It was certainly less stressful than driving from New York last time, but to say we are both relieved to have left the car behind and return to trains is an understatement. However, there have been no u turns across highways and median strips this time I'm glad to report. Today was the first day back at work here after a long weekend so it was considerably more hectic than when we picked the car up on Sunday.
We have to say that the drivers here are very courteous and patient. Pedestrians get priority and we were told that if you as a pedestrian and even look like you might like to cross, cars should and are obligated to stop, regardless of whether you are at a crossing. We've been guilty today of standing, contemplating which way to go on a street corner whilst a very patient driver waited for us to make up our mind. Thank goodness our driver told us, as you all know how patient Ian is and he has had to chill out and leave his road rage behind him!
When we arrived back in Albany we found our hotel, checked in and took off to explore.
We had to find a Wal Mart in order to buy another suitcase as our weight is getting a little dangerous so that was a revelation in itself. You can buy ANYTHING at Wal Mart! Just picked up a few essential quilting supplies whilst Ian was considering the suitcase!
Barnes and Noble are fantastic for books and coffee at the same time so that worked well The magnificent buildings here which we had only had a very brief look at when we arrived. The architecture is absolutely magnificent on the State Building, the University and many others. We just walked around in amazement and took heaps of photos. We also found a park where all the trees had power points on them, if only we could find them in Australia when we are travelling. It was off to find the New York State Museum which we had (well, Ian had) looked at before we came and seen that they had a Civil War Exhibition which we thought would be really interesting after seeing quite a lot of Civil War historic locations in Vermont. It was a fantastic exhibition and we now feel that we have a much better understanding of the Civil War and the War of Independence.
As a bonus, we found they also had a fantastic display of September 11, including a fire truck which had been destroyed and a lot of information about the tremendous and meticulous amount of work undertaken to ensure as much information could be gleaned from the debris in the aftermath.
There was also information about the new USS New York which has 7.5 tons of steel in the bow which has been recycled from the twin towers and the dedication and strong desire of those who now serve aboard to honour those who died.
In this same area there are many antique fire engines dating back over 100 years. Boy did those firemen earn their money!
As a bit of light relief there is also the front of the Sesame Street house with some notable characters. I hope Flat Norah appreciated how lucky she was to be on the set of Sesame Street. It certainly took us back in time!
All too soon it was five o'clock and the museum was closing so regretfully we had to leave, although we had only seen a small number of the displays and co hold have spent hours longer.
Dinner was at a restaurant chain called Ruby Tuesday which we discovered is like Sizzlers and we were so pleased to be able to have lots of salad which we are really starting to crave. There was a double chocolate dessert which Ian couldn't resist and which he deserved after driving today!
Today is our last night in the US, tomorrow is our first day in Canada so bringing out the Canadian currency ready for the next adventures. Toronto here we come!