Weekend Trip: Boston, MA

So, here I am again – back from New England, from Massachusetts, from Boston!

Wow, did I have a great weekend! I was able to leave on Friday because the kids and their dad also had a nice weekend in Florida with their grandparents. So I got on the bus to NY early in the morning at 7:25am to catch my next bus to Boston from there. My backpack was packed and I was glad to sit down, because I had packed food, drinks and a change of clothes for three days – otherwise the whole trip wouldn’t have been worth it.

Around half past eight I was then in Manhattan, 42nd street. So I “only” had to change trains. What was easier said than done. Had I spent a little more money (so about double – no thanks), it would not have been such a huge effort, because one of America’s better known bus lines (Greyhound or Peter Pan) would have started directly from where I was first stranded, ie 42nd street.

But from the Port Authority Bus Terminal I still had to go to Chinatown, and I had only a street name, no metro stop, as a clue. Thank God there are everywhere the tourist booths, where you can buy cards, and so I’ve made myself inconspicuous at one to create and first looked, where I had to go exactly.

It all worked out pretty well until I got to the bus stop. Once there, I found that the houses (covered with Chinese characters) didn’t have house numbers, so I didn’t even know which direction to go. The second problem was that I had already thought that there are no stop signs for such a rather “unofficial” bus. And to top it off, I couldn’t really ask anyone, because all the people on the street spoke only Chinese and didn’t understand me at all when I asked them something. I luckily decided to go in the right direction and pretty quickly noticed a couple walking behind me talking about Boston. In English. So I asked the fix times, whether they want to maybe also to the bus, and – what a luck – they knew the bus stop already and we are also then pretty quickly there *freu* So the first hurdle was already overcome, I sat at least in the bus.

After the four and a half hour drive through the states of New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts we finally arrived in Boston… Yes, and one would need the time also loosely with the car, that is not like with us at home that the bus may drive only 100 km/h. Here, the big coaches easily keep up with the cars, overtake sometimes on the right, sometimes on the far left (it doesn’t really matter where, it doesn’t bother anyone here, I have the feeling). Sometimes we even drove 80 mp/h (despite speed limit of 65, but as I said, seems to be really not so important – Micky once said “go with the flow”, so “do what everyone else is doing”… *lol*)

I’m still amazed at the distances here. After all, traveling by car or bus in your own country for four or five hours is one thing. But to fly by plane (like the kids to Florida) for 2 hours along a coast of your own country…. Oh man. And over to L.A. it takes 5 hours, as I found out. Crass.

The next step was to find my hostel for the two nights, which was not difficult, because it was well described which underground train to take. When I had my ticket and a map, it worked. (Speaking of tickets – it is also illogical to offer a day ticket for the subway for 9 dollars, but for the week ticket to take only 15 dollars, right? – what the heck, better 15 than 27 $ for three days ๐Ÿ™‚

The hostel was a pretty good one, everything was clean and I had, although booked differently, only a 6-bed room instead of a 12-bed. In the end, it wouldn’t have mattered because me and the others (one American, one Scottish and three Spanish-speaking girls) were just crashing there anyway, but good. Air conditioning rattled right under my bed, Saturday morning at 6am the garbage truck or whatever it was came around the same corner down the street a whole six times, but otherwise I slept well. *smile*

BOSTON – insanely beautiful! And surprisingly cozy for a big city. Even though I didn’t know much about the city myself before, except that it’s very historic, I really wanted to go if I already have the opportunity. And I’m not disappointed ๐Ÿ™‚ Boston Tea Party should probably be a term for most people…

The Freedom Trail, about a 4 mile walk past the main historic buildings and sites, is also great to get a first impression of the city. It was just a little too hot on Friday to do the whole walk, so I stopped at Quincy Market (reminds me a bit of Covent Garden, if you’ve ever been to London) for the day and checked out the hustle and bustle. There were hip hop groups who had their ghetto blaster with them and danced, break dancers and acrobats, all in a very nice atmosphere, because it gets dark pretty early here (already around half past eight dark). Unfortunately, I was also already pretty quickly done, with the whole early rising and the drive and the Latschen and the heat and so… And the real nightlife makes first of all in pairs more fun and is here anyway only from 21 ๐Ÿ™ Since I had neither the one nor the other, gings to the hostel and off to bed.

Saturday I actually wanted to master the rest of the Freedom Trail (easy to follow, by the way, a red line leads across the city over the sidewalks), but when I left the hostel and remembered that I had registered for a Harvard University tour that started at one, I thought that maybe the time in the morning could be a bit tight and postponed it to later. After the great campus tour, which ended at a statue, on whose pedestal was written “John Harvard- Founder- 1638” or something like that (of which our guide told us that none of this info is correct, because first, the university was not founded by him, he was only the financier, second, the date was delayed by two years and third, that was not at all J. Harvard, because all pictures of the guy have been lost long before— very very funny!), I wandered around Cambridge for so long that, back in Boston and passing Beacon Hill, I needed a break from walking. So I watched two movies in the cinema: “No Reservations” with Catherine Zeta-Jones and “Become Jane” about the life of Jane Austen (“Pride & Prejudice”). The break was extremely good and afterwards I was able to take some great photos of Boston by night and the beautiful harbor.

Sunday I finally followed the Freedom Trail to the end. That fit quite well, because I had to get my bus back to NY at one o’clock and could get the ferry back to the other shore from the endpoint of the trail at the USS Constitution, a fancy old sailing ship, because I had passed one or the other bridge during my walk. So I had a little harbor tour at the end ๐Ÿ™‚ Dreamlike. Too bad that I can share these experiences only by photos with you and no one has been there.

The return trip was relatively unspectacular and I was about seven o’clock in the evening back home in New Jersey, totally exhausted and ready for shower and bed, in which I fell asleep very quickly with the thoughts of a great weekend.

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