Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Philly Bus Tour

Time for the very lengthy recap of the things we saw on our Philadelphia Bus Tour. It was on a doulbe decker bus, and (obviously from the pictures) the top was open. It was so fun! And it was a quick and easy way to see the sites that we weren't going to have time to go inside of (or that were too pricey). But it was fun!!! So here was our first tour guide.

This bald guy was in quite a few of our pictures. The danger of being on a bus tour where you can't move to get the best picture. But I think I used the pictures that he is not in.

U.S. Mint
Steve REALLY wanted to go the Mint, and I thought it would have been very cool. Sadly, they were closed while we were there. But we did get to go to the place where they destroy some money. (Can't remember what it's called.) But we were not allowed to take pictures there at all. Most of the places did not allow pictures inside.

Friendship Gate
 This archway was in the little Chinatown area of Philly. It was given to Philadelphia by their sister city that is in China. I thought it was SO cool looking. And the guide said it was super duper heavy (as you can imagine). But there was something special about how heavy it was and what it was made from.


This was like their City Hall type place. When it was built it was the tallest building in the whole town/city. But now many other buildings tower over it. It is also that old and still has not been reinforced or anything. I think that's incredible.

William Penn
 William Penn was the founder of PENNsylvania. He was on top of this City Hall building, overlooking the whole city. The guide said that about 6 buses could fit around the rim on his hat - holy huge.

This is a statue of one of the former mayors of Philadelphia hailing a cab.

Thinker Statue

Eastern State Penitentiary
 And out of nowhere, right in the middle of the city ... a CASTLE!! Just kidding - it's a jail. That is the Eastern State Penitentiary. This was probably the one thing we REALLY wished we had gone on the tour for. We just didn't have time for this one. But it's a SUPER old penitentiary (obviously) and it was in operation and used up until the 1970s. I thought that was incredible.

Joan of Arc
 This was a statue of Joan of Arc. It's not gold. But I think it looks cool. I couldn't remember what it was made of, but I just Googled it and it said it is gilded bronze. I thought it was pretty random to have in the middle of Philly. I don't remember anything else about it, so maybe there actually is some relevance to it being there...?? Still cool.
 I couldn't resist posting this picture of us in front of the Rocky Stairs. It's at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. We thought this museum would have been cool to go into, but we just weren't digging it. Maybe if it had been free. (I'm making us sound like cheapskates...but we went to see tons of other things, promise.) Anyway, it was windy.

Philadelphia Museum of Art
 This was on one of the sides of the Museum of Art. I thought it was interesting. The detail amazed me.

 This is the view from the top of the Rocky Stairs - please notice the other people running up the stairs. We did NOT run up the stairs...

Yo, Adrian!!!
 Yes, we had to stand in a line to get this picture taken. This statue used to be up near the Museum of Art entrance, on top of the stairs. But it was moved eventually because it was "not art" and not a part of actual Philadelphia history. P.S. It was worth waiting in line.
Delaware River

Fresh Prince of Bel Air
 We went through West Philadelphia and the tour guide talked all about all the historic facts about West Philadelphia. I don't remember ANY of the facts he told us, because every time he said "West Philadelphia" I started singing: In West Philadelphia, born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of the days....

Drexel University
 The dragony thing is the Drexel mascot. I just thought it was cool. I also loved the random piano covered in fabric behind it. And someone was playing it!

Franklin Institute
 The Franklin Institute is a cool place, and we read all about the cool exhibits they had there. We were really set on the idea of going there. But we really only wanted to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit, and decided that just that exhibit wasn't worth all the money we would have paid to get in. Sooo we settled for the outside.

The "invisible" building
 The tour guide said this bulding was designed to be invisible and camoflauge into the sky. I'm not sure what they are trying to hide it from - or what they were thinking when they thought it was invisible. I can see that....  But maybe from the sky or far away it's more camoflauged?

 I thought that the tour guide said that all those people there were doing the Occupy Wall Street thing in Philadelphia. But I didn't hear it all. Turns out these people were just having a party. I had a good laugh because I was thinking, "Occupy Wall Street doesn't seem as bad as they're all making it out to be!" Yeah...

 This was some sort of church. I just thought the architecture was beautiful. Then I took the picture and my artsy-ness surprised even me.

This was one of the first Quaker hospitals. That clear bubble-like thing on top is where they used to do surgeries so they could get the best lighting (I think). It's still in use for something today. I don't think it's still a hospital. But Quakers still gather there sometimes.

 This is a random monument to Christopher Columbus - Mathematician & Cartographer. Pretty fancy.

Penn's Landing
And good ole Penn's Landing. It was a beautiful ending to our tour. Lovely.

It was a good tour, and I would definitely recommend the bus tour for a quick and easy way to tour the entire city, even the far away things you don't want to walk to. And it was neat because there were multiple buses. You could get off the bus, and about 20 minutes later another bus would come by to pick you up. And the tickets were good for 24 hours! THAT is worth our precious money! ;)

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