Thursday 29th September 2011 – alongside in Portland
Maine is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick and is the only US state to border just one other state that being New Hampshire to the west. To the south and east is the Atlantic Ocean that has more than 5,500 miles of inlets, bays and harbours that make up its spectacular ocean scenery. I managed to see just a little of this on the tour that I escorted.
The Old Port area of Portland was like many other sea ports, decaying and looking distinctly shabby but today it has been redeveloped into a fine array of boutiques, bars and restaurants. Our passengers enjoyed strolling the streets looking for the more unusual gifts and mementos.
On this call we are alongside at an all but new facility with a covered walkway to a new terminal that has all the things we tend to expect these days. The Tourist Information Office here is excellent and all day long the passengers were having their questions answered efficiently and were given good quality literature.
Portland has had its share of well known personalities over the years and perhaps the best known, the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, described Portland as a most beautiful town seated by the sea. All around the city are memorials and plaques that commemorate the great man.
Staying with things associated with the ocean Maine is America’s undisputed lobster capital and the cold, clean water and rocky bottom of the Maine coast are the ideal habitat for the lobster. We had a tour here that would allow the passengers the unique opportunity to taste the best lobster fresh from those waters this morning. My colleagues and I decided to pop into the downtown area to try some for ourselves.
You can get a little messy but the locals here are geared up for the casual visitor and you can enjoy the tasty meat without getting completely covered in water and pieces of shell.
The town has a lively area of shops and restaurants, but its reputation comes from the upmarket homes that line the picturesque avenues and coastal stretches.
It is always good to visit Portland and today was no exception. I hoped our passengers also enjoyed the experience and from their comments as they returned ‘home’ to Aurora they did just that.
Bye for now.