The bus to Boston (Massachusets!) got in about 40 minutes ahead of schedule at 6am. Sleep turned out to be a bit difficult on this journey, especially as we all had to get off (and take all our bags off) to go through US immigration a couple of hours after we set out. As such we were duly wrecked on arrival in Boston, and spent an hour lying on benches in the station to try and get a bit of extra sleep! I was anticipating sticking our bags in lockers at the greyhound terminal, but as chance would have it there was not a single locker in the bus station, or in the train station next door. I can only assume that they’re worried about someone leaving a bomb in there… Though this didn’t dissuade the Montreal station. Anyway, to cut to the chase we managed to eventually stow our bags in the greyhound package depot thing for a nominal fee, but had to wait until 7.30am for that to open.
Once the bags were out of the way we were free to go off and explore. There was some kind of race going on around the part of town next to the water, even at that time in the morning! They must be crazy.
First mission was to find breakfast which turned out to be french toast and sausage (they weren’t kidding with the singular sausage – it was possibly the most pathetic sausage I’ve ever seen), which we had to walk miles to find as we had no map :D
wandered around what seemed to be the Little Italy kind of area and sat on some benches watching planes come in to land over the Atlantic. Very pleasant. Was also a shock to see the Atlantic ocean again and know that the body of water was connected to England after looking out on the Pacific for so long. It often surprised me to think that, looking out over the sea in Vancouver, I was staring off into the opposite side of the world. A place which for me lies totally uncharted :)
Once we’d tracked down a map navigation became a little easier and we set off on the same route that the trolley tour takes you (the actual tour costs around $30, so we thought we’d do it the cheap way by walking). Didn’t quite make it over to bunker hill to see the monument there as it looked like a trip within itself to get there, and due to our time constraints I settled for taking a picture from miles away on full zoom! Continued walking past the stadium where the Celtics and the Bruins play, but it was mostly closed up inside. Wanted to go inside the sport store there with all the jerseys, but was denied!
The part of Boston near the stadium looks like you would imagine from movies and such like – quite old buildings with leafy park and old Irish kind of looking bars! Actually a lot of the town looks quite English – a certain district where there were most of the historical buildings looks very much like a nice suburb in London. There was plenty to see around the town, and while we were cutting it pretty fine with most places we went to in terms of fitting everything in, with Boston we didn’t have a hope in hell of getting around everywhere in a day!
The town as a whole was very beautiful and I can see why my friend Phil was insistent on my visiting; originally I was going to go straight from Montreal to New York. Briefly though we went to see the bar which inspired Cheers, the park next to the canal, the church on the town square next to the library, some great big shopping mall with lots of boutiques, fashionistas and expensive hotels, chinatown, the boats from the Boston tea party (which unfortunately were closed due to renovation), one of the universities (although not one of the famous ones) and a little of the shopping district. It would help if I dug out the map to find some names, but am being lazy right now!
By 4pm though we were absolutely beat, so decided to head back and catch the bus to Newwwwwwww York City. I didn’t want to leave it to late as I had to get to Phil’s apartment after arriving, so we set off on the 4 and a half hour journey at 5pm…