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Audley Traveler

Digital Dispatches: American road trip

From buzzing cities to dramatic national parks, USA specialist Matthew Lynch showcases the country's diversity.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York

Brooklyn Bridge, New York

Central Park, New York

Another of my favourite places in New York is undoubtedly Central Park and in particular the Strawberry Fields Peace Garden, dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, who lived in and was tragically murdered outside the adjacent Dakota Apartments. The focal point is a circular mosaic, designed by artists in Naples, located in the centre of Strawberry Fields. The memorial is often covered with flowers and the surrounding benches will usually have a number of well intentioned, but ultimately less talented Lennon fans playing the guitar and struggling to remember the words to 'Imagine'. Whilst slightly sacrilegious in my opinion, it does lighten the sombre mood.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York

New York is a city full of iconic buildings and structures. My personal favourite is the Brooklyn Bridge. I've always been as impressed with human-made structures as I am with natural beauty. During previous visits to New York I had amassed hundreds of photos of this elegant bridge, but this is one of my favourites as it gives a different perspective and also captures another New York icon, the yellow taxi cab. It's particularly memorable as my wife had to quickly grab my legs as I precariously leant a little too far over the speeding traffic in order to take the photo! The central raised pedestrian walkway means you can get up close to the bridge's stone towers and their huge neo-gothic archways. I also love the bridge's suspension cables that form a distinctive and photogenic web-like pattern.

Central Park, New York

Central Park, New York

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Having reluctantly left behind the Grand Canyon in Arizona, heading across the desert landscape we came upon a road sign that said 'Horseshoe Bend, next left'. With no idea of what a Horseshoe Bend was, we pulled over and followed a small walking trail. After half a mile of scorching hot, featureless desert, we suddenly arrived, completely without warning, at this stunning viewpoint. Health & Safety inspectors had not yet reached this part of Arizona as there was no barrier to stop anyone falling over the sheer drop down to the canyon. This aptly named meander of the Colorado River is popular for rafting. The understated promotion of this viewpoint was strangely un-American but it was just as much of a highlight as the places we’d planned to visit, which sums up what is great about an American road trip.

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