Our first destination in Massachusetts was the Winsor Dam, a long enough detour towards the center of the state and away from Interstate 91 which we were taking to get to Vermont. However, it is at times an interesting and rewarding experience to glimpse at the country life far from the major urban hubs. This other perspective complements the otherwise incomplete picture of the area. Furthermore, in certain cases what might be seen in and out of the city are in total dissonance with each other.
In contrast to the busy East of Massachusetts, Winsor Dam was a marvelous discovery of natural beauty and tranquility. Miles of marvelous scenery are laid out along the banks of the Quabbin Reservoir. We were very surprised to see but a few people, especially so considering plenty of parking spots and no admittance charge.
Other than being a host city for the supposedly charming Smith college, nothing could I find online that would inevitably make us stop in Northampton. But the looks of the old campus and convenient location of the place, just minutes off Interstate 91, seemed like enough reasons to hang out there for an hour or two.
Monday evening, at least a week before the fall classes begin, much to our amazement we discovered that most campus buildings were unlocked; so, we worked our way in and were warmly greeted by the wide wooden stairs, decorative chimney-furnished classrooms, and high-ceiling corridors with paintings on the walls. Such amazing interiors! Yet not a soul was to be found inside.
While our son was whirling around at his own joy, I ran to the farther nooks of the campus and took a few more shots.
We were crossing Massachusetts again on the way back from the far North corner of the country. Our major goal was Boston, but I figured that it would be unwise to ignore the rest of the Massachusetts coast, which is how Salem came into picture.
Salem is known for the witch trials of the late 17th century. Most of Salem’s attractions are linked with the witch practices and various black magic attributes, as well as the notorious Gallows Hill—the historic site where several executions have occurred. Other than the “dark-side glamour,” Salem has little exciting to offer in the aesthetic sense. It is still a neat place, though.
It must a bless to host two world’s arguably most prestigious schools—one technical and one non-technical—in the same city. Better yet, all of it is only minutes away from the downtown Boston, which is a marvel in itself. I am talking about Harvard and MIT, of course, which are both located in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The town happened to be a lot bigger than I had imagined, and wandering on the streets was as enjoyable as checking out the campuses of the two scholarly smithies.
Ah, Boston. All I will say at this time is that Boston is fantastic. In fact, it is so fantastic that I have decided to post all fifty or so pictures of Boston in a separate post. So, please do read about it to have a better idea of Massachusetts.
Unfortunately, we were running short on time and were not able to see Provincetown and witness the beauty of Cape Cod. After all, it would have been a rather long drift to the East before we could arrive in Providence, Rhode Island, where we were headed. Thereby, Plymouth became our mandatory “good-bye” stop in Massachusetts.
Despite all its renown, we discovered Plymouth to be just another shore resort with tons of shops, restaurants, and tourists not necessarily looking for most creative ways to spend their cash. In historical sense, however, Plymouth should absolutely not be underestimated as it was the original site of Mayflower’s moorage. And because those English outcasts, commonly known as Pilgrims, did not bother going on pilgrimage elsewhere in the years to come, their settlement rapidly grew in size and population. Ever since 1620 America has remained (pretty much to this day) a magnet for the fortune-seekers and daydreamers.
The Mayflower replica, unpredictably named Mayflower II, was the final piece of Massachusetts we caught on camera before hurrying back to our and leaving for a hotel somewhere in Rhode Island where we were to spend the night.
Below is the route of our travels through Massachusetts: