Knowing what traffic is like in Boston, we were grateful that the Caravan provided a nice Prevost bus to take us in to the heart of Boston:
Today we will have an opportunity to take a trolley tour to get oriented around Boston; after the trolley we can further explore areas as we wish…
From the bus we first saw the Boston Skyline:
And then the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge:
This is a cable-stayed bridge, not a suspension bridge. The difference is that a cable-stayed bridge has one or more towers, from which cables directly support the bridge deck. A distinctive feature are the cables which run directly from the tower to the deck, normally forming a fan-like pattern or a series of parallel lines. This is in contrast to the modern suspension bridge, where the cables supporting the deck are suspended vertically from the main cable, anchored at both ends of the bridge and running between the towers. The cable-stayed bridge is optimal for spans longer than cantilever bridges and shorter than suspension bridges.
The lead designers were Theodore Zoli (from HNTB) and W. Denney Pate (from FIGG). It has a striking, graceful appearance that is meant to echo the tower of the Bunker Hill Monument (more on this tomorrow), which is within view of the bridge, and the white cables evoke imagery of the rigging of the USS Constitution, docked nearby (more on this tomorrow).
The bus dropped us off at the waterfront; we boarded the trolley for a 90 minute tour of the historic and civic landmarks of Boston. We were dropped back at the waterfront, leaving us the rest of the day to focus on our own interests.
Boston has nicely marked its sidewalks with a red stripe as a path they call the “Freedom Trail”. So after our trolley tour we walked the trail and saw many famous sights, most related to the War for Independence.
You will recall the Longfellow poem I quoted when we visited Concord and Lexington:
Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
It goes on to say:
He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry-arch
Of the North-Church-tower, as a signal-light,
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country-folk to be up and to arm.”
So we went to see the Old North Church:
And Paul Revere’s house:
Along the way we saw the location of Cheers bar; Exterior photos of this place were used in the TV show, although the bar inside is nothing like the TV set. The owner has recreated the TV set in another Cheers bar location near the waterfront…
We saw the Charles River; a little regatta or sailing lessons are going on today:
Fenway Park; they play baseball here:
We really wanted to see Trinity Church, located in Copley Square; we walked and walked and when we finally got there we saw that it was closed on Mondays. Who ever heard of a church being closed on Mondays? What’s next? Closing the Stockbridge dump on Thanksgiving?
We did get in a nice lunch at La Famiglia Giorgio’s. And lots of walking. The bus took us back to the Villa and we slept soundly that night… a good thing, because we come back tomorrow!