Boston’s Freedom Trail – Part 2

Information on the Freedom Trail states that the 2.5 mile trail takes about two hours to complete.  I guess that’s true if speed walking, coupled with very brief stops is involved.  My family walked at a fairly brisk pace, but we stopped on many occasions, going inside buildings, reading information and chatting with locals.  Because of this, we spent most of the day exploring the Freedom Trail.

Perhaps that’s why, after discussing the highlights of the day, we were unable to limit our Freedom Trail favorites to just five.  So, I am compelled to write about an additional list of five.

  1.  Bunker Hill Monument.  This magnificent memorial commemorates a poignant time of the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bunker Hill.  Even though the better equipped and more experienced  British Army prevailed in this battle, the victory resulted in nearly half of their men being subject to casualties (either death or injury) by the smaller, less experience Colonial Army.  The might of the colonists was due to the capable leadership of men such as Colonel William Prescott, Colonel John Stark and General Israel Putnam, who had fought along with the British during the French and Indian War, and subsequently used this experience during the Revolutionary War.  This leadership ultimately led the colonists to victory over the British, and thus the freedom they so desired.

    Visitors are invited to climb to the top of the 221 foot granite obelisk, built in 1842,  when the temperatures and heat indices do not exceed 100 degrees.  Unfortunately, on the day we visited, the heat index had hit 100 about an hour before our arrival. However, the exhibit and the nearby museum were very interesting and informative.


  2. The Holocaust Memorial.  This memorial, the vision of Stephan Ross, a Holocaust survivor, is an amazing series of six glass towers that visitors walk through.  Each of the six towers represent one of the six main death camps..  Etched on them are the identification number of 2,280,960 victims of this horrific massacre.  The towers stand tall and stately, the shadows of the numbers fall on each person as he passes through them.  Along the pathway are inscribed brief facts about the Holocaust and quotes from survivors.  Although it recalls a terrible time in history, there was a feeling of peace and tranquility that surrounded this area, in spite of the fact that it’s located in a very busy part of the city.bost2
  3. The Printing Office of Edes and Gill.  This small store had an operating printing press from the 1700’s.  The free demonstrations were both interesting and informative.  One of the most fascinating things we learned was that children as young as nine became apprentices, remaining as such for more than ten years.  I left there with a tremendous amount of respect for Ben Franklin and all those who followed in his footsteps.bost3
  4. The historical among the modern.  The most impressive things about the city of Boston is the exhaustive effort officials have taken to preserve history.  On every street, modern skyscrapers towering over 200 year old buildings can be found. It certainly enhances the personality of this city.bost1
  5. A metropolitan melting pot.  As we traveled along the Freedom Trail, we were led through several unique areas that highlighted different countries, such as Ireland, England, Italy, and China.  Ethic restaurants, bakeries and shops line the brick paved streets, their fragrant smells wafting from their opened doors.  What’s most enjoyable however,are the people, their conversations, mannerisms and customs.  It’s really interesting to read about different cultures, but, for me, it’s always much more appealing to actually see them!bost5
    There is one notable attraction on the Freedom Trail that we were unable to get to:  The USS Constitution. I have had the pleasure of exploring this magnificent ship in the past, however, it is currently under renovation and visiting hours have been cut drastically (Tuesday – Friday | 2:30 – 6:00, Saturday – Sunday | 10:00 – 6:00, Closed Mondays).  The renovation will continue until 2017.

    Boston is known as a walking city, its streets catering to pedestrian traffic.  In my mind, that’s a great attribute.  When a visitor is able to walk safely through parts of a new city, taking in all the sights, sounds, smells, etc., he gets a more personal feel for it.  That, to me, is one of the reasons that many, including myself, become very fond of this great city!


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