26 May 2009 - Sightseeing in Boston

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Tuesday was designated a Boston sightseeing day and Fiona had kindly arranged a guided tour of the city in an amphibious vehicle for those that were interested (which turned out to be nearly all of us!). So after a very pleasant breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express, we made our way down to the nearby Science Park for our eagerly awaited Duck Tour of Boston. After a short wait, our vehicle arrived and we clambered aboard. As there were so many of us, we had the entire craft to ourselves.

Our guide (or "conducktor", as they are known) for the tour was called Salty Magoo and he turned out to be a real character, constantly quacking jokes. He guided the Duck through the city traffic, pointing out the various historic sights as we went and making appropriate comments about the valiant colonists resisting the evil British tyrants! Then it was time for the watery section of the tour as the craft effortlessly drove down a ramp into the harbour and magically transformed into a boat. Once we were in a wide stretch of water, Salty rather rashly offered the driving seat to any who wanted to have a go. Pip and Alan both accepted the challenge and had an egg-celent time. I must admit that I did check that my life jacket was to hand at one stage because Alan seemed more interested in posing for photographs than watching where he was steering!

Then it was back on to dry land again with the tour dropping us off at the starting point. After getting down off the Duck, most of us then took the opportunity to dive into the Science Park for a warming drink, as, although the tour had been very enjoyable, it was rather chilly. And who could resist buying a "duck call" as a memento?

With the organised part of the day over, we each went our own way but a popular choice seemed to be the Quincy Market area of the city, mainly I suspect because of the wide choice of restaurants! A small group of us tried the Kingfish Hall restaurant, which served a traditional clam chowder which went down very well. N.B. Be aware, though, that this restaurant has subsequently had some bad reviews.

Then it was time for a look round Fanueil Hall which featured yet more "Brit-bashing", but was nonetheless fascinating. This was followed by an opportunity for some shopping.

Other popular tourist sights included the Holocaust Memorial, consisting of glass pillars, the nearby statues of James Michael Curley (one standing and one seated on a bench) and the "Make Way for Ducklings" sculpture in Boston Public Garden. One or two also followed the Freedom Trail, a self-guided tour of many of Boston's historic sights and which is indicated by a red line and route signs set into the pavement (sidewalk).

With our sightseeing all done, we finally all made our way back to the hotel to prepare for the evening stand.