A Travellerspoint blog

Boston and New York City

American History

Niagra looked so beautiful the morning we left with all the lights from the city on and the twilight sky.

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Going into Boston I didn't really know what to expect so I knew I'd be a bit surprised by the city no matter what. It was much smaller than I expected. I don't appreciate that Sydney is a big city so I always expect the bigger cities to be larger than Sydney. It was also much uglier than I thought it would be. It was hard not to compare it to Quebec even though I didn't expect it to be nearly as beautiful. Some areas were prettier and had a nice buzz as Boston is dominated by students as it houses MIT, Harvard and other less known institutions whose names I don't remember.

What Boston did not disappoint on was it's fascinating history.

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We walked the Freedom Trail a self-guided tour that takes you through the events leading up to the revolution. You just follow the red bricks.

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Boston at night is much more attractive than during the day mostly due to the gas street lights which are never turned off - not even during the day.

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The next day we went to both the Adams houses. John Adams was the second President of America and his son John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of America.

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John Adams was very interesting. He had been raised thinking he would be a minister but then realised he didn't have the temprement for it so dedicated his life to the revolution. Originally it was Adams who was to write the declaration of independance but he passed the task to Jefferson as he believed he was a better writer. Decades later he lamented that Washington and Jefferson would be the ones to be remembered and he would be forgotten.

John Quincy Adams was groomed to be a politician by his father from birth but wasn't popular during his presidency. I think he was more of a intellectual - he spoke 8 languages fluently and could read and write in 4 others.

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The next day we caught the train to New York City. I loved New York. I will be very suprised if I don't live there for a year or two (or somewhere close by) in the next 15 years.

The first afternoon we were there we went to the MET. I could spend a week in that place. Here are a few pictures I liked.

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Mum flew in that evening and the next day we walked the whole of Grand Central Park. New York is dirty and busy but they know how to do parks. Below is 'Strawberry Fields' memorial.

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Church on Sunday night was very enjoyable. We went to Reedemer Church and heard Keller preach on 1 Peter 2.

Mum and I did 'Rock at the Top' which sounds much more exciting than it is. All you do is go to the top of the building, it does have great views.

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Going to Ground Zero the next day was one of my favourite things of the whole trip. I was suprised at how emotional I got. They're rebuilding in the area and the memorials and temporary musuem are great.

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We walked around Wall Street which had quite tight security and then went to MOMA. MOMA was so so good. I don't care if you can't stand art go to MOMA.

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The next day was the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. I enjoyed the Statue of Liberty much more than I thought I would because the history of it was much more interesting that I thought it was. I didn't like Ellis Island very much. I might have just been tired or something. We went to the musical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying staring Daniel Radcliffe and it was so good. I must have looked a fool grinning the whole time.

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On the ferry back to NY main land.

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All in all New York was very exhausting. I was waking around 6 and not returning to the hotel until quite late so I was looking forward to the slower pace of Philadelphia and Washington.

Posted by SusannahBinsted 14:11 Archived in Eritrea Comments (0)

Montreal & Quebec

French Canada

I am currently in Niagra Falls (Canada side) at the Sheraton Hotel which has free internet and computers with USB ports which is handy so I'm able to upload pictures from the last couple of days and write more with a proper keyboard.

It was quite a long trip from Sydney to LAX then to Montreal. Being the happy travellor I am I managed to sleep for most of it. For the first 2 hours of the first flight I had a chronic toothache caused by air pressure but we hit some decent turbulence and it neutralized which was dandy.

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Montreal

We stayed at the queen elizabeth hotel in Montreal. There's around 3 million people in Montreal and most of them are bilingual. You can tell those that have learnt English from a young age because they have the Canadian accent when they speak english. There are around about 9 million French Canadians and Montreal is the most densely populated area of them. In the morning we went for a 3 hour bike ride around all the different parts of Montreal. It's a bit like Sydney in the sense that it's quite multicultural with the Latin area, china town, little Italy and more. I loooved bike riding and was less of a liability than I thought I would be. Although I almost got cleared by a bus so this Californian guy Juan spent the rest of the ride behind me to prevent Susie road kill. in the afternoon we did a walking tour of old Montreal which was so-so. Lots of films are shot in Montreal and we saw them shoot a scene from the movie crisis point. I had my first bagel and something tells me it will not be my last bagel.

