Jun 13, 2006
Jun 12, 2007
. The acoustics are also very strange as it has a whispering gallery effect and you can hear people who are the same distance from the centre as you are as though they are next to you. The other attractions in the library were the Hall of Ideas, which again was a lovely space but it was more the Hall of Sound Bites. There were two Archways showing changing quotes on themes and a really cool fountain which was lit to show "ideas" (i.e sound bites) drifting along with the current. There were a couple of other exhibits which were a bit too on the spiritual side for our liking! The other bonus of this place is the unlimited free internet access and available PCs (as opposed to 15 minute slots and queues at the main library). We wandered over the river to MIT and Harvard after the Mapparium which aren't actually in Boston but Cambridge - odd. We had a nice but long walk round the area gratefully broken up by a Mocha Frappacino (it is really hot and humid here).
Went on a tour of some of the major sights on our last day - what a disaster! First we went to see the site of the Boston tea party and the ship - but there was just nothing there but an old building with signs to say that a museum was coming. We then went up to Bunker Hill to see the site of the first major battle between the English and soon to become Americans but it was closed for restorations. In the end we just went to see the USS Constitution, which is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world and was launched in 1797, so it is all nice ropes and sails (technical terms I know)
. There were a few other ships hanging around which we had a quick look at but it was so hot and so humid that I was just flagging and didn't really take in any details!
Can't upload the photos I'm afraid so you will have to wait a while for them!
Dean: The Cheers Bar was excellent - I've always wanted to go there and have a pint! As Alex has said, the inside layout is different from the TV show but the outside is the same as what you see on the TV intro/credits. They have recreated the inside layout in another bar in town, but we decided to give this one a miss, as I was more interested in the original place. Now if I can just find "Central Perk" in New York and the "Southfork Ranch" in Dallas!
Alex: 1st of the many US east coast cities we are going to be visiting in the next few weeks. It's all very historic - old buildings, battle sites etc. We had a wander along the freedom trail through downtown Boston but I was a bit too hungry to take much of it in (Dean hadn't fed me for over 12 hours - bad idea)! We finished the day off with a beer in the original Cheers bar much to Dean's delight (they also sold Magners cider which pleased him quite a bit). The outside of the bar is the same as the TV show but the inside isn't but it is the bar that they based the programme on, atmosphere-wise too I think. We also visited the Mapparium, which is in the Christian Science library but was fascinating. It is a giant stain glass globe that you ca walk into and so view the world theoretically from the inside - I say theoretically as they have inverted everything so it looks as you would expect it. It is really beautiful and especially interesting as it was built in 1935 so has all the boundaries from that period - notably Africa and USSR are radically different now