Saying goodbye to New York we caught the train to Philadelphia and were picked up by our second fantastic couch surfing hosts – Laura and Tatiana – who took us on a tiki tour of the city to get our bearings and show us the main sights.Rocky was filmed in Philly and the first stop on our tiki tour was the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art to recreate one of his famous scenes. I had to quietly confess that I’m not a rocky fan and so I had no idea what they were all talking about (head shakes all round!); Tatiana had to You Tube the scene for me. Running up the stairs and karate fist pumping at the top I realised how unfit we are!

Next stop was dinner at Tony Luke’s. This guys’ restaurant is one of the most famous in Philly for their cheesesteaks. Essentially just shaved meat and cheese on a roll, Philly has made a name for itself with these sandwiches’ and one of the walls at Tony Luke’s has photos of celebrities like Will Smith and Paula Abdul who eat at their joint. We ordered ours with onion and roasted peppers and were given the option of provolone (ie proper cheese) or cheese wizz. Um, provolone please! Ty was excited to see that Man vs Food have visited the place, but with the challenge being 6 cheesesteaks in less than an hour, and us splitting just one, we decide we aren’t quite M vs F potential today. A cheesesteak is basically a little bit smaller than a footlong subway. Crazily, the current record stands at 10 minutes!!
Liberty Bell
Re-enacting Rocky!
Chowing down on cheesesteaks at Tony Luke's
After dropping our bags off at Laura’s we went out for a couple of quiet drinks at a german beer house that was celebrating carnival (identity problems?) to get to know our hosts. They have done some recent travel through Europe and the Middle East so we had lots of travel stories to share and had a great night out.

Another member of the couch surfing community had seen our itinerary and offered to show us around Philly, and to take us to the sites off the usual tourist route on the Friday. Unfortunately, a lot of the places he took us to were the same ones we saw the night before and despite professing to be interested in Philadelphia history he knew very little about the role it had played in the development of the United States and dismissed our interest with a wave of his hand. We made our polite excuses to leave after a couple of hours and headed to constitution hall to see where the declaration of independence had been drafted and signed. The poor park rangers looked bored out of their skulls as there were very few tourists around with it being a wet winter day and so were more than happy to tell us stories which were really interesting. The Liberty Bell is housed just across the street so we went over to check that out next and take the required tourist shots.

Our final stop of the day was at the Italian Market, a couple of blocks down from Laura’s apartment, to pick up some picnic supplies for dinner on the train to DC. I was super excited to stumble across a totally gluten free bakery so I had delicious baguette with our meat and cheeses.

And then our whirlwind tour of Philly was over – Boom! Done! I think in hindsight we should have given ourselves a couple of days here. Ty had to convince me to add Philly to our itinerary initially but we really enjoyed it and would encourage other people to visit for a few days if you are in the area.

Next stop: Washington DC!

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