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Later that afternoon we caught the train to Quebec city and arrived at our gorgeous hotel the Fairmount Le Chateau Frontenac.

Sunset during the train ride
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Hotel on left
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Enjoying the view from the hotel window
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The next morning we did a 2 hour bike ride which I really enjoyed (even though I came off the bike twice). Then we caught the ferry to levis where we saw the spider lady of levis - named by dad because she had a spider on her scarf. Quebec city is beautiful and very European. My 'bon jours', 'je ne pas francias' and 'mercis' are getting a great work out. Today we did a tour around the country side and learnt a bit about the history of the colonization of Canada which was facinating because I knew absolutely nothing about it. In both Montreal and Quebec whenever there's a french or British monument theres always a monument from the opposite country nearby - very diplomatic. There's a great example of if with the statues of both general Montcalm and general Wolf who where the French and English generals who died in 1759 in the battle of the plains of Abraham, the most famous battle that happened in Quebec.

A statue of either Wolf or Montcalm (can't remember which) and the Chateau in the background.

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Most of the people identify much more strongly with Quebec than Canada as a whole. I don't think they've really gotten over the English defeating them in 1760 when the british reinforcements made it to Quebec before any french reinforcements.

Dad has enjoyed asking me if I know what something is in French then when I reply 'no' he tells me what it is. He did french for three years at school and excitedly mentions whatever word he remembers. To the credit of my schooling and growing up on Sydneys North Shore I've been asked a few times if I'm british.

A view of Quebec from above
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Papa and I on our bikes. I took my cardigan off and tied it around my waist only I didn't do a very good job because when we finished the ride it was no longer in my possession.
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My favourite time of day is dusk. The streets look so beautiful they remind me of Leonid Afremov (I think that's his name) style paintings. I've felt inspired and look forward to painting the city upon my return. I've loved going into all the local galleries and seeing their depictions of the town.

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I had the same problem with my tooth/teeth/gums in the plane this morning. The pressure got worse and worse until I was sitting with my head in my hands sobbing. I had a random next to me. Poor woman. I had nothing to distract me so I tried counting then that wasn't distracting enough so I tried to remember all the Spanish words I could until I just kept repeating 'me duele, me duele' which is Spanish for 'I have pain...' only I couldn't remember the word for tooth or mouth so I settled for head. As soon as the plane started to decend the pain stopped. I hope it isn't that bad on other flights but if it is there's not that much I can do about it. I'm going to go to the dentist when I get back to Australia to see if they can do something about it.

Today Niagra falls was beautiful - well worth the pain from this morning.

Here's dad trying to keep a bit dry. I don't think he enjoyed the falls as much as I did as he has been to Igazu which are the best falls in the world.
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Here I am being a happy chappy.
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This is the 'American falls' part of Niagra falls
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On the right is 'The Horseshoe' part of the falls. It was really cool when the boat went right into the 'U' section. This photo was taken from the window of our hotel. We've had pretty good views.
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We got completely soaked and dad and I had to be creative to help his jacket dry faster. House keeping will be weirded out.

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It just started raining here (luckily it held off for most of the day) I think Dad and I will wonder around and grab a bite to eat before having an early evening of reading in bed. I'm about a quarter of the way through A.B. Faceys 'A Fortunate Life' and I'm enjoying it more and more with each chapter. At first I found it annoying that the chapters were so small because I felt like I'd just start one then it would be over but it's nice that you get a snapshot of each time of his life and none is given more weight than the others. We fly to Boston tomorrow. I don't have much of an idea as to what is there. I believe we're seeing some gardens (it wouldn't be a Paul Binsted holiday if gardens weren't involved) and it will be interesting to see where the tea party was held. Thats the extent of my knowledge of Boston apart from what I learnt about it when I was learning about Quebec. Dad put it this way, Boston was to New English what Quebec was to New France. I might look up Boston on Lonely Planet now.

Posted by SusannahBinsted 18:10 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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