Katrin & Jojo

On the road again

Day 26 & 27 – Plymouth & The way back

October 13, 2008

Day 26 - PlymouthWe really should’ve stayed on Cape Cod for one more day and driven to the airport directly. Instead we opted for staying a little closer to Boston and drove from Dennisport to Plymouth. We didn’t visit Plimouth Plantation but saw Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower II. After Plymouth we took a more scenic and slower route along the coast, stopped for a little while in Scituate. After that we had planned to stay near Boston, to the south or west of it. The hotel prices got really steep and the ones we had picked before were either full or way to expensive. So after a lot of driving and cursing about the stupid toll-system and the way they use street-signs over here (for every 3 turns where you have to decide there is one sign, or so it seems) we ended up in Framingham, where the only thing left available (and affordable) was a smoking-room, but a very nice one for what it’s worth. This morning we (for the first time) maxed out the checkout-time of 12am and had a long breakfast at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts before we drove into Boston. We drove through Cambridge just for the fun of it and then through Back Bay, which seemed really nice (and we regretted not having visited it by foot before). The weather today is still really warm, and I’m still only wearing a T-Shirt and shorts. Right now we’re sitting at Logan Airport with a lot of time to kill and no internet.Day 26 - Plymouth
Update: Guess what, Boston stinks, London rocks. At least I’ve got free internet here and am able to pass some of the 4 hours we have to wait. Another way to pass the time is kindly offered by the british authorities who send you through security even though you’re on a connecting flight and therefore have already been searched by the people on the other side. This also means that the 200ml bottle of water you got on the airplane and you’ve been saving up has to be thrown away…

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    Day 25 – Provincetown

    October 10, 2008

    Day 25 - ProvincetownToday we spent our second day on Cape Cod. We started a little later and first had a look at the nearby Hyannis. Hyannis has a very long Main Street which is full of shops for about a kilometer up and down. It wasn’t that spectacular so after looking at all the shops we drove back north, stopping at our hotel to drop some groceries. We continued on Route 6 towards Provincetown (which, surprisingly to me was about 33 miles away). Provincetown sits on the northernmost part of the cape and is one of the “bigger” cities. It has a lot of really small and chaotic aligned streets and is packed with shops and restaurant, as was, even now, still buzzing with activity. This also means that it was harder to find ones way and to get a parking spot. After strolling up and down Commercial Street we already had enough and left for the north shore, near Race Point. We discovered the most beautiful beach there and immediately sat down to read a little. It was already getting late and we still had some driving ahead of us in order to get back to the motel, so we had to leave this nice spot.
    Day 25 - Provincetown
    Tomorrow we will leave Cape Cod in the course of the day and will spend our last whole day in the US.

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      Day 23 & 24 – Cape Cod

      October 9, 2008

      Day 23 & 24 - Cape CodI apologize for not writing yesterday, and there wasn’t even a reason except laziness on my part ;). Right now we’re on Cape Cod, the “arm” that stretches out from southern Massachusetts and has a lot of little towns and beaches. We’re staying in Dennisport for three nights, having seen everything we wanted to there was no reason for us to keep pushing on the last few miles (Boston is only 80 miles from here). Cape Cod is a popular vacation destination, and it’s not hard to guess why. The climate here is still very mild (2 weeks ago but farther nord, in Canada, it was much cooler) and the beaches are white. Driving and hiking through here feels like being somewhere in the Mediterranean (or in southern France) and the few houses you see are either motels, ice-cream shops or privately owned little white vacation homes. And since the distances are relatively short, yet the density of trails (for hiking & biking) is high it’s a good place to spend a few days. If one beach doesn’t suit you it’s not far to the next one (or even the opposite side of the cape). Having said that, you have to admit that prices during season are somewhat higher than right now ($15 for the beach instead of, now, free admission).
      After we had arrived yesterday we headed for the beach (1-mile drive) and, german as we are, built ourselves a little sand-wall surrounding our spot, but it was just for wind-cover and there was no one else on the beach in any direction.
      Day 23 & 24 - Cape Cod
      Today we drove up further north (towards the tip of the cape) and stopped at the National Seashore Visitor Information (an US National Park institution) where a nice ranger supplied us with maps and tips where to go and what trails to hike. We decided to take the Great Island Trail near Wellfleet which was the longest one we could find (and also supposed to be the most beautiful). The trail was quite different from the kind of trails we had encountered in Acadia or in the Adirondacks. It was at no part hard to hike (you could do it in Flip-Flops), it didn’t have elevations and for the most part you could see where you were going to be half an hour later. To put it short, it was a nice walk around the dunes and the beach, but to people with hiking boots who are looking for some exercise and nice vistas it can be disappointing. Especially the long stretch on the beach was stupid since you can’t really walk in the sand for long distances and, let’s face it, it’s pretty boring too.
      Tomorrow we’re gonna go to Provincetown and Hyannis (probably), so stay tuned ;)

