Finding Freedom in Boston

statehouseMy first full day in Boston was spent on the Freedom Trail. As someone who enjoys history, the Freedom Trail was an absolute must for my first trip to Boston. Fortunately, the hostel was only a short walk from Boston Common and the start of the trail.

It’s easy enough to follow the trail with the painted red line through the park and the red brick line in the sidewalk. Of course, if you’re like me and wander off, you might have a difficult time rediscovering the trail (or the direction you’re heading along it). I got a little lost when I walked down one street for some food and had to backtrack to Paul Revere’s house.

Just follow the red brick sidewalk
Just follow the red brick sidewalk

Following the red brick road, I was introduced to historic churches, chapels, houses, meeting places, and houses. There was even an old print shop by Paul Revere Mall in which a man was reproducing the Boston edition of the Declaration of Independence. What they didn’t teach me in history class was that there were multiple similar editions of the Declaration of Independence that were posted all around the cities, but few of those editions survived.printer

I learned to use printing presses in grad school, but haven’t been in a print shop since then. I found the process fascinating as I’ve never seen a press like this one.

The Old State House
The Old State House

I thought everything along the Freedom Trail was part of the National Park Service, but some of the museums and churches had entrance fees. Fortunately, they weren’t expensive. And since they were all air conditioned, it was well worth the price.

Visiting Paul Revere
Visiting Paul Revere

The trail provided me with something I’ve always enjoyed: a mix of architecture. I find it fascinating to stare at historic buildings surrounded by modern structures.

Bunker Hill from the Charlestown Bridge
Bunker Hill from the Charlestown Bridge

Tour guides say the Freedom Trail is only about 2 miles, but it definitely is more than that. I mapped it out and it comes closer to 4 miles, not including time spent walking around the stops along the trail or getting lost in the weekend produce market. The weekend produce market is a worthwhile destination in its own right–I bought 6 organic plums and half a pound of rambutan for $2.

Picking up some cheap fresh fruit on a hot summer day
Picking up some cheap fresh fruit on a hot summer day

Aside from the oppressive heat and humidity, the historic walk through Boston was well worthwhile. Fortunately, I loaded with my water bottle with only ice before I set out in the morning, but that wasn’t enough to last the whole walk.

King's Chapel
King’s Chapel

Next time I’m in Boston, I hope it’s not as hot and humid for a long walk through these historic areas. I was too tired to even bother to stop in any of the historic taverns for a drink. By the end, I just wanted to finish the trail and find a subway station that would lead me back to the hostel.

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