A crisp morning in mid-February. I awoke at 3 A.M. to the sound of my mother berating me to get up. The reason for the ungodly hour was an 11:30 flight that would take me and a group of 20 other 14-16 year olds to New York City, USA on a school trip, a trip that would turn out to be one of the most enjoyable visits of my life.

Our first attraction was the renowned Empire State Building. The building itself was quite a marvel – 450 metres of shining steel and glass, looming above all the other skyscrapers in the city. There were many snazzy features on the inside, reminiscent of our own Shard: exhibitions displaying the rich history of the construction of the building and the city around it, a glass floor which, when looked down on, gave you an impressive view of a seemingly never-ending defunct elevator shaft. One of the most interesting features was the screen on the ceilings of the many elevators. It displayed a 3D time-lapse of the creation of the building as you went up the countless floors, narrated fittingly by a man with a thick New York accent. 

Next on the agenda was Grand Central Station. As with practically everything else in NYC, it could be described with precisely one word: big. Stairs from a bustling underground station took you to a vast hall, with a ceiling of jade green and great stone pillars lining the edges. It looked a great deal larger than I had envisioned. Impressive indeed. 

After visits to the Nintendo store, Times Square, and the Microsoft store, whose underground tech dungeon would put any PC addict’s setup to shame, we got the chance to visit the Samsung store. The store itself was very modern and chic - a dark setting combined with tasteful lighting of blue and red provided a sleek interior that emphasized the advanced nature of the company. Amongst the displays of foldable phones and smart watches, a feeling of wonder and amazement was elicited, no matter if you were a tech lover or not.

One of the best stops on our travels was a spot called The High Line. It was an old bridge originally used for trains that had been converted into a walkway, decorated with greenery and clean timber flooring that still held the grey metal of the old tracks. The views from the bridge were very impressive. In some sections, you had an unobstructed line of view that proudly displayed the profile of the city, backdropped by the harsh winter sun, in others, buildings towered above your head as you gazed, fascinated at the monsters of glass and metal.

What did I think of New York City? I loved it. It's a vibrant, buzzing city ruled over by skyscrapers and a technological edge that most other cities don’t seem to have. If you are a nerd for skylines and tech-savvy environments like I am, you’ll definitely enjoy a visit to this city, especially if you are with good friends. And even if you are not: put a weeklong trip to the Big Apple on your bucket list. You won’t regret it.