13 Sep 2012--So this is Thursday as I type, but this past Monday was Ellen's last full day here with us and sightseeing. We started the day in Hershey, PA at the Hershey Chocolate World, where the chocolate dynasty was started...the 3rd pic here is the Hershey founder, born in...haha...thought I would scare you if you thought I was going to give you the history of chocolate!!!
This place is probably a lot of fun for kids, but we decided we would take the 15 minute "free" tour ride and be done with it.
So on we went to Harrisburg, the capital of the state and to a tour of its State House. Once again we were surprised to see how many churches of different faiths seemed to surround the capitol area. That is St Patrick's directly behind Cathy in the 1st pic and a stone's throw from the capitol building. The other shots are of other faiths within a block or two of the capitol, with the final picture looking out from the front steps of the capitol. If you blow up that picture you will see at least 3 churches on the right side of the street as you walk away from the capitol.
This was a Presbyterian church, and as it was the only one we found open other than the Catholic Cathedral we went in to take a look. The sacristy was actually closed, but the secretary opened it and turned on the lights for us so we could take a look.
So the Presbyterian church was nice, but truly paled in comparison to St Patrick's Cathedral.
This is actually the 3rd state capitol building for Pennsylvania, built in 1903...and it is incredibly ornate!!! I am putting it right up there with Utah's for the "wow" factor!
Driving there, we approached at 1st from the rear of the building and were really surprised at how big it was. Seemed like it should have been built in either Greece or Rome.
That's Ellen and me standing at the top of the stairs.
1st pic here shows the view as you exit the rear of the building, looking out all the way to the bridge that actually takes you to a bad part of the city. We were told, after the fact, to avoid going thru there, but we had no choice as the GPS was telling us where to go. The 2nd and 3rd pics are as you approach from the bridge towards the capitol. The 2 pillars are part of a monument to service people who have fought in our country's various wars.
The inside of the building was not to be outdone by the outside. From the staircases to the dome, it is hard to capture what it looked like for you in a series of small pictures. In this case, the sum far exceeds the parts.
This is where the Senate meets...you must click on it to make the pictures bigger to see how ornate both this and House of Representatives are. Actually bordering on gaudy...but I think the most "wow" of any chambers we have been to so far. I read that the bronze light fixtures weigh 2 tons apiece, and the green marble lining the walls is Connamara marble, from Ireland.
Here's the House of Representatives. Benjamin Franklin was the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House in 1764. I can't imagine what this building would cost to be built today. I really don't think you would ever get the people to support it or the politicians to fund it. The picture behind the Speaker's podium is called "The Apotheosis", and features William Penn in the center and Ben Franklin in blue at his side.
The Governor's Reception room was pretty plush, too. That's Ellen and me at the far end of it in the 2nd pic.
And finally, for Marie, a couple rosettes...she mentioned before that she really likes them, so I aim to please here! haha
Well, they say that all good things must come to an end, and on Tuesday Ellen said goodbye to us. We hope you had a great time, Ellen, and thanks for helping us add PA on our map! Start saving up so you can join us again...maybe out west next time!!!