Monday, 28 January 2013

Bounding around Boston - Part 2

Before we got the bus to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Museum located on part of the MIT campus in Cambridge we walked past the Prudential Tower we'd just had lunch at the top of.

Looking up at the Prudential Tower

The bus ride was a very short one and after a little confusion as to where we were going we found the Museum. It was awesome for nerds like us and probably non-nerds too. What sparked my interest in wanting to go there was the large collection of holographic images they have on display but I ended up enjoying everything there. From plasma balls to awesome mechanical objects and an area you can write your own ideas with colouring pencils! Lots of science, technology and design among other things.

Plasma Ball

Part of a mechanical exhibit

I have to apologies to Norngirl for what we did next which was to walk back to the hotel. In my defense it looked a lot closer on the map. Sorry again!

Memorial Drive river side footpath

The upside to that walk was the view, a view of the city across the river.

Charles River Scene in Boston

Sepia Boston Charles River Nighttime Panorama

Which also looks fun as an upside down reflection in the river.

Upside down river reflection of the Boston Skyline

The sun set as we walked back and we took it easy in the evening, taking our time over a swim in the pool then out for a long meal (I had a BLT pizza) and drinks.

The next day was the day we flew home but we had it planned so we could make the most of the day.

1st up we checked out then left our luggage with the water taxi company we were going to be travelling with to the airport later in the day.

Next we hopped across town, having a look around as we went.

Downtown Boston

Burns statue in Boston

We called into a few shops for the few remaining gifts we wanted to get for folks back home, a cafĂ© for lunch, and made our way on the subway out to a place called Stony Brook which has a real old town US feel to it provided by the fun ye olde period looking houses.

Stony Brook, Boston

Located there is the Samuel Adams brewery who do free tours though a small donation of a couple of dollars to local charities is asked for on the tour itself. Our tour guide was great, I can only describe it as like being taken on a brewery tour by Boston's version of Al Murray - which was brilliant fun - give this dude a pay-rise.

Samuel Adams Brewery Tour

We got to taste the ingredients and then at the end, plenty of the finished product including some speciality lines. Not only that, they let you keep your Sam Adams taster glass. As well as our glasses we left with a new found appreciation for some of the beer.

Sampling beer at the Sam Adams Brewery

Back on the subway and enjoying the almost tipsy feeling, we got off the subway and took a look around Boston Public Garden, a large park in the middle of the city.

Boston Public Garden Panorama

Once we'd had our scenic fill, we got back on the T to Quincy Market where we'd been the day before.

Inside Quincy Market

Quincy Market's Dome in Boston

We had something on our bucket list that we hadn't done yet which was on sale there. With just a couple of hours to go before we needed to be at the airport, we had time to try some clam chowder which was very creamy and tasty.

Boston Clam Chowder

The trip was over all too soon, time has a habit of keeping ticking but as we'd planned we still had one more thrill, the water taxi. We'd looked at getting the T across to the airport but it just didn't seem as fun and it's always great to have something to look forward to right at the very end of your trip. I'm really glad we did take the water taxi as from the boat we were able to see the city from the water and it's quite the view, a fine way to bid farewell to the city.

Boston Skyline from Water taxi terminus

As I mentioned at the start of the post, I found Boston to be relaxed and welcoming. The best parts of our trip for me were the Ice Hockey and the museum at MIT, I also very much enjoyed the Sam Adams Brewery tour and the clam chowder. Though Boston seems to sell its tourism on it’s history and that probably works for a US crowd my opinion would be, that like Belfast, it's best assets are where it’s people get on board in creating it’s future. Old and historically significant buildings, churches and boats are a dime a dozen around the world, but exhibits like those at MIT and the friendly feel inside a large sports arena seem increasing unique – at least those that really do it well anyway! The taste and flavours of the city are great and there is loads to do, especially in the surrounding area and a lot more than we could fit into our 1 full day and 2 half days. I’d especially like to revisit the city at a good time for whale watching as I think it’d be awesome. Out of the 3 cities we visited (Washington, New York and Boston) Boston was the most down to Earth and most like being back in the UK but that comes with both a good side and a bad, good in the way it’s non-threatening and functional but not so good in that it lacks some of the real excitement and that almost undefinable life of it’s own that somewhere like New York has in abundance. I really enjoyed Boston and indeed the whole trip, I just hope that one day we can afford to revisit.

1 comment:

  1. Boston was my hometown before I moved to Belfast (near 20 years ago!). It's where my American heart is. Glad you two enjoyed it. I miss it and look forward to any future opportunity to visit beantown.



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