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Published: June 23rd 2012
"Where everybody knows your name"
I had driven into Boston from Cape Cod by rental car that I had dropped off back at the airport. Before doing so however, I had some time left to find my chosen hostel (with the help of GPS) where I had trouble finding a parking spot in order for me to drop my backpack so I wouldn't have to haul it all the way from the airport. After a few circles around the block, I managed to find an undergound parking, where the guy was so nice to put my car next to his booth for 5 minutes without paying.. Thank you! From the airport I took the blue T line and changed at Gov't center for the red line to take me to Arlington T station. From there it was just 10 minutes to walk to the hostel. I had treated myself to a single room, but when I arrived I was told all singles were full. I was therefore upgraded to a double with no extra charge! Great place it was at 40 Berkely, my room being on the top floor, the free breakfast buffet and all the activities.. A recommendation!
The weather was still fabulous, so
went straight back out after a shower and walked towards downtown, entering the Boston Public gardens from where I made my way to chinatown. There I had a cheap but great lunch and a beer. Lazily I picked up my walk again and set forth along the Fort Point channel where I crossed a few bridges and noticed the Boston Tea Party
building. As I had read and heard about, I needed to visit the Quincy market
which wasn't too far I guessed. When I arrived however my legs were beginning to get sore from all the walking so I drank a beer at the not-so authentic but fun-nevertheless 'Cheers' cafe within the market building. Famous from the "where everybody knows your name" TV series, I failed to find the real 'Cheers' during my walkabouts... 😞
Boston really is a beautiful and historic city as many of the buildings will agree with me. Every so often a glass fronted modern skyscraper will reflect pillars, belltowers and portals from an era when horse and carriage roamed the streets but mostly it is precisely those features that dominate Bostons skyline. I stumbled upon Granary burying ground, an old cemetry in downtown Boston in which
lie a number of famould old men, three of which are some of the signees of the declaration of independence. I really enjoyed walking around the city, chilling out and enjoying the warm sunshine in the public gardens where a large statue of George Washington on his equin friend guards the west entrance to the park. As my total time in Boston was gonna be just 1.5 days, I didn't feel like rushing or sightseeing too much, so I just let the city do what it does best I guess; remind its visitors of the heydays of American history, a time when immigrants from literally everywhere in the world set up stall in Boston, of young talent gaining knowledge at one of the worlds largest and best educational institutes in the world (more on that later) while standing with two feet firmly planted in the 21st century with its fast paced and economy revolving life.
With having spent the last 2 nights uncomfortably on the back seat of a car and the night previous those on a bus, I was ready for some serious shut-eye. I therefore chose to head upstairs to my double room with snacks and a
bottle of wine (instead of eating dinner) where I watched American TV (product placement, hello...?!! So happy we dont have that in Europe, and what is with all those medicin/drugs ads? We are human, we grow old and die, face it America!) and went to sleep early.
After a good night sleep I made my way down the elevator and joined a large crowd already munching on the extensive breakfast buffet. I am not a breakfast kinda guy but boy oh boy, can I eat bacon and eggs for brekkie yumm! My plan for the day was to head up the Prudential tower for a view of the city and it was a great day for it! Under blue skies I walked all the way west to where the tower stands as the skywalk wasn't opening before 10 a.m. anyway. $14 lighter I walked around the circular observatory marveling at the city below. I could see as far as the Harvard university on the other side of the Charles river as well as the airport and the hexagonal shaped downtown area. Back on street level I headed back underground and took the T to Harvard station. I noticed the
red T line running on rails that lie as high as the ground you walk on, making it impossible for wheelchairs to access the T as one has to walk a staircase to get in the carriage. It was a pleasant walk around the well kept grounds of the Harvard university, with throngs of (mostly Asian) people surrounding the John Harvard statue for a photo opportunity. However, I personally didn't find it all that it's cracked up to be so didn't linger too long and dove back into the underground.
Getting off at North station, I crossed the Charlestown bridge and followed the freedom trail
to the Bunker Hill monument
. Free of charge or for a small donation, 294 steps lead up to the top of the 67 metres tall monument from where another amazing view towards downtown awaits. Walking back via Tudir wharf one passes the USS Constitution docked in the navy yard, 'the oldest commisioned navy vessel still afloat'. Back into downtown I did a bit of shopping at the famous Macy's store and bought some knicknacks as gifts. I then chilled out and spent my last few hours having a beer at Quincy market listening to a
performing brass band before having to pick up my bag from the hostel.
With my gear packed and sweat dripping down my forehead since it was still sunny and hot outside, I took the green, red and then silver line back to the airport where I freshened up in one of the bathrooms. Always a pretty sight, me covered in shaving foam, half naked, my trolley invisible due to the amount of clothes pulled from my bag and toiletries strewn accross the sink. He he, gotta go fresh on a plane, very important. One day I'll have plenty of money to take a taxi so I can skip all of that ha ha. Great city, Boston! Really liveable place I reckon and a great visit. Adios, Estados Unidos de América!
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