After being on the road for 10 days it was nice to have 4 nights in the one location. Boston is very expensive when it comes to hotels (and that’s even without taking the lousy conversion into account!). So downtown was out of the question. We ended up at a Holiday Inn at Somerville –the Holiday Inn Bunker Hill. It was actually quite good! Well, apart from the fact we couldn’t check in till 4 pm-and we got there about 11 am!
So we went to Harvard for the afternoon, and took a walking tour run by Harvard students. Apparently Bostonians don’t pronounce the r as the rest of the US-they sound more like us-so Harvard is pronounced as we would- Harv ahd. I hadn’t realised that first year uni students (freshmen) are all expected to live in-and their dorms are around Harvard Yard. Most of these are quite old as the uni was founded in the 1630s. I think one of the buildings still in use is from the early 1700s.
Interestingly there is no quota for domestic or international students, and everyone has the same opportunity for scholarships!
We’d had our fill of lobster and scallops (can’t believe that but it’s true) so we were pleased to find a mexican restaurant at Harvard.
The next day we took a ferry to Salem-one hour trip and it was a gorgeous day on the bay. At Salem we really only had time for a 1 hr tour and then a bite to eat before heading back to the ferry home. Salem is setting itself up as the halloween capital and there were many people (kids and adults) in a variety of costumes. We had 3 local witches at the table next to us at lunch!
We visited Faneuil Hall (I still have no idea of the correct pronunciation!) and market-but if you aren’t wanting to shop, eat or drink it’s a quick visit. We found a local market complex with fresh local cheese, yoghurt, fruit, etc and stocked up for some healthy breakfasts.
We traipsed around Beacon Hill and Back Bay. Some amazing buildings-the Massachusetts State House with its 23 karat gilded dome and marble interior, Trinity Church and opposite it the State Library (a working library in a museum like setting).
We used the public transport system the ‘T’. So tried most forms of transport –ferry, train, and bus. The hotel offered a free shuttle to anywhere within 3 miles so that took us into downtown as well.
While Boston has been on my must see list for some time, I think the reality was not as great as the expectation. I enjoyed walking around Harvard and Back Bay and loved the architecture-but it is still just a city!