We caught the subway to Times Square and when we came out onto the street we were confronted by skyscrapers covered in advertising boards flashing neon lights all around us.  Times Square is not just one square as we imagined, but a boulevard of a few junctions one after another.  It wasn’t as wide and open as we had thought, but much more closed in. 

We considered joining the huge queues to try to get last-minute tickets for a show on Broadway (we particularly wanted to see The Lion King) but there were none to be had, so we had to comfort ourselves by visiting Hershey’s Chocolate Shop instead.

We had debated for some time about whether to visit the top of the Empire State Building for the views over the city, but because of the huge queues involved, we decided to try the Observation Deck at the Rockerfeller Centre instead.  We were not disappointed.  The whole experience was magical and the views spectacular as you can see from the photos.  We couldn’t leave the Rockerfeller Centre without experiencing the outdoor skating rink, though strictly from an observer’s point of view.  The whole area was crowded with Christmas shoppers and the atmosphere was lively as people enjoyed the beautiful decorations and the enormous, world-famous Christmas tree adorned with a Swarovski crystal star.

After a walk along 5th Avenue we visited Grand Central Station.  We were amazed by the grandeur of the public concourse with it’s magnificent arches, high ceilings and crystal chandeliers.  It is a very elegant and impressive building whilst at the same time busy with commuters going about their daily business.

It was then time to jump aboard the subway train again to Battery Park to catch the free Staten Island Ferry for a sail past the Statue of Liberty and views across the Hudson River back towards Manhatten.  OH BOY was that wind cold! 

Our final visit of the day was to the site of the World Trade Centre where work is underway to build a memorial to the 9/11 disaster.  Just across the street is an exhibition centre telling the story of that terrible day.