Boston

Trip Start Apr 15, 2008
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Trip End Apr 01, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Boston - Massachusetts
After our 5 hour train journey we arrived at Boston South Station, a seamless transfer onto the underground system took us two stops to Andrew! Station. We had a short walk and checked into our hotel. 
The next day we hit town, we only had a couple of days and had a lot to fit in. Luckily the city is pretty compact, so we were able to walk most places once we had taken the tube a couple of stops into the centre of the city.
The 50 acre Boston Common and the Public Gardens are pretty much the in the middle, established in 1634 this is Americas oldest public park. From here the various areas of the city filter out.
North End is full of historic buildings and has some great pubs and is home of Little Italy.
The Financial District is as you would expect full of sky scrapers, however sitting in-between these there are historical buildings.
Back Bay hosts parallel streets of elegant brownstone buildings full of designer stores and upmarket restaurants.

Beacon Hill is Boston's most historic and affluent residential neighbourhood with large houses, set in leafy streets lit by nostalgic gas lanterns burning day and night.
Cambridge lies across the Charles River and is home of Harvard University. Harvard Square overflows with cafes, bookstores, students and street entertainers a great place to spend a coupe of hour's people watching! The Freedom Trail is an excellent way of orientating yourself to the city. We walked this 3 mile trail which is easy to do by following the red paint and brick lines which lead through some of the above areas. There are several tours which you can join for a fee; alternatively you can collect a free self guided leaflet from the visitor's centre which explains all the various historical sites. We found this really interesting.
There are several open air concerts throughout the summer seasons, another thrifty tip is to check these out when you first arrive, and most are free! We found a lunch time Jazz concert on day one which was held in Washington Street out side Macy's. Now the Jazz band were excellent but the people watching was second to none, how we contained ourselves goodness knows. There was a walk way between the audience and the band, most people walked around the audience but others often in their own little worlds would just cut in front of the band. There were too many to mention and I know I'll never go to heaven but worthy of mention are the blind girl whose guide dog was having an off day, the music must have put it off as the girl ended up in the middle of the band and had to be guided back out again! We had the old lady who had a walker on wheels, who had her lunch in a little basket. She walks across in front of the band and promptly pulled down her own built in seat pulled out her lunch and as she had no teeth, you can just imagine the scene! The finale was a rather large lady carrying two big shopping bags; she tripped on the uneven bricks and surfed the sidewalk and came to a grinding halt at everyone's feet. Yes I did rush to help her up, but she needed to compose herself before we called in the crane to get her up! I tell if it wasn't for the fat belly she would have bashed her face, I for one will be working to pad my belly out purely for safety reasons!!  
Top Tip! The Custom Building in the financial district is a brilliant place to take in panoramic views of Boston. Now a 5* Marriott Hotel if you ask nicely the concierge will allow you to go up to the 26 floor balcony to take in the views. Even better for me being an aeroplane anorak, you get a bird's eye view of dual planes landing at Logan Airport, M & H you'd love it! The building its self has quite an history too, when originally built in the mid 1800's, it was very ornate with a domed ceiling and stood just 62ft high, however due to demand in shipping and despite a law at the time banning any building from being over 125ft, (this was a federal building so they conveniently were exempt form this law!) the customs house was sympathetically extended upwards to the height of 496ft. 
For lunch Quincy Market is a must, packed full of inexpensive food kiosks with every culinary delight you can think of, in the centre is a two story dining area set under an impressive domed ceiling. The great thing is you can eat different dishes, I had Japanese and Julie went for Thai.
China Town, which should probably be named Asia Town, is home to some great far eastern restaurants on day two we had a delicious Vietnamese meal; the Mango shakes are delicious too!
In summary Boston is a lovely city, it has a very British feel to it and is very safe to roam, it's a city for all seasons so we'll have to come back another three times!
Off to the country now to discover rural New England, it will be good to get back behind the wheel.   
 
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