On arrival in Philadelphia I straight away felt as though the city was much more relaxed than some of the other big cities we had visited. It has a sense of calm (comparatively speaking, since it is still truckloads busier than Hobart).
The purpose of my stay in Philadelphia was to attend the ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference, an enormous conference that attracted somewhere around 18,000 or more participants from all over the globe. In between workshops and lectures I squished in some teeny moments of sightseeing.
I’m really appalling with history, particularly that of a country that is not my own. In my understanding the Liberty Bell has a whole lot of history, but is significant as a symbol of American Independence.
In the movie Rocky the main character, who I assume to be called Rocky, ran up a set of stairs in front of the Philadelphia Art Gallery and cheered at the top – so I am told (I have never actually seen the movie).
So I actually made it to the Rocky Stairs twice, the first time I wandered over there with a colleague to see it and take pictures. The second time I went for a run (the US food is catching up with me and I don’t want to buy new pants). So I ran the 1.5km to the stairs, ran up and down them a bunch of times (did NOT punch the air in celebration at the top) and ran back to my hotel. I did bump into some colleagues just near the rocky sculpture and they took a celebratory and red-faced photo as evidence of my effort.
In an app I have on my phone, I came across a picture of a sculpture called the Freedom Sculpture. It was only four blocks from my hotel, so I went to check it out. It’s stunning, very well crafted and with a strong message. I took loads of photos.
Beyond these sights, I wandered the streets and saw cool buildings, funky old town sights, sculptures of people who are probably famous and various other things.