Sunday, 15 July 2012

Next Stop... Wilmington, Delaware!

The state of Delaware was in my sights! I took my Amtrak train from Newark Penn Station to Wilmington to explore Delaware's largest city on a July day that was so beautiful, the weather was perfect! Taking a chance on the state of Delaware, I was seeking adventure to find that every American state deserves a chance. Sure, Wilmington served many secrets and surprises!

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 city's own 'Riverfront'. My opinion of Wilmington had been 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 song birds sing as they fluttered in the skies above me. Everything in my view blended well, the older buildings blended well with the newly renovated walkways along the riverside. I had been advised that the state of Delaware wasn't worth my time, I didn't pay their thoughts no mind! I was expecting Wilmington to be a squeaky clean city, I was open to finding some surprises and secrets during my day of exploration. The July weather was proving to be a scorcher as the morning went on further. I was ready for Wilmington!

As mentioned before I chose to travel by Amtrak train from Newark Penn Station to Wilmington's red brick station, my train fare was fairly priced because train travel in America stands behind its European cousins. On my way to Wilmington I passed through Philadelphia before I stepped down from my train in Wilmington. I hadn't really done much research regarding what there was to do in Wilmington, I trusted the signs that guided me from the train station to the riverside along the Christina River. Wilmington wasn't a huge city, I had faith that I could make my way around without any issues. Sticking to the riverside for the first part of the day allowed me to see some lovely views, the skyline that Wilmington served wasn't huge but it was humble, appropriate for the size of the city. Moving into the Quaker Hill part of the city lead my to my second part of the day. Bordering New Jersey, why had the train taken the time that it did? I brushed shoulders with Maryland! My tri-state day!

Wilmington prevailed to be a city that possessed a special flare, owning something different that stood out compared with other cities that I had visited before in America. Teamed with a wide range of retro buildings, which resembled the life and times of Wilmington's not so distant past featured the 'Delaware Historical Society'. The city centre layout showcased a feeling of displacement. By the looks of things, Wilmington was just getting started with its future regeneration projects. I did not use a map because I didn't have access to one, I used my sense of direction and thankfully the streets were well signposted. Unlike other people, I wanted to give Wilmington my full attention during that July afternoon. I am currently living Newark, New Jersey so I was able to respect the nature of Wilmington's city streets. Life along the Northeastern coast of the USA helped me open my eyes to the realness!

Amongst the old parts of this city, a feeling of change could be seen and felt 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. Wilmington boasted direct access to Amtrak's Acela Express line, another reason for the new developments. Getting itchy feet as I had seen most of the city centre quite quickly, I had managed to snatch some WiFi in the street, I searched for things to do around the Wilmington area. Catching 'Pea Patch Island' and the neighbouring area, I asked the cashier in the local Walgreen's along East 9th Street and Market Street about directions to the bus that I needed to take to find 'Pea Patch Island'. All was good, the lady from Walgreen's was helpful and friendly to me!

Not wanting to limit myself to Wilmington for the rest of my day in Delaware, I took the 25 Dart bus to Delaware City, seeking Fort Delaware located on Pea Patch Island. Thankfully, I was on the correct bus that was going in the correct location. I hadn't had anything to eat for my lunch, I was looking forward to something delicious upon my arrival. Eventually I made it to my stop, being the last stop on the route allowed me to see where the Wilmington bound bus would be boarding from. Scouting out the waters edge allowed me to buy one return ticket for the boat over to 'Pea Patch Island' and my admission, both charges didn't cost me too much! With my tickets booked I found a nice looking pub, things looked really quaint with that area. The pub served me an almighty large point of fish and chips, refuelled and ready I made my way to the dock to take my boat over to the island. Things were running fine, I needed that!

I wasn't bothered with the history of 'Pea Patch Island' because the whole feel of Fort Delaware, sure the island had enough to see for it to grab my attention. Disembarking my chartered ferry from the mainland to 'Pea Patch Island', I made my way to Fort Delaware. Word on the street was that pea seeds had floated over to the island that had formed in the middle of the Delaware River. Being during the week there wasn't many people exploring the fort on the island, I had enough time to see the 17th Century fort at my own leisure without any crowds proud. Feeling content with my wanderings on 'Pea Patch Island', I made my way back across the Delaware River to get my bus back to the city centre. The rest of the day was pretty relaxed, finding my way around the central city core allowed me to witness the realness within Wilmington's inner core. I knew that taking a chance on Wilmington, Delaware was the right thing to do! Which city will be next? U.S, let's keep seeking adventure!

Delaware Called... 

Joseph Harrison

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