All week we had remained uncertain whether we should go to Delaware on Saturday, and whether we should stay the night there. Our final decision to go, and to come back the same day, proved to be a wise one, given the size of the state and quite countable number of attractions. This was probably one of our most spontaneous departures, maybe only yielding to our crazy-drunk trip to Washington, D.C.
We have more to show than to say about Delaware, hence this post is graphic but not too wordy. Since we visited two beautiful gardens on the way—of which one was in Pennsylvania—it would perhaps be more appropriate to share those pictures in a separate post; but then I would have nothing to say at all. To cut a short story shorter, enjoy.
Because a bunch or even most of beautiful places in Delaware have an admission fee, it would have been unfair for us to be too stingy and pass them by. The first place I really wanted to visit was Winterthur; it boasts a number of wonderful sights, including the famous du Pont gardens and museum. Opportunely, a special admission rate was available for visiting Wintherthur as well as Longwood Gardens, a spot I really had wanted to see on our trip across Pennsylvania. A better deal could only be no fee at all, but that is uncommon for places of this magnitude. By first stopping at the Longwood Gardens we thereby settled another travel debt of ours.
I shall stop my narration at this point and let you enjoy the wonderful trees and flowers in their lazy mid-Spring bloom.
According to the weather forecast, the sun was running late and was only to be seen in the afternoon. A bit vexed with the lighting conditions imposed over the still ascending—and thus incomplete—bloom of the surrounding flora, we nonetheless enjoyed the sparsity of visitors at that time of day.
Confused by the name, we deliberately skipped the conservatory located across the main fountains. Our mistake was to immediately rule out the possibility of anything other than a music conservatory once we identified the building on the map. Well, our bad :)
What a gorgeous sight! I exhort anyone, with a dab of loose cash and an hour or two to spare, to visit the Longwood Gardens.
I will repeat that a huge advantage of the North is the closeness of numerous attractions. We did not realize that it would only take us ten or so minutes to arrive at the Winterthur Gardens. In fact, the first five or six destinations in this trip were less than fifteen minutes apart from one another.
To be honest, the Longwood Gardens seemed much prettier and better taken care of. But I guess it is the photographer’s job to find a good shot, so I will not be too tough on the gardeners.
As seen from the pictures, there are quite a few building on the site. Apart from the library and museum, there is a gallery that, at the time of our stop, had an exhibition of extravagant soup tureens, apparently from one or more rare collections. Not that I am esthetically numb or unappreciative of art, but looking at something behind a thickness of glass that a regular ceramic bowl can be much better suited for, was just beyond my interest. Especially that the wonders we came for were all around us.
Proud of our brief unity with nature, we went on with our botanic tour to the city parks of Wilmington. Actually, we wanted to check out the Nemours Mansion, yet failed to find the address obtained online. This is what we found instead:
The part of Wilmington that shelters the waters of the Christina river is full of pleasant and peaceful neighborhoods:
We traveled to the Riverfront section of town next, hoping to find something as picturesque as all of our previous encounters, but… the rest of Wilmington was not nearly as scenic. Therefore, we took no more photos of Wilmington—to simply leave things on a happy note and imprint a positive picture in our memory.
To our utter amazement, Dover was one of the first state capitals in the United States, since Delaware was, in fact, the first state. This was interesting because we had never heard of this place before. Nevertheless, the city itself was not a popular Web search hit for Delaware attractions, and I became more interested in the local Air Mobility Command Museum, which was open and free.
A small river port, Lewes could not possibly be a big tourist magnet. So, to soothe our minds a little, we took a small detour to the Nassau Valley Vineyards, hoping to do some sight-seeing and wine-sampling at once.
About the only other inviting place that Lewes had was its wharf. Regardless of size, there is always a good chance of taking decent pictures at a wharf. Besides, there is something natural and manly at such places, almost worthy of Hemingway’s portrayal.
A well-known ocean resort, Rehoboth Beach was a very active place even on that cold cloudy Saturday at least a month before the more crowded summer season. In terms of beauty, Rehoboth Beach is surely far from the top of the list, but it does possess a certain amount of the coastal charm.
Sad looked the boardwalk that day against the busy Rehoboth Avenue:
Bethany Beach, as followed from several online reviews, was a calmer alternative to Rehoboth Beach. With way fewer attractions, this site could be perfect for an older vacationer, but certainly not for agile travelers that we are.
Going as far as the time permitted, we made our last Delaware stop at the Southern-most tip of the state, Fenwick Island. Actually, we did not expect to find any phenomenal sights; the thing that attracted most of our attention was the island’s lighthouse.
Ready to turn back and hurry back home, we spotted a neat feature of this otherwise vacuous place. The town-planning was very considerate of home owners who do not live by the beach, but would still wish to have their private access to water. So, long water canals had been built to connect the fortunate residents with the oceanic basin.
As usual, below is the map of our travels (Delaware is highlighted):