Thursday, August 14, 2014

Boston - Day 5, The Freedom Trail

The Freedom Trail in Boston is a crash course in American Revolution history. You can feel it. You can smell it. You can touch it. You can see it. You can hear it. If you're going to Boston and you're physically able, walking the Freedom Trail is a must-do activity. This is my relatively unedited travel diary, sketchy in spots, detailed in others. I hope you enjoy this retrospective journey from 2002 with me!

Wednesday, July 31

We just enjoyed a downright tasty meal at Caffé Sorrento in Milford! As a rule, I stay away from Italian food at restaurants. It's just never as good as my mom's cooking. But I had excellent Veal Piccata, and my husband had superb Seafood Gorgonzola. If there's Gorgonzola to be had, he will order it. So would my mom, if she was on this trip with us. But wait. I'm getting ahead of myself again.

Massachusetts State House, Boston
Paul Revere's rolling mill made copper
to cover the dome.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
It was another hot and muggy day today. When you leave the air conditioned hotel and step outside, you feel as though you should go right back in and take another shower. But why? You'd just have to do it all over again. If you're having to go to work and are dressed for business, as my husband has to be, it's not great. But I didn't have that problem and was almost comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt.

The Granary Burying Ground
A Stone Garden
Sam Adams, John Hancock,
Paul Revere, victims of the
Boston Massacre and others
all buried here. Boston
Photo by Chris.
All rights reserved.
With my camera bag in tow, I took the train to Boston to walk the Freedom Trail [Here's a map of it]. It wasn't strenuous (except for the heat and humidity) or excessively long, and it was totally worth the effort. Starting at Boston Common and ending in Charlestown, it included the State House, the seat of government. The Trail also took me past a bunch of churches (including Old North Church... “one if by land, two if by sea” ...and New North Church, now St. Stephen's), and a slew of meeting halls and taverns where revolutionary types liked to expound and/or hang out, as the case may be. The actual house of Paul Revere is also on the Trail, and I found it very impressive for the day. A silversmith by trade, I guess he could afford more than the average person.

Paul Revere's home, Boston
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Revere's house is located in what's called the “North End,” which is now a picturesque Italian neighborhood, full of wonderful atmosphere and presence. Restaurants everywhere, narrow cobbled streets, laundry hanging from windows, old ladies sitting out on the sidewalk on chairs from their kitchens, gossiping with their neighbors in Italian. Oh, it was wonderful! My people! It's funny how you can feel out of place and at home at the same time.

Oh, the revolutionary stuff that was
printed here!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
The Trail takes you right past the famous Green Dragon Tavern, where the Sons of Liberty met, the Boston Tea Party was planned, and Paul Revere was sent off on his historic ride to Lexington. There are also some wonderful old “stone gardens” (cemeteries), and Bunker Hill, and Old Ironsides (the USS Constitution, still a commissioned naval vessel and beautiful to behold). And, and, and!

Spire of Old North Church
Photo by Chris.
All rights reserved.
You have to go through a security check to get on board the Constitution, but I had run out of time. Unbelievable. I had to start back across the Charlestown Bridge in a big hurry so I wouldn't miss the train back to Milford. Which just goes to show, just ignore what it says in the guidebook about how long something will take. If it says, “Allow 2 hours,” allow four. If it says, “Allow ½ day,” plan on a whole day. You can always fill the extra time with a visit to a pub if you have time left over, but you can't see the sights you didn't have time for. By the way, there are plenty of pubs to be visited.

USS Constitution "Old Ironsides"
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.
Naturally, this means I also didn't make it to Bunker Hill at all, not that I would have been able to climb the stairs (inside the monument) after all that walking in the heat. Oh, well.

I did find out some interesting factoids today. Apparently, people commute to Boston all the way from Providence, Rhode Island. This must be okay in the summer, but I wonder what that's like in the winter? It isn't that far (50 or 60 miles, I think), but it must take forever on icy roads in traffic.

That's amore...
Loved the atmosphere!
Photo by Chris.
All rights reserved.
I had asked someone at the train station about that commute, and I hadn't realized it wasn't that far, so I told him I hadn't figured out eastern distances yet. Everything here was closer than I expected, whereas things “out West” were always farther than expected. So he said, “Yes, once you get past Worcester [MA], distances are greater.” Worchester?! I meant “out WEST” – the West Coast, California! Funny how what you say can so easily be misinterpreted.

I had a spectacularly good time today. Maybe I'll take another train  ride downtown tomorrow. Boston is fantastic!

Old North Church from
another angle.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.

North End goodness!
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I read all messages and would love to hear from you.