Blog

08 - USA 01

So after our amazing road trip through Arizona, Utah and Nevada we packed up the hire car and drove back to Vegas. We then dropped the car off and jumped on the greyhound bus to our next destination, San Francisco. Now for anyone that hasn’t caught a greyhound bus before, well it’s very basic. Uncomfortable seats, power outlets in awkward spots and pretty terrible wifi if you are lucky to be on a bus with one. We had decided to catch a bus instead of flying to SF to save money ($40 compared to $150). The compromise was travelling 14 hours via LA and catching two buses. So leaving LV around 4pm with a quick stop in San Bernadino to change buses, we eventually made it to SF by about 7am the next morning. Absolutely shattered, we made our way to the hostel before catching up and some well needed rest.

We then proceeded to stay in San Francisco for the next five days wondering the streets, seeing the sights and catching up with friends. So waking up around 4am on our last day, we packed the last of our things and headed to the airport bound for Vancouver, Montreal and Toronto.

San Francisco

So after spending just over three weeks in Canada, we hopped on a late night bus out of Toronto bound for Buffalo. We were heading to Buffalo to catch a the train to NYC as it was again a cheap option to get to our next destination. We ended up waiting on an abandoned train platform in the early hours of the morning before our train eventually arrived and we were headed to NYC. Arriving in Manhattan, we then hopped on another bus to go across the bridge to New Jersey for the night. One of my brothers friends works for the Marriott in the US and could get us cheap deals every now and again on rooms in Marriott's across the country. This one happened to be just over the other side of the Hudson River in NJ. So after a quiet night in our hotel, we headed back to Manhattan to catch a bus seven hours south to visit our friend in North Carolina.

Finally we arrived in Norfolk, Virginia and were greeted with our friend Lindsey who came to pick us up. We then jumped in her car and drove about 45 mins south to Outer Banks. Outer Banks is a 200-mile stretch of peninsulas and barrier islands separating the Atlantic Ocean from mainland North Carolina. It's a quaint part of NC with lots of holiday beach houses and a small local population. But come summertime, the population surges with lots of people staying during their summer break. There is also a lot of history in the area with the Wright Brothers first ever flight occurring in the Outer Banks.

We only had a weekend here but we saw as much as as we could. This included exploring the sand dunes of Kill Devil Hills and a small road trip down the coast to Hatteras to check out some of many lighthouses plus some cool small towns with lots of abandoned buildings from past times when many more people use to choose Outer Banks as the holiday destination of choice. Lindsey then droves us back up to Norfolk early on the Monday morning and we jumped on the bus, heading north to Philadelphia.

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Philadelphia is somewhere neither Bryce or myself had been before considering the amount of travelling we had done throughout the USA. It's a very cool city with a lot of history, being one of the first cities founded in the late 1600's after the British first colonised the country. Again our time exploring was very minimal (two days) but I managed to walk around most of downtown taking photos on Mamiya 7 of anything interesting I could find. We then jumped on the MegaBus and took the four journey to our finally destination of the USA leg of our trip, NYC.

Philadelphia

New York City is huge. There is so much to see, do and places to drink and eat. It's of course a must to visit if you have never been to the USA before. But for us, it was more stop over on our way to Iceland and Europe. Nonetheless, I took full advantage of being there again (previously visited in 2010) and relentlessly journey around the city with my camera in tow. Visiting iconic locations like Central Park, the amazing view of Manhattan from Rockefeller centre and admiring the view from Brooklyn looking across the East River at sunset. But I also explored the lesser known places including streets of Bushwick, Green Point and East Williamsburg and Coney Island seeing some amazing street art, cars and meeting the colourful characters of such a great city. We ended up staying pretty far out in Brooklyn, not far from Coney Island, in predominately asian community which was an interesting experience. But finally after spending just over week, we headed to JFK airport and flew to one of my favourite places on earth, Iceland.

New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn & Coney Island)

All images shot on a Mamiya 7, 80mm f4.0 lens and Kodak Portra 160 and 400 film. Developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab in Los Angeles, California.