We left New York on Saturday in a bit of a dither. Our transfer fro our hotel to Penn Station which was to be provided by the tour company did not show up and after an hour of waiting, our Tour Director, Lisa, bundled us all into taxis and we travelled in pairs to the station with a great risk of getting lost or not finding each other at the other end.
Our train trip to Boston took a little over three hours and most of the trip was through industrial areas without much of great interest to see. Many of the factories that we passed looked desolate and empty.
We stayed at another of the Fairmont Hotels (The Copley) which was positioned right in the centre of Boston. This was the first Fairmont Hotel to have a dog that lives in the hotel as a point of interest for the guests. This one’s name was Catie, a retired black labrador guide dog. She has her own business card (Canine Ambassador). Catie lives with the Head Concierge and has the run of the reception lobby. She even has a book written about here which is available in the gift shop.
We woke up on Sunday to a wet day, so we needed to evaluate whether we should have a day of indoor activities, or spend our time outdoors in the rain. In the end we decided to walk up to the very fancy Prudential Building with its mall of very chic shops. We found the office for the famous Boston Duck Tour, but the first available tour for the day was at 5.30 pm. We decided to pursue other options and will try to ride one of the DUKWs on Tuesday. We did find the second largest Apple store in the world (pipped by only a few square feet by the one in NY). We also found our first Microsoft Store in the shopping mall and I stopped to take a photo with my iPhone. Surprisingly, it (the camera) still worked afterwards.
By mid afternoon the rain had cleared and it had become fine. We found the green trolley tour which took us around the streets of Boston. Our driver and guide was a Vietnam Veteran who had happened to also spend some time in Vung Tau during the war. Boston is a very nice city and very historic. Apart from all the history of the American Revolution, we found that the original ‘Mother Goose’ is buried in here in an old colonial cemetery. Every corner seems to unveil another point of historical interest.It is the home of the world famous Boston Marathon
Today, we did a tour out to a coupe of places that were 15 or 20 miles from town and which are the the ‘birthplace ‘s the American nation. While some early actions had begun to retaliate against harsh British taxes (e.g. the Boston Tea Party), it was at the places we visited – Lexington and Concorde – that the real fight for independence had begun.
Lexington was a little farming village in the mid 1700’s. The British were marching to there to capture a cache of weapons that they knew existed. They were met on the Common by a small group of revolutionaries. Some one fired their musket and the first skirmish of the American Revolution took place.
At Concorde, further down the road, a bridge crossed a small stream and facing the British on the other side was a force of militia men (Minutemen) The British commander ordered his soldiers to fire and when the militia men returned fire, the rather green British troops fled. This was the battle from which the author Thomas Waldo Emerson coined true term ‘The Shot Heard AroundThe World’. This area is central to the birth of the independent USA.
We stood on both Lexington Field and at the Bridge.