The morning dawned bright and beautiful and by 5:30, the cardinals and robins were having a singing competition. Mon and I had a light breakfast and headed across the street to catch the 8:00 train downtown for a day of sightseeing in the old historic area.
Philadelphia is so interesting because of the mix of 300 year old architecture amidst modern skyscrapers. I also found the streets and sidewalks clean and well maintained but also bumpy with cobblestones in spots so you need to watch where you step. Happy to say also that the people here in “The City of Brotherly Love” are really friendly and helpful so it lives up to its nick name.
We got off the train at Jefferson station and walked straight to the end of Market Street to the banks of the Delaware River (10 blocks) and started our tour there. What an amazing day! We saw many things; some anticipated and some not. The day’s itinerary in chronological order included:
- Christ Church – founded 1695. Simple and lovely both inside and out, several of the signers of the Declaration of Independence are buried here
- Elfreth’s Alley – the oldest still-inhabited street in America
- St. Augustine’s Church – 1796. Beautiful stained glass (see under World Windows for all the photos)
- Benjamin Franklin’s gravesite
- Independence Mall – the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (sold out today… maybe another day) and the original City Hall
- The National Liberty Museum – provocative, humbling and filled with glass including stained glass, blown glass, fused glass and glass sculpture… the highlight being Dale Chihuly’s towering bright red Liberty Flame installation
- The B Free Franklin post office where we mailed some postcards (Ben was the first Post Master General)
- Carpenters Hall – brotherhood of carpenters and architects
- Merchant’s Exchange where imports and exports were wheeled and dealed
- Washington Square – nice fountain and statue of Washington
- The Curtis Center where we saw the magnificent marble floors and fountain AND the 30 foot Tiffany stained glass mosaic called “The Dream Garden”
- Philly Cheese Steaks at Campos followed by Franklin Ice Cream for supper
- The Peace Arch in Chinatown
- Reading Market where we bought some things for tomorrow’s picnic
Whew! Eight hours of that and it was home to put up the swollen feet and play with photos for a bit before bedtime. Great day. Wonderful history. Tomorrow we will change pace and go for a drive in the Pennsylvania countryside.
Here are the photo highlights for day 4 – Old Philadelphia