For the next two days, I didn’t do much else except ride around the Old Town Trolley bus, getting a history lesson in the process. Getting off between showers and exploring, as I like to do. I called in cafes, looked at the architecture, the people, eating wonderful food and drinking great coffee.
Ok, Ok, it is probably an expensive way of seeing a city. The Old town trolley bus offers a harbour cruise as well, but I never got the time as I needed to catch the 1630h train back to Hopkinton as I wanted to drive my hire car home before dark.
Driving on the right was weird, but I got used to it after about two days. Somebody gave me a tip that the yellow stripe in the centre of the road should always be to my left and that was helpful, but on side roads I automatically found myself on the left…and all the time I was in the US I never went to the correct side of the car, much to my hosts amusement! Left turns came easier than I thought, but I never figured roundabouts. My friend confessed that she didn’t know the rules either, so that made me feel better.
It didn’t help that drivers in Massachusetts seem crazy and never seem to indicate. The traffic lights are hung above the middle of the road instead of at eye level on the side like in the UK, so I had to quickly learn to look out for them. They also sometimes change from green to red, without and amber in-between which maybe explains why people regularly jump the lights.
Cites are cities. They are full of tall buildings and bustling people and traffic.. I like cities. This city is no different than any other, except is is probably cleaner and has less graffiti than London, Manchester , Paris or Rome. Like all cities, you have to dig beneath the surface and learn the history to appreciate the place..
The Federal Resevre building.
I spoke with some of the Occupy Boston, protesters, who were there to commemorate a year since they camped out on Dewey Street, in front of the Financial district. to protest at what they see as the greed of the financial institutions of the world.
Of course I had heard of the Boston Tea party, when in December 1773, rebellious colonists, known as The Sons of liberty, dumped a cargo of tea into the harbour, in protest at the tax imposed by King George 111.
But I knew nothing about the Boston Massacre which happened three years earlier, when British troops killed five civilians. Nor did I know the legend of Paul Revere, who in 1775, is supposed to have ridden through the night to warn the colonists in Concord of the approach of the army. Actually it was his friend Sam Prescott who actually made it through to Concord where weapons and supplies were hidden. But a poet called Longfellow immortalised the ride in a poem.
I couldn’t help wondering why the troops, started their march at 2200h, arriving at thier destination in the early hours, when they would be at their worst. Hardly a recipe for winning a fight… Maybe history would be different if their commander had decided to use a day shift rather than a night shift!
I explored Beacon Hill. with its quaint houses and cobbled streets. This is where the rich of Boston live.
Growing chilles in a pot outside your front door?
..and very posh front doors they were too.
A lot of the buildings are in this curved style, which was first shown by architect Charles Bullfinch.
I also browsed around Faneuil Hall and Quicy Market. Named after Peter Faneuil. Which is now a market place containing lots of food outlets and the surrounding area has shops.
On the first floor of this building is where Samuel Adams and rebel colonists would gather to protest at the the unfair “taxation without representation” and is known as the Cradle of Liberty.
Chinatown ( where I had anothe huge and delicious meal) Copely square and the Harbour area, where other areas I explored.
Next..a visit to Cape Cod.
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