Day 7 – Freedom Trail

After a short discussion on Boston traffic it was decided the merits of heading into Boston in the evening outweighed an early hotel. We found a hotel located just outside of Plymouth and decided it would fit into our schedule of one more fun thing we could pack in. So after a quick stop at the Ocean Spray cranberry bog we headed into town to find the most famous Plymouth Rock. 
We’re guessing the rock is 6ft long…

I’ll have to tell you the rock was a bit of a letdown. Rebecca had read up on it and explained that way back there was discussion whether this particular rock was the actual spot of the Pilgrims landing. The people of the time decided it should be and wanted to move the rock to a protected area. While moving it it got broke. But some good super glue put it back together and the townspeople put it on display at the beach. Hmmm… I’m sharing a picture so you, too can be impressed.

Mayflower II, bigger than I expected.

Next to the famous rock was the Mayflower II, a replica of the original sailing ship. We then walked through town to the oldest street in America on which was the oldest house. The street was paved and all that was left of the house was a marker. My take, Plymouth has an interesting heritage but not much of the original events remain.

Then back to Boston. The day was absolutely beautiful and after some instructions from our hotel staff we managed to find the subway and ride in to town. (This GPS continues to vex me and I was most willing not to have to navigate.) The Freedom Trail starts at the Boston Commons Park. A beautiful tree filled park that also was filled with kids touring just like us. Maybe it’s the end of school field trips? The Freedom Trail is a marked pathway that leads to many historical buildings and landmarks of the Revolutionary time. Everything you learned in school comes to life. There are several statues of the heroes of the era. Patrick Henry was one of my favorites. Do you know that people were so upset about the British tax situation (sugar and tea) that they packed over 5,000 into one of their meeting halls? They must have come from miles around to attend the events. The patriots knew that by speaking out they risked the wrath of the king; still they did it.
On the side it says: A Statesman; Incorruptible and Fearless.

Downtown Boston is a crazy mixture of old and new. Skyscrapers are next to brick buildings built in the 1700’s; wide roads move traffic on one block but the next intersection narrows back to a cobblestone path. Along the trail are many restaurants filled with wide open windows to the street. It would be easy to do some taste testing as you walk along. 

Old North Church

They tell you that the trail walk is just over two miles one way.  But stopping to look at each building, statue and house (like Paul Revere’s) really adds to your time. We also were distracted by some fun street dancers who were set up in one plaza entertaining the crowds. It took us the whole afternoon and we surely could have spent more time just soaking it all in. One thing that really surprised us is that many of the exhibits, including cemeteries were closed before 5pm. And, as Rebecca just reminded me, we were disappointed that many of the buildings charged a small fee. The walk itself is free but if you want to visit say, Paul Revere’s house or the Old North Church it will cost. Still, we’d rather see the history preserved so when you go don’t be a cheap skate. 

And that concludes our trip. Some people ask why we try to pack so much in to one visit. The reason is because I think it gives us a good sampling of the area. We may not make it back but if we do we’ll know what areas we really liked and be able to focus on them. 
Tomorrow is another flying day. We are hoping for a much easier trip this time around.

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