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        Day 22 – Newport & Providence

        October 7, 2008

        Day 22 - Newport & Providence
        You know a state is small when you don’t even bother looking at your gas level after crossing the entire state from west to east. Its also a bit strange that in order to get from the second-largest city into it’s capital, you have to cross another state. But small is beautiful, and this is especially true for Rhode Island, the state we did today. We had stayed in Newport for the night so the first thing we did was drive towards Bellevue Avenue and then take a walk around the neighborhoods (if that’s what you can call it) and finally walked a part of the Cliff Walk along the shore. Newport is known for its many famous mansions, built by rich individuals, but in a lot of cases vacant nowadays. The most popular one is definitely “The Breakers”, a mansion (see photo above) built by the Vanderbilts (just one of many homes they owned). Along with this building other mansions of similar dimensions and grandeur are lined along a few roads (Bellevue being one of them) and along the shore, where you can take the aforementioned Cliff Walk to get a look at them. Unfortunately these buildings are hidden from the street by large hedges, trees and fences, and the fact that the driveway is about 100m long. We still managed to see our fair share of those (and also of downtown Newport which was really nice).
        Day 22 - Newport & Providence
        We set of at about noon and headed a short distance north, towards Providence. Not surprisingly we crossed into Massachusetts before we got there, and it is also here that we booked a room for tonight before driving into town. Providence, one of the oldest cities in the US, is the capital of Rhode Island and also its largest city (or its only city, depending on your definition of “city”). It has a nice feel to it and we managed to spend a few hours there. It’s also home to Brown University, another Ivy League institution. Brown is located on a hill and was our last stop for today (did I mention it was really warm?), so we were quite exhausted when we got there and only had a quick look around before returning to our car.

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          Day 21 – Mystic Seaport

          October 6, 2008

          Day 21 - Mystic SeaportMystic Seaport, located in Mystic, CT, is a living museum. I wrote about Upper Canada Village before, so you should be familiar with the concept. What sets Mystic apart is it’s size and the huge amount of wooden ships, either in the water and still functional or as a museum piece in one of the many showrooms. Mystic does not have actors which are dressed historically correct, which is understandable as you can see civilization across the river and it wouldn’t really work in my opinion. Instead they have different demonstrations every half hour (we saw “Help set a sail” and “Fish split”) at different locations throughout the village. The village also has many more buildings, almost all of them in active use, and the buildings are spread over a smaller area, so you don’t have to walk quite as much. I said “active” buildings because there is a lot going on at Mystic Seaport, like sailing classes and also a cooperation with a university where students spend a whole semester at the port and learn different skills in the field of “Maritime studies” (also they have a blacksmith where people still actually learn how to do that, for a living). The dock at the west end of the village lifts huge ships out of the water so they can be repaired and restored. So you can imagine how all of that would be kind of hard to hide would you intend to do so ;)
          Day 21 - Mystic Seaport
          Katrin and I spent almost 4 hours there (and skipped the last 5 buildings, and of course read only a fraction of all the explanations), and it was well worth the admission. You can see that they keep improving the exhibitions, as they had (at least) two new exhibitions/buildings, (with state-of-the-art technology) since I was there last time.
          We’re in Newport, RI, right now and don’t intend to do anything but read for the rest of the day since we’re pretty beat and still have a week left ;)

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