I got up, made some breakfast and prepared some snacks and set out for buying a public transportation card. Boston has a great public transportation network and for only 18 dollars you can make use of all Bus, Subway and even some ferry services for 7 days straight. This is a major difference with Toronto. It has public transportation, but subway access is fairly limited and I always find buses very confusing in cities I don’t know. Boston has a good network though with frequent stops.
I set out around 9 AM and walked to Boston Common as that is the start of the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is a walking tour that you can go do on your own or on a tour and takes you to all important places in Boston that have to do with the American War for Independence. I went to the visitors center and booked a tour, as I wanted this to be more than me just walking about aimlessly. The tour is guided by a person in contemporary costume and tells you about pieces of American History from that character’s perspective.
The first stop was State House, Park Street Church and the Granary Burying Ground. We then moved on to the King’s Chapel, Old South Meeting House, the Old State House and the circle to commemorate the Boston Massacre. We ended the tour at Faneuil Hall where we were told that we could go on the tour of the North End at half price. Since I didn’t have much else to do and wanted to see that part of the trail anyway, I decided to grab some lunch at Quincy Market and went on the second part as well.
Park Street Church
Granary Burying Ground (4th oldest cemetery)
Old State House (w/ balcony where the Declaration of Independence was first read out)
Boston Massacre site
The tour left around 11 AM and passed all major sites that were somehow important in the making of Boston and in some cases, the USA. Boston is the place where the revolution against the British really got going with the Boston Tea Party and the Ride of Paul Revere. The tour was fun and lasted around 90 minutes. During my lunch there was plenty of entertainment around. There were a few guys dressed up as soldiers and on the other end of Faneuil Hall a hiphop group was doing some dancing and acrobatic tricks. At 1.30 PM the second part of the tour started and we set off for the North End.
Soldiers on watch
The North End is also known as Little Italy and there’s a bunch of Italian restaurants in the area. But it is also the site of some of the most important events of the revolution and on top of that it is more quiet and actually quite quaint. It has cobblestone streets and lots of alley ways. You can tell that this is an older part of town. It for instance has the oldest house in Boston (which also happens to be the house of Paul Revere) and it also has some of the older churches.
Paul Revere House
Old North Church
Read this poem by Longfellow if you want to know more about Mr Paul Revere & the importance of Old North Church.
In the distance: Bunker Hill monument
The tour was over around 4 PM. I walked back to Haymarket, got a subway back to Park Street and walked around aimlessly for a while. I wandered into the pedestrian only area of Boston and walked on thinking I was going to the Harbourfront. But I wasn’t. Instead, I walked to the convention center, but that did lead to an good view of the Boston skyline.
I took a subway back into town and ended up finding a movie theater and went to see the new Batman Dark Knight Rises movie. I liked it, even though the ending was a bit predictable and leaves room for a number 4 in the series. It just made me realize what a great actor Gary Oldman is. I mean that guy is also Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series and he even did Dracula in the Francis Ford Coppola version and not once do you think that Commander in Chief Gordon is anyone but him.
Tomorrow I’m going to explore Beacon Hill & Harvard. So I’m sure that will bring many more pictures to share. In the mean time I would like to know: anyone already seen the new Batman movie? What did you think?