1. Freedom Trail
  2. Walk along Charles river near Harvard and MIT
  3. Quincy market, Jay market and Harvard Square
  4. Nasty weather even in April
  5. The ride back to New York
Boston. It was an interesting weekend. The city has got some history, apart from some nasty weather. Aman and I were travelling from New York City to Boston on the weekend. We took the FungWah bus from China Town on Saturday morning. It gets you to Boston in under 4 hours for $15. That's a bargain. They say Grayhound is better at $31. But trust me, FungWah isn't bad at all! We reached Boston South Station at noon, walked through Downtown Crossing to Boston Commons - kind of Boston's Central Park. There we discovered what would make the rest of our day a more interesting experience as we tried to discover this historic (and cold!) city of United States.

The Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile path that passes through 16 of the country's most significant historical landmarks (sic). The path is marked by a red line that runs in the city. If you pick up a guide book for $2 at Boston Commons, you can keep walking along the red line and visit all the 16 landmarks. It might also be a good idea to hire a local guide who will explain the historical context of each landmark on the trail. I love walking and simply enjoyed the Freedom Trail on foot. It takes you through some of the lively markets, narrow lanes, cobbled streets and is a great way to see and enjoy Boston. Then there are Duck Tours.

The Freedom Trail goes like this:

  1. Boston Common - America's oldest public park
  2. Massachusetts State House - designed by Charles Bulfinch, 1798
  3. Park Street Church - 217 foot steeple, 1809
  4. Granary Burying Ground - resting place of Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere and Benjamin Franklin's parents
  5. King's Chapel - first Anglican church in US, 1688
  6. Boston Latin School / Statue of Benjamin Franklin - first public school in US, 1635
  7. Old Corner Bookstore - a flourishing literary center
  8. Old South Meeting House - second oldest church in Boston, 1729 ($ for museum)
  9. Old State House Museum - Boston's oldest surviving public building, 1713
  10. Boston Massacre - below Old State House balcony, now a traffic island
  11. Faneuil Hall - meeting place where Bostonians began opposition to British authority, 1742
  12. Paul Revere Hall - Boston's oldest, private building downton, circa 1600
  13. Old North Church - Boston's oldest church building
  14. Copp's Hill Burying Ground - overlooking Boston Harbor, the British used the burying grounds to aim their cannons on Charlestown during the Battle of Bunker Hill
  15. USS Constitution Old Ironsides - oldest commissioned warship afloat, 1797
  16. Bunker Hill Monument - "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!", 17 June 1775

A Walk Along Charles River

Boston is called America's Walking City. And that's not completely inappropriate given the beautiful Charles river flowing through the city. Think of the most famous name in education. The first one to strike you would be Harvard. Think of technology and you would instantly say MIT. Charles river has the honour of hosting both these institutions on its banks. While on Harvard campus, I incidentally met a guy from IIT Delhi who is attending business school here - Mohit Jain - and ended up discussing more than 10 guys we knew in common. Wow! The world is such a small place. The night was getting cold and it was time for us to get home for some dall, chawal, ghee and sleep.

I don't know if that's the rule. But I usually sleep well when I am traveling. And it's really difficult to wake up the next morning. I woke up Sunday morning 9ish, and headed out for more city sighting. It was nasty cold outside. We intended to go to the beach. But skipped that and went back to Charles river and MIT instead. After lazing around till afternoon and having pizza for lunch, it was time to hit South Station for the bus to New York. Total trip cost ~ $70 per head.

The Ride Back Home

What I enjoyed most in this trip was probably the bus ride back to New York - laying back relaxed in the Volvo bus seat, iPod plugged into my ears. Led Zepplin's Whole Lotta Love exploded away. I counted the number of Beatle cars that crossed me in the opposite direction ... twenty three, twenty four. Then I saw a Ford Mustang and I said, 'Naah, not my type'. It was Led Zeppelin's Dy'er Mak'er and I thought of the ITC Munger days and my stay in Bihar. Those were the days! Thirty seven, thirty eight. Then a speck of colour crossed like lightening. I began to wonder if it was a Kawasaki, Yamaha or Honda. Fourty four. And then I saw a car and said, 'That's my Mini Cooper!'

The sky was so beautiful. It was like molten metal pouring through the skies. And while doing so, the scorching metal burned the clouds to pieces of red. The metal hit a row of houses along the river below. And quickly evapourated into golden dust. I forgot my count of the Beatles. I would have to start again. Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here seemed like one of the best melodies ever played on the strings of a guitar. I realized I had almost reached Manhattan. The bridges, skyscrapers and the low brick houses below them were all burning with the molten metal that was pouring from the skies at dusk. It looked beautiful. Very beautiful.

Sometimes the journey is more beautiful than the destination. I wished I could live my life in that bus ride. I did. That's wanderlust. It was soon time to go home and sleep over it.

Tags: North America

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