Golden days of the Fall.

16 Oct

We chose our site near Boston for the fact it offered a shuttle service to the station where we could catch the train for a sightseeing visit of the historic city. The service is not quite so frequent on a week end and the first train did not leave until 10.40.  The journey took an hour and we were surprised how full the train became along its route. We got off at South station and found our way to the red line Underground station to travel a couple of stops into the heart of the historical area of the City.

Boston was a focal point for the beginning of the revolution which ultimately led to Americas independence from Great Britain. The famous Boston Tea Party taking place in the harbour.

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The freedom trail tours the historical areas of Boston leading the visitor to places of P1140732interest and allowing a glimpse of the new side of Boston too.

We began at Boston Common and walked toward the golden domed State House. The roof really is gold, 24carat! The building is open to the public but not on a Sunday so we walked on following the red line which marks the trail route. There were plenty of others doing the same, and enjoying the warm sunshine.

 

 

 

 

 

We crossed through Quincy market, a hub bub of activity with street performers and market stalls, passed by Faneuil Hall once a meeting place for those who were plotting the rebellion against the British, today it houses shops and restaurants, and, probably listens to the political conversations of modern America too.

Before long we felt the need to stop and refuel, in the narrow streets of the P1140740Italian quarter there were many bakery and restaurants some of them with long queue’s for seats. On a corner we spotted a small coffee shop and decided this looked OK.

Two huge delicious muffins and a cup of coffee each along with a much needed sit down revived us for the second part of our walk. Somehow walking slowly seems to take lots more energy than a brisk walk.

 

 

 

We continued following the trail until we reached the Visitor Centre for the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat. HMS Victory is older and bigger than Constitution, however Victory is not in a condition suitable to sail where as Constitution was taken out ‘for a spin’ in ? . We watched a video at the visitor centre which showed some footage of her in full sail, what a sight to see!

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Having walked this far we took to the water and caught the ferry back across the harbour making a short walk from here to the train station for our return journey.

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We caught the 5.20 pm train having spent over 5 hours in the city and only skimming the surface of the history it contains.

 

From the history of the revolution we moved backwards in time and visited Plymouth. The Pilgrim fathers left Plymouth England in the Mayflower and arrived on the rocky shoreline here in America in 1620.

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The Mayflower II

A monument to the first settlers shows that of those who arrived on the Mayflower a year later 48 had died, testament to the hard beginning they encountered in their new world life.

 

P1140752What is considered to be the original rock on which the pilgrims set foot is now surrounded by iron railings and covered with, slightly out of keeping for its era, a roman style temple. The rock engraved with the year 1620, was at one time split into two, half being placed near the centre of town, eventually the two halves were reunited and cemented back together again!

 

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Modern attractions are side by side with the historical houses and statues, a small harbour of pleasure craft and fishing boats adds to a pretty waterside town .

 

Like many other visitors at this time of year we have been hoping to see, at some point P1140765the peak of the fall colours. We have seen some lovely views and vistas of the trees as they change from green through gold but this last few days we have feasted on a spectrum of autumn shades.

Our campground near Plymouth was Pinetree Lodge, we arrived as the week end visitors were leaving and the lakeside was left in peace to finish out its holiday year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our journey now needs to take us around the city of New York, we are not visiting at this present time and definitely do not wish to get haRVey in the city traffic. It is getting increasingly difficult to find open campgrounds as the season comes to a close around us, so with both of these restrictions we crossed the border from Massachusetts into Rhode Island to visit Newport and its grand properties.

P1140779   The campground was actually in Middletown just a short drive from Newport. It is the site of the only working condition 8 veined grist mill in America, we were not aware of this until we took a walk to the neighbouring park where it stands for all to see. Preserved by the local historical society along with an old school building they are open to the public in the summer months at week ends.

 

 

 

 

Next morning we parked at First beach in Newport, walked up the hill to the cliff path and began our ‘viewing’ of the grand homes which line the cliff side.

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Some of the buildings house the local university.

 

 

 

 

 

Others are private and can be viewed at a distance through a hedge or fence alongside the three and a half mile path.

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A few are open for public viewing by organised tours.

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All belong to an era of great wealth and prosperity, once owned by newly rich east coast families.

Newport harbour is home of the Admirals cup yacht race, we drove around Marine Drive, spotting many large houses on the way. Missing a turn we arrived at Fort Adams on the opposite side of the water to the town of Newport but enabling a lovely view of it across the bay.

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As we left Newport behind the Rhode Island wayside seemed to glow in the afternoon sunlight, the trees had taken on an even brighter hue. From the deepest reds through crimson to almost fuchsia pink. Copper, gold’s and vivid yellows,lime green set off by the deep dark green of the evergreen fir trees the roadsides were alight.

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This continued next morning as we crossed from Rhode Island back into New York State. Just 50 or so mile north of Manhattan and the heart of the city we stopped for a night at an almost deserted Winding Hills County Park. 10 miles of trails were ours to explore so we circumnavigated the lake for an afternoon stroll.

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Clouds gathering on the horizon, the beginning of another autumn storm. We have however enjoyed  a week of almost unbroken sunshine. This blog seems to have lots of pictures and I have so many more I could have included. As soon as internet access allows I will up date the web album (link at the side of the page or http://picasaweb.com/elainethehill) to share them with you.

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One Response to “Golden days of the Fall.”

  1. Susan October 16, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Hope you enjoyed my hometown of Boston- the USS Constitution set sail on July 20, 1997 and sailed up to Marblehead MA, all on its own! What a great day it was- thousands of boats out on the water accompanying her. I had a boat at the time but elected to stay onshore to avoid the crowds on the water. Great times…I love Newport as well- lots of money there years ago, but its a fun town to spend some time in.

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