Well my first day in Boston was almost a nightmare. Everything was fine as we departed Chicago – i was a little tired after only 2 hours sleep – but my last night in the windy city had been awesome. Towards the end of the flight we were told that we were circling Boston airport due to weather conditions and de-icing the runway – after an hour we were able to land. Then the pilot informs us that we cant go to the gate as there is a plane still there which is also being de-iced and the airport is in chaos. After another half hour we eventually get to the gate and get off the plane. The very lovely Bill who i met in Portland has come to meet me – what a sweetie – i definitely owe this man some beer. We waited around for my luggage which again the baggage claim was in chaos with 4 flights trying to come out at the same time – luggage compartments on some planes had been frozen solid and it was a nightmare. It soon became apparent that my backpack was not appearing and after a slight panic attack – well a major one and some tears – i spoke to a representative who took all my details and assured me they would find my bag and send it to the hostel. Bill told me that majority of bags are delivered within 24 hours and they just needed to get organised at the airport – i guess really i should be thankful that my flight was one of the few that didnt get cancelled. Bill took me for a drive around the city in a mini tour – couldnt really see that much due to the conditions but it was a good way to get bearings and a feel of the city. We went to have something to eat in Charlestown and then because he had a long drive back Bill dropped me off at the hostel. Thanks Bill you were an absolute legend and kept me sane and made 100% difference to what was going to be a bad day.
i checked into the hostel and let them know that my bag should be delivered soon well hopefully – as it turns out i had some luck on my side as i rang the airline with the hostel zip code and they told me they had found my bag and it was on route – yay – i have never felt so relieved on all my life. Not that there is much of anything in my bag but still for the next couple of years its my whole life.
Friday morning i woke up and yay my bag had been delivered sometime in the night woo hoo! i spent the day chilling out and wandered down to Boston Common and decided to grab something to eat and check out a movie. I went to watch PS I Love You – was feeling the need for a chick flick and it was a great movie – even the guys in the cinema appeared to have had a few tears – it was certainly a weepy.
On saturday i caught the metro up to Harvard Square and wandered around and was able to check out the infamous university that is so well known. Unfortunately being Christmas meant that there werent any students around so i couldnt pretend to be one and wander inside but checked out the campus which is very pretty. The surrounding square is very lively and draws many tourists but is geared towards students with bookstores and cheap eats. I settled for a pizza cafe and ended up getting my meal for free because they messed up my order – i didnt complain or anything for once and got a free meal – sweet. By the metro station is a stand that sells newspapers and magazines from around the world so went in for a browse – they truly have a world collection and i picked up a copy of the Daily Mail (partly because of the codeword and suduko and partly cos they didnt have The Sun!)
Sunday was the day i was finally going to walk the Freedom trail and the day was bright and clear and most of the snow had been cleared – again another city that is very efficient at clearing the roads with the least amount of hassle and commotion. I caught the metro to Boston Common and went into the visitors centre for a mini map – not that it is needed as you cant miss the red painted arrows on the ground – even if part of it is under a tonne of snow. The freedom trail stops at theses sights:
- Boston Common
- The State House
- Park Street Church
- Granary Burying Ground
- King’s Chapel and Burying Ground
- Franklin Statue and Boston Latin School
- Old Corner Bookstore
- Old South Meeting House
- Old State House
- Site of Boston Massacre
- Faneuil Hall
- Paul revere House
- Old North Church
- Copps Hill Burying Ground
- USS Constitution
- Bunker Hill monument
I got as far as the north end – the Italian area and the Old North Church. You can tell you have entered the Italian area as there are flags strung across the street and endless amounts of italian restaurants. I found one sports cafe that had named all its pizzas after footy players which was kind of cool – dont think my brother would be best impressed with this( Jim you know im right!)
I took a lot of photos and learnt more about Paul Revere – its bad that i didnt actually know who he was before – well now i know that he was the guy who warned everyone that the Brits were coming! I wont bore everyone with the details about the trail as you guys can google it if you want to know more but if you ever come to Boston then its definitely something to do. As is try the famous Clam Chowder which i had a couple of times – it was delicious.
I spent the whole day walking the trail and headed back to the hostel and in the evening we headed to a local bar to have a few beers and meet some new people. The majority of the people staying at the hostel are students studying english and so there werent many backpackers but met some cool new people.
Christmas Eve i headed over to North station and caught the commuter rail train to Salem, home of the famous with trials. The train took about 45 minutes and i got into Salem and headed down the main street to the Witch museum which Bill had given me a free pass for. It was a good tour and well presented and i learnt about how the hysteria of the trials came about. It was actually very interesting also learning about how the stereotype of a witch came about and how it changed over the centuries. I spent the rest of the time wandering around the town and seeing all the hooky shops and museums that the town has. Most were closed for the winter season unfortunately and some looked a little tacky but on the whole it was a pretty cool place. Managed to find one place that was open to serve food – everything had already shut down for the holidays.
Christmas day dawned and no snow boo! Going to have to wait another year for a white christmas. In the evening the hostel had cooked a xmas dinner and we had a great feast of ham and chicken, mash potato, mac and cheese (random), and veg and pumpkin pie and apple pie with ice cream for dessert. It was a bizarre meal but a good one and gave the day a little more festivity that i didnt really feel. Watched movies and hung out and did the same on Boxing Day. It was weird being away from home and not sure that i really enjoyed it but it was an experience all the same.
And that was the end of my time in Boston which is a cool little place with friendly people and scary drivers who have more road rage than i have ever seen. But im so excited now that im going back to Niagara Falls. I knew i would go back but not quite so soon. It will be good to chill out and hang out with friends and see in the new year. I have just got to survive a 12 hour greyhound ride first.