No sign of tetley at the tea party!

Trip Start Apr 27, 2009
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Trip End Apr 27, 2010


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Where I stayed
Boston Backpackers Hostel

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Sunday, August 2, 2009

My first trip by Amtrak went very smoothly - no worry about the weight of my bag (cos I had to lug it on and off myself so they didn't care how heavy it was!) and a nice, comfy double seat to myself the whole way to Boston. Plus for some (strawberry flavoured) icing on top I tried my first Dunkin' Donut in the station at Philadelphia and am now hooked - delicious! This outweighed my horror at being cold enough on the train to put on my jeans instead of shorts for the first time since arriving in the States!

Arrived in Boston bright and early on Wednesday morning and got checked into the hostel. Worked off the donuts carrying my bag up the the 4th floor as there was no lift (well that's my justification for eating more anyway!). Had the room all to myself for the first 2 nights, had almost forgotten what it was like to have a room to myself but definitely enjoyed it!

I spent the rest of Wednesday having a wander round the city trying to find a cafe with internet access and get my bearings. It's a lovely city, lots to see and the area down by South park and the harbour is particulary pretty. On Thursday I decided to do the Freedom Trail walk - a route of around 16 landmarks throughout the city linked by a red paint or brick line. The National Park Rangers do guided tours but I went to the wrong place and missed the 10am walk and the next one wasn't until 2pm so I carried on using the information leaflet I picked up. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't on my side and it decided to absolutely chuck it down but I was not put off and simply invested in a very attractive $3 pacamac from the nearest CVS and carried on my way...for a while! I eventually gave in when the rain was coming down in sheets and took shelter in an Irish pub for some chips and coke (it was only 1130am so a little early for a beer!). By the time I finished it was warm and dry again so I resumed my walk. I thought one of the landmarks - the Copps Hill Burying Ground was very pretty, with a lovely layout... until I read the information and found out that they had tidied it up and moved all the headstones into rows so they didn't actually mark where the people were buried anymore! Eventually I got the the Bunker Hill monument and made the decision to climb to the top (thinking about working off those donuts again!). 294 steps later I was seriously doubting my decision but when I saw the fantastic views of the city it made up for the fact that I was boiling hot and a little red faced! After catching my breath I finished the trail off at the Charlestown Naval Yard where the USS Constitution (the oldest naval vessel still afloat) and the USS Cassin Young (a WW2 destroyer) are berthed for tours before getting the ferry and subway back to the hostel for a rest.

After my miles of wandering on Thursday I had an easy day on Friday taking a tour of Fenway Park (the oldest baseball ground in the States). It was very interesting but I was certainly glad that I didn't have to sit in one of the vintage, wooden grandstand seats for more than 10 minutes - I'd never last for the whole baseball game! The seats are even more uncomfortable than those old wooden ones in the main stand at Brockville!! The tour was very interesting - we even got to sit in the pressbox to see the view they get (and the much comfier seats!).

On Saturday I caught the bus out to Cambridge to go on a tour of Harvard run by some of the students. Most of the campus (except from a couple of buildings that resembled the "New" Building of Graeme High School - i.e. 1970's concrete and hideous) were beautiful and the students kept everyone entertained with stories of the rivalry between Harvard and the city of Cambridge that has been ongoing since Harvard was founded in 1636! After the tour I went for a walk along the Charles river before heading back into Boston. In the evening I went to a local bar to watch the Red Sox game while having a Samuel Adams beer (he and his cousin John Adams were both Harvard students so I was just continuing the theme of the day - Sam opened a brewery, John was a President of the United States so they went on slightly different paths!).

Sunday was time to pack up my bags again and make my way down to the Greyhound station for my trip to New York - 4 and a half hours on a bus, yawn!!

I enjoyed Boston, it's a beautiful city but despite being famous for it's tea party I was disappointed not to see a single bag of tetley tea during my visit!
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