15 July 2012

Discover Delaware

New York, Philadelphia and Washington D.C are all cities that are recognisable to the masses but, have you heard of a city called Wilmington? Fear not, I threw caution to the wind and decided to explore this unfamiliar city and also a hidden gem that I wasn't aware of before. Taking the Amtrak from my local Newark Penn Station to Wilmington, looking forward to experience a brand new state on a beautiful sun-shining day in July. Taking a chance on the state of Delaware, seeking adventure once more to find that almost every American state deserves a chance. So, you fancy uncovering new city walls, hidden island forts and holding a new perspective of America's North-east coast? Well, your in the right place!

After arriving bright and early in the city of Wilmington, I was lured by the waters of the Christina River. With the sun getting warmer by the minute it was a pleasure to explore The Riverfront. My opinion of Wilmington was set from the second I got to know the Christina Riverside. Wilmington's Riverfront gave me the chance to hear a slice of nature, sure it was great to hear the chiming songs of the fluttering birds that were nearby. Everything blended in well, from the old architecture to the newly renovated pathways leading the way along the waters front. I had been advised that Delaware wouldn't be a good place to visit, well  my current view of Wilmington, Delaware was certainly rubbishing the negative suggestions. Note this down, when in Wilmington you must take a stroll down The Riverfront!

Like I said before I chose to travel by Amtrak train from Newark Penn Station to Wilmington's red brick station, my train fare was fairly priced for train travel in America is very comfortable. I passed through Philadelphia before I disembarked in Wilmington, I think train travel will have to be a luxury for every once in a while but it was completely worth it! Booking trains within North America's Northeast coast Amtrak network should be done well in advance for once those discounted fares have gone they have gone. 

Wilmington prevails to be a city that possesses a special flare, owning something different that stood out to other cities I've visited before in America. Teamed with wide range of retro buildings, which resemble the life and times of yesteryear as featured the "Delaware Historical Society" certainly pays attention to the surrounding buildings. The city itself has a displaced feeling, almost having little or no links with other parts of the Downtown district. I did not use a map for I didn't have access to one, so I just used my sense of direction and thankfully the streets were well signposted. Taking away the negatives by revealing a positive side to Wilmington would be that it posed to be not what I expected, something that is generally a good thing from my point of looking at things.

Amongst the old parts of this city, a feeling of re-generation could be seen throughout Wilmington. I felt a good vibe from Wilmington, considering I had never heard of this city before I had arrived in America for my current internship I knew that my travelling efforts this year have gone from strength to strength! New office buildings and apartments were either newly completed or in the final stages of construction. From both ends of the spectrum every component worked well from a visual state of mind.

Not wanting to limit myself to Wilmington for the rest of my day in Delaware I took a different choice, a voyage to the unknown. Taking the 25 Dart bus to Delaware City, seeking Fort Delaware located on Pea Patch Island. I had one of those sickening feelings when I took the bus to Delaware City thinking it was the wrong bus, thankfully my research had served me well as all fared well. Arriving in Delaware City, a place which was strange to be called a city due to its village type feel.

Setting sail to Pea Patch Island to seek Fort Delaware was great, I felt excited to seek a new and exciting place, who couldn't love a island with such a charming name? Honestly feeling like I had stepped back to some point in the past as the feel of the island was quite peaceful and tranquil. The fort itself posed to be a great place to discover, but the period actors didn't impress me, please don't do a job halfheartedly or just don't bother at all. Aside from that shard of disappointment the main feel of Fort Delaware was great. It was actually crazy to think that once a baron island just sprouted from nowhere, literally getting its name "Pea Patch Island." Visit Now! 

Delaware, Delaware oh Delaware! A state that showed me so much in just one day, a good value for money day out with the perfect balance of culture and history. This just goes to show that the smaller and less recognised states can be very interesting and well worth visiting.

Joseph Harrison 

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