27th September 2011 – Newport RI at anchor
Well, we arrived safely here in Newport Rhode Island having sailed through thick fog banks all night (apparently).
Sadly the fog has persisted and although we anchored safely the procedure for taking our passengers ashore is considered to be just too dangerous.
Later – During the morning Captain Turnball kept us aware of all of the weather reports and the likelihood of tender operations commencing.
Noon – Sadly the Captain has now made the decision to abort our call here at Newport as the fog has not cleared at all. So, once all the seagoing safety checks are completed we will set a course for Boston where we will be alongside. Once ashore the passengers have a full programme of tours to explore the historic city of Boston and the other towns linked to our own history such as Lexington and Concord.
Wednesday 28th September 2011 – alongside in Boston
Luckily we had no problems arriving at the super old colonial city of Boston. Boston is an industrial port and commercial centre; it is also capital of Massachusetts, on Massachusetts Bay.
I really like it here and no matter how many times we visit here I always feel a great friendliness and although it is a big city it still manages to retain a small city atmosphere where the city fathers have managed to keep the best of the old and built their new city around those important buildings.
One such building is the Old State House which as you can see is right in the heart of the commercial centre. It was of course in the front of the Old State House where what began as a harmless snowballing of the British army redcoats degenerated into a mob attack, someone gave the order to fire and almost immediately five Bostonians lay dead in the snow. The rest they say is history. It is this untenable link with our own history that I like so much here.
This building appears to be somewhat dwarfed by the modern buildings all around, but this little building was the seat of British colonial government between 1713 and 1776.
From the 19th century the city went from strength to strength and today is without doubt a major US city and within the city are over 250 entries in the national register of historic places, including many important buildings.
I managed to snap my colleagues walking along the streets near here as they did a spot of shopping having just come back from escorting one of our organised tours.
Along State Street I discovered a building I had never seen before with a link to Cunard back home, this was the former Cunard Building and a fine construction it looked too.
Without doubt one building not to be missed here is the FaneuiI Hall, one of Boston's most famous landmarks. This hall was a gift to the city of Boston from the wealthy Peter Faneuil in 1742.
This Georgian brick building has always served as a market place and it gained its nickname of the cradle of liberty after Sam Adams used the building to address the crowds to rise up against the British.
Right next door is the Quincy Market that today serves as an eatery and boutique shopping complex. We popped inside to see the frenetic food preparation and selling that was going on.
Right in the centre of the building is a fine dome in a Greek revival theme and I think it is rather fun sitting there eating today’s fast food and musing over what those first settlers would have thought.
I recorded for you some of the tasty morsels that they sell here, pizza, massive filled sandwiches and at this time of year very different toffee apples.
Up on Beacon Hill is the grand Massachusetts State House dating from 1795, the foundation stone laid by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere.
Beacon Hill is a residential area built in the 18th and early 19th centuries and includes many fine squares and streets such as Chestnut Street. Here some of the wealthy citizens still live today facing out onto the Boston Common. Close by here is the famous Cheers Bar well known of course for the long running TV series. We have a select tour that will visit here later today. Tim and Anna decided to check out the bar before our passengers this evening.
Just reverting back to Paul Revere, up in the North End is the Paul Revere house, the city’s oldest surviving clapboard frame house dating from 1775. It was here that the man himself started his infamous horse ride to Lexington to warn of the impending British troops.
Close by is another landmark that must not be missed, the Old North Church. The church is the oldest surviving religious building in the city dating from 1723.
One place in the North End along Hanover Street that modern Bostonians flock to and also savvy visitors is Mike’s Pastries shop. Oh my, what a shop this is, pastries and cakes to simply die for. Here is a full overdose of cheesecakes, cup cakes and ricotta cheese filled goodies. It looks and also tastes just so good.
Moving on to the Back Bay area we find another magnificent church, perhaps one of the finest in America, the Trinity church, straight out of the top drawer. This beautiful church dates from 1877 and is made from granite and sandstone in Romanesque style. Interestingly some of the windows were designed by Edward Burne-Jones.
Well, our late sail day in Boston was magnificent and will have been enjoyed by all I trust. It is not always that we can enjoy such perfect weather conditions when we come here. These warm days and chilly nights are the perfect weather conditions to allow the Fall to be at its best and as we head further north we are hopeful that first real signs of this spectacular of Mother Nature event will start to unfold.
Bye for now.