Boston 23 Aug – Brand USA

After breakfast in the Mandarin which was $7 for coffee, $12 for two sausages or $35 for the buffet. It was good though. We navigated our way through the Copley Plaza Mall to take a Duck Tour around Boston.

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I wasn’t sure about this choice to be honest because of the recent disaster in Missouri but the ceiling of the vehicle was loaded with life jackets which we weren’t required to wear. Impressions were that the commentary was self indulgent and more of the city could have been highlighted to the assembled audience. The water portion was along the Lechmere Canal into the Charles River along side the Science Museum and under the Longfellow Bridge or Salt and Pepper shakers as it is locally referred to. The tour lasted just under an hour and using our trusted Charlie Cards dived underground to exit at the Government Center.

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Our destination was Boston Public Market for an early lunch. This was a delight because it was clean and well laid out. We had a $20 gift card to use between two of us. To be honest it was expensive in there and I picked up a pretzel and a donut…not the healthiest I admit.

Right next door the Boston Holocaust Memorial stands opposite the ugly concrete City Hall. Each tall glass monument has the numbers of each of the victims and each one represents a different concentration camp. Very sombre and obviously moving exhibit in Boston.

Our second to last tour started from Feneuil Hall Visitors booth. This was a historical walking tour resplendent with a costumed actor in his historical role. It was really insightful and everything was explained with a theatrical flair. He never broke character once and was obviously a history buff.

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We did get some free time afterwards I headed underground back to the mall with one member of the team. The weather was glorious and not at all humid so we sat outside enjoying a cold drink before meeting up to do our last tour.

We were in Copley Square at the steps of the Public Library which dominates the western side of the square. I admit to not being an art or architecture fan and although this building is magnificent it is very similar to the Natural History Museum in London. The reading room was used in Good Will Hunting as a mock up for Harvard apparently. The really, really exciting thing for me was the sudden appearance of one Michael Dukakis, former Governor of Massachusetts and Presidential Nominee, who ran against George H Bush in the 1988 election.

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It was obvious he was used to meeting total strangers but made them feel like you knew him. He was just visiting with his wife and they were personal friends of the tour guide.

And then it was time to return to the Mandarin Oriental to get our luxury coach out to Logan and experience Premium Class on Norwegian back to Gatwick.

It had been a great trip and of the two Boston nailed it and I feel like I know the city really well now.

Thank you to Brand USA, Greater Boston Visitors Convention and Visitors Bureau, Norwegian Airlines,  Urban AdvenTours- Boston, Four Seasons Boston, Mandarin Oriental Boston, Arlo Hotel – Soho….and my travelling companions.