Several people questioned why Boston was on my itinerary. Well, the truth is it is so close to New York that I thought I may as well check it out. And it turned out I could actually get a better flight to Mexico from Boston than from New York so it all worked out really well.
I only had two days in Boston, but that was probably a good length of time. It’s only a small city, which is what I liked about it. On my first morning in the hostel I met a cool English chick called Jazz, so we spent the day sightseeing together.
The main thing to do is walk the Freedom Trail, which is a painted or bricked red line through the city that takes you to the sights and monuments of the historic events that led to independence from the British. You can join an organised tour or do as we did and just follow the line, choosing when and where to stop off or go into different museums or sights. Having a line to follow is great! You don’t have to think about where to go or try to get your bearings.
Boston was the first actual cold weather I experienced in my whole trip, which was pretty lucky! It did mean that I had been carrying a coat around the whole time to just wear on my last two days, but it was worth it!
The trail ended at the USS Constitution, the oldest commissioned warship in the world. No idea why it is still commissioned – I can’t imagine it being put into action!
From the Constitution you can take a ferry back over to the city which was a lovely way to see the skyline.
The North End of the Boston is really cool. It’s the Italian part, with lots of coffee shops and restaurants and cute little streets. We ended up back here for coffee and cake in the afternoon.
On my second day I visited the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, which was definitely well worth a visit. It’s the actual house of the woman after which it is named, that she personally built specifically to house all the pieces of art she collected over her travels through Europe, the Middle East and Asia in the 1800’s. She and her husband were some of the first white people to visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia!
The house itself if amazing and stuffed full of things to look at. Mrs Gardener herself specified in her will that nothing was to be changed. She had very specific ideas about how she wanted things displayed, which is interesting in itself. It’s definitely not your typical museum experience. Unfortunately no cameras are permitted.
The rest of the day I just walked. And walked and walked. As much to ward off the cold as to check out the city! Although I enjoyed my time in Boston I was very excited to get down to the heat of Mexico the very next day!
Accommodation note: Boston is an expensive city to stay in and hostels are in short supply. I stayed at the Backpackers Hostel and Pub only because there was no where else available. I wouldn’t say it was a nice place by any stretch, but there were some fun people staying there. Then there was this strange Dutch guy in my dorm who was pretty good value. My first night he warned me that he might snore, then proceeded to exclaim about the smelliness of his feet as he removed his shoes. I told him he was a terrible dorm mate and he said well, but at least he’s beautiful. Riiiiight…