Day 83 – 30th September (Boston)

One of the nice things about Fairmont Gold is the free breakfast.

After partaking of same, we headed out to catch the hop-on-hop-off bus tour – and promptly headed back in again. It was about 14 degrees, but a shrill wind.

Once properly layered up, we got to the bus stop, which had around half a dozen people waiting. Nobody seemed 100% sure if this was indeed the right place, but around 15 minutes later the bus turned up and we were allowed on. Our strategy was to stay on the whole way round and decide what to do/where to go thereafter.

What followed was a fascinating and at times overwhelming couple of hours, brought to life by Bailey, the bus driver. So much information and history.

Picture taking was difficult due to our position on the bus, but we resolved to come back and see some of these historic places later (if we could remember where they were…..)

Trinity Church from the front of the hotel
Boston Library
Some monumental church or other
Side view of Trinity Church. Old (1874) and new
Old City Hall
No idea (yet) what this building is, but I was struck by the gold decoration on the roof

We did the whole circuit, then got off at the Boston Public Gardens.

Statue of Edgar Allan Poe
George Washington


Boston is, of course, famed for being the home city of the TV series “Cheers”. The bar was open!

It was absolutely rammed, and actually not particularly attractive, so we took a few pictures and continued on our way.

A late lunch was sought. We found a really good Italian restaurant – we were near the Little Italy area of the Boston North End – called Maggiano’s, where we were treated to a very nice meal. Jean had to help me out with mine, as hers was relatively small and mine was huge.

We were at this stage near the start of the Freedom Trail in Boston Common, a two and a half mile walk showcasing many of the historic sites of Boston and distinguished by a red line in the sidewalk that one could follow. We decided to give this a try and see a) if it worked out b) how far we might get. More details can be found at, which I commend for your attention if you have the time and patience.

Massachusetts State House. The Declaration of Independence was read from here
Park Street Church
Granary Burying Ground. The monument to Benjamin Franklin’s parents can be seen in the centre of the picture
Paul Revere’s grave, a long way away. He was made famous by Longfellow’s poem “Paul Revere’s Ride”, which has some major historical inaccuracies. Other Bostonian luminaries from the past are buried here

There is far too much to report in any detail here. I also commend the Wikipedia entry on Paul Revere at An extraordinary man.

At this point, we engaged with a walking tour history guide, with whom we spent a good 15 minutes talking US history, UK royalty and other stuff. Most enjoyable, but it reduced our time left for the remainder of the Freedom Trail as it was already beginning to get dark. We managed to get a few more pictures and stops in.

Benjamin Franklin
Old South Meeting Hall, where the Boston Tea Party was planned. There’s a whole museum dedicated to this event, which we hope to visit tomorrow
Old State House – see below
The Boston Massacre was no massacre at all. 5 people were killed after a minor insurrection at this site, and panic-stricken British soldiers opened fire as they thought they were under attack. An escalation of violence and not premeditated
Faneuil Hall. This was just an array of retail outlets, but originally it was known as “The Cradle of Liberty” and hosted America’s first Town Meeting
Full of fast food shops and buzzing on a Friday night
Just one of the nice spaces Boston has to offer

Even though we’d only completed about half of the Freedom Trail, we decided to return to the hotel and maybe finish it tomorrow (weather looking dampish, unfortunately).

Boston has an underground/overground public transport system, which we dared to use to get back to the hotel. After a lot of puzzled staring at ticketing machine screens, we eventually sussed it out and rode back to the hotel with no trouble.

It’s difficult to convey the impact this city has made so far. There is so much here and we have two full days left.

I can understand why people love this place, and we’ve only been here a day. Absolutely amazing. Personally, the impact on my senses so far has been greater than Montreal, and that’s saying something.

Jean pointed out over lunch that this was our last weekend in North America. A week today, we board the Queen Mary 2 from New York back to Southampton. Blimey!

We plan to visit the Mary Baker Eddy library to see the Mapparium, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Boston Tea Party Museum, Old Ironsides, the Bunker Hill monument, Beacon Hill, finish off the Freedom Trail and maybe more over the next couple of days. Hope you are interested enough to stick with us as this great adventure nears its end.

8 responses to “Day 83 – 30th September (Boston)”

  1. As a 21 year old I visited Boston and never having seen a shopping mall (Norwich was a bit behind) when I walked into Faneuil Hall I was completely overwhelmed, I have never forgotten it and your photos show it exactly as I remember, lovely 😊

    1. It’s a fantastic city, isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed the memories.

  2. seeing your pictures i would love to come to Boston it looks so clean and very attractive buildings the market looked good as well i love going round markets cant believe you will be on the Queen Mary a week today where does time go

    1. Amazing city. Yes, it’s flown by.

  3. Bison is one of the few US cities that I actually like. A palpable sense of history to the place.

    1. I assume you mean Boston? 😉 When were you here?

      1. Sorry, yes, Boston. Blimey, it was a while ago – early to mid ’90s.

  4. Was that on business or pleasure?

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