Day 4 : Onwards to Boston
Prior to waving good bye to New York we noticed an event with a number of nearby street closures; the event was known as “Summer Streets”, an annual event where residents can partake in running and cycling giving a different perspective of New York without the traffic – it was far too hot/humid for us to join in though! Anyhow we had other plans with a train to catch shortly so we head down to the train station where we took the 4 – 5 hour journey northwards to Boston. The station was our first real experience of the diversity of people in New York with a number of people coming begging for dollars. I must admit the train service is spectacular boasting free WiFi, reclining seats, and plug sockets! As expected the journey flew by with us rapidly gathering our belongings when we were surprised to find we had arrived at the station and had 2 minutes to get off! We arrived early evening and head to a beautiful hotel, which offered free cookies – what a treat! (As the holiday went on we found a lot of hotels did this :()
Day 5: Touring round Boston
Boston is an intriguing place, boasting the similar scale of roads that you see across America but with slightly older building and a much quieter feel than New York. Whilst wandering around we noticed a row of bikes (unattended), upon investigation it appeared you enter your credit card and rent a bike for 30 minute intervals with a 1 time cost of five dollars per bike (as long as you return it.) This gave us a great way to see a large proportion of Boston:
- At Boston Common (a large park) we followed the freedom trail where there was a large lake and some nice gardens down to the waterfront giving us a beautiful view out from Boston over the water
- Further cycling lead to us bumping into an Italian saint’s day festival, with a marching band and number of people carrying a statue covered in dollar bills from street to street.
- Later a visit to beacon hill and where we explored the narrow streets these were large old style terrace houses, a rather nice area to visit but not very much to do.
By this time we were hot and tired, but it looked as though the best way back to the hotel was to cycle along the river. It was about 2.5 miles, so should be achievable within our 30 minute time period, with the last docking point being a block past the hotel. A fast sprint lead us to arrive seconds before the time ran out amidst Harvard University buildings. Then Boston treated us to a rain shower and when it rains it really rains, so by the time we were back at the hotel we were quite literally drenched and decided to go for a swim before calling it a day. A packed day to say the least.
Day 6 : Visit to Harvard
Today we head on the hotel bus into Harvard University. We joined a Harvard University student lead tour; the tour group was quite large with a sophomore student (second year) leading. He cracked lots of puns during his comments around the university but overall it was a very enjoyable tour. Notable things included:
- The dormitory where Mark Zuckerburg lived during his first year at college – I didn’t manage to get a picture! A number of other famous people also were commented on like Bill Gates all of whom dropped out during their first year (apparently it has quite a high drop-out rate understandably when the tuition fee is $57,000 per year!)
- During the tour he asked us which building we thought was most expensive per sq foot (that being the key) it turned out to be a 1m sq hut ($48,000) on the gate of the university because it was on built on state land and required 300+ blue prints before it was accepted for building…
- At the end of the tour he asked us to participate in a Harvard tradition which takes place each year which involves bending down and slowly raising with your arms in the air with a chant – how exciting! ;D
We then went for lunch at a nearby cafe called “B Good” which uses all local produce, definitely recommend trying it. After which time it was very hot and we got the bus back towards the hotel and then further into Boston where we did some quick shopping at Copley Place. The shopping mall was very posh with some rather expensive shops such as Jimmy Choo and Tiffanys; I was the only one fortunate enough to get some shorts from Banana Republic during this visit! We were all very tired after a long days walking around and head back to the hotel. After getting back we each went for a quick swim to cool off and relax before going back out to Dunkin’ Doughnuts (becoming a habit) to get something to eat before calling it a night.