New England – Plymouth, where it all began almost 400 years ago

My road trip was nearing it’s final day and my flight wasn’t until 22.00 so I made the decision to tackle the Boston traffic head on. I set my trusty Tom Tom for Plymouth Rock from Seabrook a distance of about 80 miles. As I approached the half way line there was Boston in front of me and toll roads at almost every turn.

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I 93 South in Boston

I approached the Charlestown Bridge the skyscrapers were dominating the horizon. When I looked down I saw class of youngsters visiting the Boston Tea Party exhibit below. There was a chain fence obscuring a great view and the opportunity of a blurred photograph. The road entered a tunnel and then it emerged by the Old Harbor of Boston. There were signs for the JFK Library but that will have to wait for another visit.

The traffic thinned as I entered the second half of the route but it was the Northbound carriage of the I93 that got my attention. It was at a standstill and I thought that I would have to consider this on my timing to get to Logan Airport. I saw signs on the Southbound breakdown lane that it was permissible to use this lane between 15.00 and 19.00 every day so that was some indication of what the traffic is like everyday.

Eventually I arrived at the shore and the beautiful town of Plymouth. I parked on the front and used a meter that helpfully took a credit card.

The bay was still and small boats bobbed up and down with the lazy ripples. I walked to the Plymouth Rock monument which was located at the end of a small inlet.

The Mayflower II is away in Connecticut for restoration and will be back in place by 2020 which will be the 400th anniversary of the landing at Plymouth Rock. I learnt that the absolute truth isn’t known and that there are many different stories about the landing at Plymouth Rock. Indeed the rock kept under the guardianship of the monument isn’t the original as souvenir hunters kept chipping bits away.

For such a small town the visitor numbers are in their millions to see where it all began. I climbed the steps up the hill and looked over the monument and the bay and suddenly I felt quite emotional and kept thinking….so this is where it all began!

After sitting for a while I wandered into the town and saw the most New England of buildings and churches. It was lined with coffee shops, museums, boutiques and souvenir stores.

One place made me laugh out loud, it was a photo shop called ‘Pilgrins’…very clever. Most of the houses on the roads leading to the shore edge were decorated with Americana for Memorial Day and this added to the wonderful ambiance of the town.

Heading away from the rock I went to port side to see the lobster boats and where the Whale Watching excursions leave from.

So on my travels I have now seen where the Pilgrims landed, the oldest European settlement in St Augustine, FL and Jamestown in VA.

Before I left for Logan I went to do some final shopping and asked someone what time they would leave to get to the airport. It was 14.00 and her reply was leave now, nearly 8 hours ahead of my flight. I thought that was a bit pessimistic and then I remembered the traffic being gridlocked outside of Boston. The first 25 miles was perfect so I stopped to eat in Weymouth. Only a mile into the last 15 and the traffic stopped and I crawled into Boston.

Here is what Tom Tom said I had left to go 3 minutes 20. See the red line in this picture? This took 1.15 hours to complete. Unbelievable. I walked into Terminal E at 17.25 and stood waiting for Virgin Atlantic’s check in desks to open.

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