Day 3 – Philadelphia

Today was our first experience of using our new GPS – I’m not sure I trust her at all, though Brian seems to quite fancy her. Still, she got us safely (along many many small, local roads) to a Motel 6 outside of Norristown, which is close to the King of Prussia Mall. The Mall is apparently the largest shopping mall in America (not that we actually went there)! The Motel 6 chain is a very basic (cheap) chain of motels without any luxury trappings (no shampoo, coffee or Wi-Fi), but it was clean enough and everything looked ok. You have to pay extra for Wi-Fi and I suppose the penny should have dropped when the manager offered me it free of charge…as it wasn’t working at all!
I had a route planned to Philadelphia using the Rail link, but the manager told us about another local station down the road which was like a high speed kind of trolley service I suppose…we took his advice as we couldn’t look up anything else due to the internet not working. It was a very interesting experience on the high speed line, and we opted to take the rail option back rather than return the same way we went into Philly. The high speed route into town was very picturesque and interesting but not necessarily one you’d like to repeat after dark!
We arrived into Philly at 11th Street for Reading Market Terminal and as Motel 6 doesn’t provide breakfast we were really hungry walking around the market and eyeing up the various offerings. Eventually we settled for a shaved pork sandwich for me and a roast turkey sandwich for Brian, instead of a Philly Cheesesteak like you’re supposed to have!

Shaved Pork with Provolone

Shaved Pork with Provolone

Reading Terminal Market is brilliant and I probably could have spent all day there but we had to explore the rest of the city. After we were fed we started walking the streets; first to the high rises of the commercial district and then to the more ‘bohemian’ district of South Street. The feel of Philadelphia is totally different from Washington and some of the accents we heard were impossible to understand – we spent quite a few minutes at the high speed station trying to ask where to buy tickets to no avail….it was like being in a different world.
Compared to Washington, Philadelphia is very different and the parts we walked around in was decidedly more laid back and cool than DC (none of the high waisted trouser here!). We had a couple of drinks (and lots of pictures) in Philadelphia before heading back to Norristown, and back to Motel 6 via a Chili’s Grill & Bar. Woke up the next morning with the door unlatched – I reckon someone tried to rob us during the night as we definitely closed the door behind us – luckily the safety catch was on. Doors don’t just open on their own and this made me realise how f*cked we would be if we got robbed!
Things I learned on Day 3: Always put the safety catch and/or deadbolt on in your hotel room! Also, make sure you have Wi-Fi in your hotel room!
Highlight of the day: Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens – absolutely amazing!!

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