Chapter Three - Plymouth

Trip Start Jul 18, 2012
Trip End Jul 23, 2012

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National Monument to the Forefathers

Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Friday, July 20, 2012

Off to Plymouth today, site of the landing in 1620 of the Pilgrim Fathers from England aboard the Mayflower. It's a drive through green wooded hills and valleys crisscrossed by winding roads traversing small settlements with white New England style homes clustered around village greens.

"Slow down Ed. Look, there’s a sign pointing to the National Monument to the Forefathers. Let’s have a look!"

What a surprise to encounter the largest solid-granite monument in the United States hidden down a side street. Other than a brief visit by the Gray Line bus, we are the only visitors. This impressive structure was dedicated in 1889 to honour the first English settlers in Massachusetts.

What a surprisingly lovely little town we arrive in. The street we stroll down is lined by lovely white clapboard homes with colourful gardens. At the bottom of the street is the bay where the Mayflower II is moored. It’s an authentic reproduction of the original Mayflower. One needs a stretch of imagination to picture the pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock, an insignificant stone set in an impressive Roman style portico.

Behind, steps lead up a steep rise to more monuments. The most moving must be that of the Native American Chief Massasoit who unknowingly welcomed the settlers and helped them to survive throughout their first year. The nearby plaque “Day of Mourning” shows us that this day in 1620 was the beginning of the end for Native Americans.

Strolling through the pleasant town, we enjoy a snack at the Blue Blinds Bakery and visit the Court House Museum and Burial Hill Cemetery.

On the way home we pass by the Cape Cod Canal, and encounter a horrific traffic jam.

“What’s going on?” I ask

“It’s weekend visitors trying to get across the bridge to Cape Cod.” Ed tells me.

It holds us in its clutches for over an hour.

Historic New Bedford is a total disappointment. We have arrived rather later than planned and without specific directions. We drive disoriented through working class neighbourhoods and warehouse areas, totally missing the historical core. Surprisingly we note Portuguese signs and restaurants on all sides, but decide we need to get back to Whitinsville before it gets dark.

This evening we all enjoy dinner at Brian’s Restaurant in nearby Linwood.
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