Day 3 - Even Further North.....
Trip Start Aug 11, 2007
68Trip End Nov 08, 2007
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After a lite coffee only breakfast (we've been eating too much and there's still 87 days to go!) we're off for the next adventure - up to the Cape Anne peninsula north of Boston and further a field.
Cape Anne is a lovely island only just separated from the mainland by a narrow stretch of salt marsh. The island seems to be largely big chunks of granite outcrop covered in trees, with heaps of really old, elegant and well looked after houses dating from as far back as the late 1600's/early 1700's
One thing I really loved - all the granite block and stone walls, granite paving, granite stone steps, granite blocks for piles - even huge granite outcrops used as the base for some houses!
Then further round Cape Anne to Rockport for lunch at a very popular clam shack on the beach. The whole area impressed us hugely with its laid back charm and picturesque villages, so we started looking at the real estate for sale booklets. Not unreasonable (esp compared to Auckland prices!) but these really old houses had a look of being huge money sink holes......
Around the island to Gloucester, which is the main town spanning both the island and the mainland. This has been a key fishing port for centuries and has a memorial to the ships and sailors based here that have been lost at sea - starting in 1623 all the way up to today. The memorial lists the names of all the sailors that have died in the year they died, and its fascinating seeing which years were clearly very bad ones for the town - in 1879 alone, 249 fishermen and 29 vessels were lost! (and realising what that would have meant for the families of the men that died) and seeing how close knit the community must have been - 11 McDonalds dead in 1879, with 8 more the previous year and 5 more the following year for instance
Ken took us up through Essex, (could have been traveling through England with all these names!) where we stopped at a great little graveyard, which had been going since the early 1600's. We wandered around for a while, but the really old graves were so old the engraving on them had eroded away long ago.. The oldest gravestone we saw was from the early 1700's. The oldest house we saw (the really old ones have plaques stating when they were built and who for) was 1639!! Its incredible thinking how long ago that was compared to anything still standing in NZ!
Our final stop for the day was another harbour town called Newburyport. This had obviously been a very wealthy town in the 1700's with beautiful ship captain and merchants mansions lining some of the higher areas in town. It looks like it then became highly industrialised by the turn of the century with lots of brick warehousing and factories right up against the port area and I can imagine this part of town was very ugly and dirty 100 years ago. However, the town planners and managers had a lot of foresight and encouraged or paid for a total redevelopment of this area and now the warehouses and factories have been turned into interesting and attractive condos and shopping areas, focusing around the port area which was also redeveloped and is now a very lively and appealing pedestrian precinct
Then back to Boston for a quiet night of fine food, great company and riveting baseball. Actually the baseball got quite exciting at the end (bit like grass growing before that) a home game with the Boston Red Sox (our team obviously) down 0 - 1 against the Tampa Devil Rays (boo hiss) at the bottom of the ninth (and now I completely understand what that means!). It was all looking a bit pear shaped for the Red Sox, when our first batter up hit the ball right into the crowd for a home run, to even the score to 1 all. Then the next batter hit the ball a bouncer into the crowd for a walk to second, then the last batter on the last ball got a hit that allowed the guy on 2nd a very fast, very thrilling sliding home run.... And we won!!!!!!
Then we all went to bed - the excitement was too much - but I hope you all appreciate just how much baseball lingo I've picked up!!!