Has anywhere you have visited moved you to tears?

It’s a rainy day here in England and I have been reading our blog and reminiscing about all the places we have been.
I’d like to share one of our most profound moments when sailing.
We were sailing up the east coast of US, from Chesapeake Bay to New York, not a long arduous journey but one we had never done before. Very early morning I was on watch and I started to see a faint glow on the horizon. As the hours passed it got brighter and brighter - the lights of NYC. I had never been to this city before and I was quite excited about the fact we were going to sail into NYC as so many before had done. My watch came to an end and I went down to sleep.
Next morning we were closer and could pick out the giant skyscrapers. We sailed under the Verrannzzo Bridge and there she was, Lady Liberty herself. I burst out crying. (Tears are welling now just thinking about that moment). As we sailed closer and closer realisation dawned. How many hopeful immigrants saw her as their saviour?How many others had come this way with their dreams in their hearts? She was a sign of hope.
We sailed right up to Ellis Island, dropped the sails and were lucky enough to be able to anchor behind the great lady herself. A very emotional evening and night. A once in a lifetime experience and even though we have done that journey many times since I have never felt that emotion again.
Of course we had to have breakfast accompanied by Breakfast in America by Supertramp. New York was never my dream destination but from that day I fell in love with the city, the people, the culture, the art, the theatres, everything about it.
Visiting what place in the world has made you cry and why?
Elsie

6 Likes

I visited a preschool in Watamu on the East coast of Kenya back in 2013, there were 52 kids aged 2-6 crammed in a hut with 1 teacher and a hole in the ground covered by corrugated iron hut for a WC. No shoes and a bowl of ugali (maize flour porridge) for lunch.

We had taken them a few supplies and the teacher got them to sing the wheels on the bus for us and it made me recall my own kids singing the song and realise how privileged my life has been.

I left to go home a few days later with a new sense of guilt that has not left me, I returned to the same school the following year and took more supplies with the intention of returning again but then the Nairobi bombing at Westgate prevented another return, I ended up spending 12 weeks in Madagascar where things are considerably worse in many ways.

There was also another school where I assisted a local doctor with the treatment of Jigger flea infections to the kids feet using Neem oil based medication. The kids were incredibly brave as their feet were literally falling apart with infection.

I still have every intention to return but other things have prevented it…

Even typing this out has made me well up :sleepy:

6 Likes

@ElsieDownie Mine is NYC too.
I have been to the east coast USA a few times in the late '90s and was in New York in October 2000.
Did all the usual tourist things, Empire State Building and World Trade Centre in one day.

I was booked to go back to NY in September 2001, about the 18th I think, but obviously, circumstances didn’t allow that. I was actually booked into the Marriot WTC. I contacted my travel company and managed to get a change in plan to go to Boston, by still had to fly into New York, in fact, one of the 1st flights after a week of zero flights into the USA.
On returning my hire car to the airport in the evening of my last day, I could see the smoke still rising from the centre of the city.

A year later I returned and visited ground zero. The people of NY were so friendly and happy to see people visiting their city again.
Every year on 9/11 I think back on my visit and it moves me even 20 years later.
image

3 Likes

Yes, Ground Zero is a very poignant reminder of what happened. I couldn’t face the museum. The monument and atmosphere was enough.

1 Like

My girlfriend and I started to travel for her 50th birthday and our 20th anniversary and we chose French Polynesia as our first destination with a cruise on the Paul Gauguin. The airport in Tahiti is located near the port and when we were preparing to land late at night we got a great view of the ship fully lighted in the port; I don’t know why but that sight brought tears to my eyes. After a few days on the deck of the ship at sea we got to experience a sunset with Bora Bora as a backdrop (the island on the right in the picture). Magical!

However even though French Polynesia is indeed paradise the most beautiful place we’ve seen so far is Milford Sound in the South Island of New-Zealand.

5 Likes