We Are Sailing - Fourth Port of Call - Bar Harbour Maine

I loved Bar Harbour, I wished we could have spent more time there. It's a very pretty town, with a lovely harbour, set amidst a stunning National Park.
To be honest I had heard of the town but knew nothing about it. We did a little research before leaving home, but nothing prepared us for how attractive this area is.
Overlooking the bay.

Before we left home we had booked ourselves on a tour of the Acadia National Park, on Olies Trollies tours.
Our tour trolley
The view from Cadillac Mountain
If you ever go here we highly recommend these tours.

We were on a twenty seven mile tour of the park, including a drive to the top of Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the Eastern United States coastline.

Unfortunately the day was drizzly and misty when we first arrived. The view from the top of Cadillac Mountain was disappointing to say the least. These things can't be helped! The driver suggested not stopping but spending longer at other view points. The whole of the bus agreed.

Thunder Hole
The coastline is absolutely stunning.
It reminded me of Cornwall but with beautiful pink granite stone.
We also stopped at the lovely Jordan Pond Area, a glacier formed tarn, where there are walks, restaurants and a gift shop.
Jordan Pond.
Next Ports of Call - Sydney Cape Breton, and Halifax Nova Scotia.

We are sailing. Third port of call - Portland and Kennebunkport

Longfellow's home
Our cruise continues. We should have called at Newport, Rhode Island. Although conditions at sea were calm, the island was experiencing quite a storm. As we had to tender there it was decided (by the Captain) that we could not stop. So onto Portland and Kennebunkport.
We didn't stay long in Portland, Maine, but we visited  the home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Our main objective was to go to Kennebunkport.

I'd heard about this place and really wanted to see it. It's the quintessential New England small town - quite beautiful.

It was a lovely day and we strolled around admiring the sights and eating ice-cream.
The Bush estate
One of the sight to see here (with some difficulty!) is the Bush family estate. It is on a small peninsula with houses for thefamily and the security agents. What a place to live!

Typical house
Kennebunkport was lovely. A marina, lovely homes, quaint shops, beautiful flower displays, and full of tourists!

Just like us!

As with many of the towns preparation for Halloween was well underway.


We are sailing - part two - Boston

Boston is a beautiful city. We enjoyed our visit there. It was definitely a place we could have spent much longer. One day was far too short.  We started off our day by finding the metro and journeying out to a suburb called Brookline. This was the birthplace of President John Kennedy.
  It's a lovely spot and it didn't take us long to find the house in which he was born in 1917. Yes., he would have been 100 years old last year. It seems incredible doesn't it?
Outside the Kennedy home.

The family lived in this house for about seven years until they outgrew it. The house is FREE to enter, which was pretty amazing!  After Kennedy's assassination his mother, Rose, assembled all the furniture that used to be in the house. She then recorded the commentary you can still listen to as you tour the rooms.
Listening to Rose Kennedy.
It was fascinating to listen to the snippets of every day life - mealtimes, school, and church

As you can imagine I took dozens of photos so I'll just share a few with you!

We had a short map to follow which took us around the area they lived. We saw their second home, the school and the church. Although all of these were private so not open to the public.

Boston is a very historic place, playing a huge part in the American War of Independence.  We followed the Freedom Trail. A well marked route around the city, making it very easy for the visitor to find the main sites.

Faneuil Hall was the site of many historic meetings during the war. It is still used for concerts and public events.
Paintings of all the main protagonists are around the upstairs meeting room.

By the Hall is Quincy Market and the market place on both sides of it.
The market hall was constructed in 1824. It is now a foodie's heaven with stall of every imaginable type of food from around the world, freshly cooked.  I couldn't forget all the fabulous ice cream and chocolate kiosks - could I!

 One of the most interesting buildiings was the Old State House.
This was constructed in 1712 and the seat of Massachusetts Colonial and State Government.
It was also the site of the Boston Massacre, when British soldiers shot and killed five people. They were defended in court by the future President, John Adams.
Read about it here

On this central balcony the Declaration of Independence was read out to the waiting crowds. 
This building is one of the oldest in the United States.
 The photo shows the meeting room and looks towards the balcony.
One interesting building (now a shop) was the Old Corner Bookstore. This was the meeting place of such writers as Emerson, Dickens, Longfellow and Stowe.
Of course with more time we would have visited the Boston Tea Party Museum. There are many buildings associated with famous people such as Benjamin Franklin or Paul Revere. We didn't get chance to visit the monument to the Battle of Bunker Hill either.
I think I really have to return to Boston as some time in the future. Next stop PORTLAND.

We Are Sailing. First stop - New York.

After six thoroughly enjoyable days sailing the Atlantic ocean,  we sailed into New York. There can be no more iconic sight than sailing past the Statue of Liberty.

Against the modern skyline it appears quite small.

There was a sense of anticipation and nervousness as we waited to disembark. We had been warned that the immigration process would be tedious, especially as a Mr Trump was visiting the United Nations that weekend. It was a long winded operation but not nearly so much as for those immigrants of a hundred years ago who had to go through Ellis Island.
Main assembly hall.
Our first trip that afternoon was to catch a Liberty ferry and visit Madame Liberty and then cross to Ellis Island.  The buildings on the island are vast, incorporating not only the buildings dealing with those who had just landed. There were hospital blocks and rooms for those who had to stay there for a variety of reasons. Obviously there were kitchens and dining halls. It was a fascinating place. The museum took you through every procedure these people had to face. We could have spent hours here. I finished by going into the museum where families had donated clothes and artefacts their ancestors had brought with them. Many had brought their beautiful national costumes, musical instruments and simple things like their crockery and cutlery. If you ever go to New York, this is well worth a visit.
The next day we walked the High Line.
This is an historic freight line, elevated above Manhattan's West Side and was saved from demolition by volunteers.
It is a lovely walk, with gardens, seats and past some typical New York buildings. We walked the two miles or so before then walking on the promenade towards the 9/11 memorials.

These are every bit as moving as you would expect. We chose not to go into the museum, time was an issue and I was sure I could cope with anything harrowing. The memorials were emotional enough, especially when we realised we were walking down the streets where we had watched people fleeing for their lives covered in clouds of dust and debrit.

Everything here is beautifully done.  The white roses are left by names of those who would have been celebrating their birthdays that day. We spoke to one couple who had come in search of someone who had been on one of the planes. There is a computer there by the memorials for such a use. By typing in their name, a photo and personal details comes up and then the place where the name is, for example Tower One, plaque N72. They downloaded this information to their phone and found the name easily.
From here we took the subway to the lovely and huge Central Park.
carriages in Central Park

You could spend hours in here and easily get lost! We went looking for the Dakota Building and I soon realised if you needed directions - ask a dog walker. They knew where they were! It is a beautiful place, with huge Ice Age rocks, large lakes, sculptures and lots of different paths and walks.  No trip to New York would be complete without a walk down Broadway and into Time Square.

Time Square
It is as busy and as bustling as you could imagine. The flashing lights, advertising goods and shows send you into sensory overload.
I can only give you a taste of what we saw and whittling down a couple of hundred photos to just a few was difficult!
By the end of the second day we prepared to sail away, Everyone was out on deck gazing at the city lights. Next stop Boston.
New York by night

Meet Paul Smith

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