From Boston, to Plymouth Rock and Falmouth, Cape Cod

After completing our epic road trip through the mountain states and the Rockies, we flew to Boston to spend the weekend with family there. Had a most excellent time catching up, enjoying the children and some excellent food. It had been 40 years since I was in Boston and I thought the city much improved. It was just scenically and architecturally much more beautiful than I remembered. Had a really good walk around the centre, Boston Commons, the city food market and the downtown area.
We also enjoyed a trip out to Cape Ann for apple picking at a large pyo orchard. That was fun, especially with the autumn season underway. The trees aren’t quite in their full glory yet here but enough are on the turn to make it really beautiful. Redder than the autumn leaves in the mountains which were yellow/gold aspens. Autumn here is more of a red/orange/maple affair.

This morning we headed off on our short road trip south towards New York. Picked up our car from Hertz office in the Sheraton hotel, just off I93. It was a painless pickup. This time we have a Chevrolet Malibu, a bit bigger than the one we had in Colorado. And newer. The luggage all went in.
Headed east on 93 and then took route 3 to Plymouth. To see the Rock of course. What a picturesque little place Plymouth is! The epitome of New England. Lots of clapperboard houses, the blue sea and small boats…. lots of tree lined streets. White clapperboard churches with pointy steeples. If you’re my age you remember a tv series called Peyton Place?! And this whole area is IT.
We parked up near the waterfront and went into a bakery for a brunch. The owner told us that they have just opened a sister bakery in Honiton, Devon! His food was delicious. I had several samples as well as eggs and cheddar cheese on sourdough bread.

Suitably sustained we went to see the Rock. It is preserved under a monumental pavilion at the water’s edge. The rock is engraved 1620 and supposedly marks the site where the Mayflower pilgrims landed in that year. Interesting to see, but not staggering….

We then headed south down Route 3 towards Cape Cod. We crossed the Sagamore Bridge onto the Cape at Sandwich and then began a circular tour of the cape, made the more interesting (to us) by the many haphazard English towns we proceeded to pass through as we drove along route 6A, The Old King’s Highway: Sandwich; Barnstaple; Yarmouth, East Ham and to the 3 Sisters’ Lighthouses.

Really, Cape Cod is almost indecently scenic, particularly along 6A which passes through historic district after historic district, punctuated by small sea inlets interspersed with lovely woods. I doubt we saw an ugly house or building in the whole length of the road. The drive just induces a serious case of house envy. Just idyllic.

Our stop at the lighthouse beach which is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore was interesting. The beach there is long and quite narrow today – the tide was in! We looked down from the dunes where we had parked and there were a few big signs up warning that the beach was home to seals which in turn were prey to great white sharks. You entered the water at your own risk and apparently people had been killed and injured here. Well…. we looked out and indeed spotted seals in the water and 2 big fins…. so… that put an end to any idea of a paddle in the sunshine. The water wasn’t very clear either – a rolling surf, where you saw large black shapes in the rise of the waves….

We turned back at this point and headed south and west around the bottom of the cape, taking Route 28 to Chatham which was very pretty. One of the main churches there had set up a pumpkin patch in its grounds. Literally hundreds of pumpkins. I was unsure of what the idea was here. Seemed a bit odd having pagan symbols in a Christian centre… but I’m sure it was for some charitable cause. Looked lovely anyway. From Chatham we passed through Harwich; Yarmouth and on to Barnstaple before arriving in Falmouth, our base for the night. Another pretty port town with lovely beaches and deep inlets. It is a lot like South Cornwall in parts, especially around this southern part of the cape. It reminds me of Falmouth in Cornwall and the Mawnan Smith area approaching the Lizard. I expect it reminded the settlers too!

Very impressed with Massachusetts. A lovely place where you can feel the history and a bit of antiquity. It’s not “close your eyes and you could be in England” but it has resemblances: roundabouts, narrow, winding roads…. lots of churches…. oak trees… buildings more than 100 years old. We like it!

Tonight we ate out in Falmouth in a local seafood restaurant called The Quarterdeck. It had been recommended to us. Lovely old fashioned place, full of local people as well as visitors. It felt like we were below deck on an old ship. I started with 3 boiled lobster claws with clarified butter. Gave one to Bob. He had his absolute favourite: New England Clam Chowder which was amazing. Then we had salads (included). Then we both had the special platter of broiled seafood. Each got: 1/2 lobster, a stuffed king prawn, 6 scallops, a piece of scrod plus chips and…. clarified butter. Utterly yum. Full after that…. then back to the Red Horse Inn and turned in….