Boston Common is the oldest city park in the United States, founded in 1634.
The bronze Brewer Fountain is a good meeting place, and the legendary Freedom Trail starts here.
You can see the State House with its golden dome from here (the new one, because there is also an old one!) on the other side of the park.
The Massachusetts State House, or New State House, was completed in January 1798, cost $133,333 (more than five times the budget), and has been expanded several times since.
The biggest "problem" is that there is something to see on almost every corner, so it is easy to be lured in another direction.
For example, there is a statue across from the State House, where of course, there were many people. It is a bronze relief called the Robert Gould Shaw and the 54th Regiment Memorial.
Then we went back to the park and walked around a bit.
The frog pond is decorated with frog sculptures, but there was no water in it. In the winter, it's used for skating, and in the spring and fall, it would be a small pond, but now it's either dry, or we don't know what's wrong with it. And next to it is a small carousel that runs from spring to fall.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument was erected to commemorate the Massachusetts soldiers and sailors who died in the American Civil War.
From here, you can get a great view of the city!
We also visited the Boston Massacre Memorial before heading across the street to the Public Garden.
The Boston Massacre occurred on March 5, 1770, when a small group of British soldiers fired into the crowd, killing five people (British troops had been stationed in the Massachusetts Bay province since 1768 to support Crown-appointed officials and enforce unpopular parliamentary laws).
The Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in America and was established in 1837. It stands right next to the Boston Common.
It is a beautiful park with winding paths, beautiful willows and other notable trees, pretty flowers, lots of cute squirrels, and a large pond. There are also many monuments here (including an equestrian statue of George Washington that looks great against the backdrop of the Boston skyline). It is a very atmospheric place. There are exits/entrances at several points. We also had a nice walk in the neighboring streets.
Aside from the skyscrapers, the city is characterized by these tree-lined streets with red brick houses and staircases that are so typical of American movies. Ally lived in one of these houses from the series, and it was great to walk between them!
Squirrels are hopping around in the trees, so it's really atmospheric.
After looking at these typical streets, we went back to the park, where we visited more monuments.
In the meantime, we saw a lot of funny and curious squirrels. This is the most squirrels we've seen in one place so far. Everywhere you look, they are hopping around the park. They are not that shy of people; we saw several of them walking very close to people. One even jumped on the bench next to the lady and then was so cheeky that it even climbed on the lady! 😀
They are very amusing little creatures.
On the way there, we noticed the screeching of a bird of prey (eagle or hawk??) and saw it land in a nearby tree. But it didn't stay there; it flew very close to us. Two men were sitting on a bench; he flew almost directly over their heads and then perched on a tree, where he stayed for a long time.
We walked closer…
There was also a squirrel sitting on the tree trunk, and it was almost as if it was intentionally teasing the bird. We were concerned about the outcome, but the bird didn't hurt the squirrel. Also, about 15 or 20 squirrels were running around the park in the immediate vicinity, so if it wanted to attack, it could have attacked from there. Anyway, the squirrel was a fearless little animal.
We watched it happen for about 15 minutes and then moved on! Nothing happened until then. 😀
After that, we left the Public Garden again for a while.
The city is full of churches.
The next stop was the central building of the city library.
Somehow we ended up on a street lined with the most expensive brand-name stores in the world. It was a bit like Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Of all the churches, I'd single out Trinity Church, founded in 1733, because it's beautiful from the outside (we didn't go inside). It looks cool at the base of the 200 Clarendon skyscrapers (formerly John Hancock Tower) next to it.
On the other side of the square is the Public Library building. In between is a pretty little square.
The road to New York passes by the Public Library.
Founded in 1848, the Boston Public Library pioneered public library services in America. It was the first extensive free public library in the United States and the first public library to lend books. Today, the Boston Public Library has a central library and twenty-five smaller libraries.
On the facade of the Central Library is engraved the words "Free for All." The building is also magnificent inside, especially the main building. There is a typical American reading room.
And the library is very modern, equipped with desks and computers. You can also borrow CDs and movies.
There is a restaurant in the library building. Still, it was so elegant that we didn't even try to go in there… 😄 And there is a cafe (Newsfeed Café) which is interesting because it has a radio studio! We bought two cakes, a coffee, and a bottle of water because we drank practically nothing today. We left the hotel immediately and had our last drink on the plane… We really messed that up!!! The water has never tasted as good as it does now!!! By the way, the two cakes were delicious, and we didn't pay much, they cost $17! We sat here for a while - unfortunately, there was no radio recording then.
After that, we tried to explore the rest of the library. For example, we were in a map room, which was very interesting. You could play games; there were puzzles, lots of globes, and very thick geographical atlases!
And then we went into the main building, where the iconic reading room from the movies was.
After leaving the library, we went straight to the Charles River, just a few blocks away. This is the Charles River Esplanade, a small walkway where we found a playground with an adorable turtle statue.
There are several small bridges to cross, and there's another boardwalk.
People are sunbathing, chatting, or just doing yoga.
And then there's the Hatch Memorial Shell, an outdoor concert venue built in 1939-40.
We have an excellent view of the city from here as well.
There are colorful little sailboats on the river.
There is also a statue of conductor Arthur Fiedler made of aluminum plates. It is easy to see and recognize the sculpture from a distance, but up close, it looks rather abstract because of the plates.
We returned to the Public Garden via the pedestrian bridge named after him. We arrived on the other side of the park, where we discovered another landmark. This is a 9/11 memorial to Massachusetts's victims of September 11, 2001.
Since the anniversary was a few days ago, fresh, lovely-smelling flowers were laid at the memorial.
We drove through the park again, over the little bridge that runs down the middle, and then back to Boston Common because the Silver Line 5 bus stop is right in front of it.
We had to wait quite a long time for the bus, which was very crowded.
There is a store across the street from the hotel; we went there to buy water and a few odds and ends, then we finally got our room back and, of course, our bags.
We walked almost 6 hours on the first day and covered ~4.6 miles (~7.5 km).
It was a hectic day, from waking up at 4 AM to traveling and walking around all day. No sleeping pills were needed.