After a 7.30 a.m. meet-up time and a few brief introductions, the first stop on the Atlantic BLT tour with Trek America was Philadelphia. Singing along to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme tune as we rolled into the city, I wasn't really sure what to expect, but that was soon to be solved.
Everyone's seen a Rocky film right? It's a classic, right? One thing you should know about me is that I've somehow managed to miss seeing quite a few of the cult films. My bad. Anyway despite my lack of cinema knowledge, even I had seen that photograph of Sylvester Stallone at the top of what is commonly known as the "Rocky Steps". Well, when in Rome. In stifling heat, we made our way to the top of the 72 stone steps whilst Ellie, our Trek leader, blasted "Eye of the Tiger" from the van; aptly named Vanna White. Was it worth it? Yes. There is a reason why that view is a classic. Whilst appreciating the skyline, I did feel a little sorry from the Museum of Art. We had no time to pop in and take a look round, but the actual building itself was beautiful. If I'm lucky enough to make a return visit, I think I'll give it a bit more attention.
My new Trek family & I then headed to see the Liberty Bell. I'm not fully up to speed on the history surrounding the bell, but I do known that it is a very famous symbol for American independence and freedom. Oh and it has a huge crack in it. Seeing as we were pushed for time, we didn't go into the actual museum in Independence National History Park, but we did catch a cheeky glimpse of it through a window. I've got to admit, I was pretty impressed with the mix of architecture in Philadelphia, with new skyscrapers mixing seamlessly into more traditional heavy-set buildings. The Town Hall really stole my heart. Nestled between high-risers on all sides, it seemed to be tucked away from everything, peaking out between streets if you knew exactly where to look.
After being told all about the Philadelphia curse thanks to Billy Penn, we headed down to the Reading Terminal Market to grab some lunch. Unfortunately, the curse seemed to linger around me, and I started to feel a bit iffy. Not sure whether it was due to the heat or something else, I decided to just take in the sights and smells of the market and stick to water. If you're ever in Philly, go to the market. It's the most eclectic mix of stalls, from hand crafted chocolate and local art to lobsters and cookies. Make sure you grab a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich but a word of warning; go hungry or go halves otherwise you'll be napping for days.
Have you been to Philadelphia? Is it on your bucket list?