Day 2 in this fabulous city started with a visit to the Tortoise & Hare statues in Copley Square, where the Boston Marathon ends each year. I crossed the finish line (thankfully without having to run the preceding 26.2 miles) before wandering around behind the Fox News people doing a live story about military weddings (I’ve since reviewed the footage online and I haven’t managed to spot myself, sadly).
We then dropped by Boston Public Library, which is the kind of library I would love to have at home if I had the money or the space, and an even more understanding husband than I already have. It starts with spectacular marble lion statues and sweeping staircases leading up to several vast spaces filled with books, right up to the hidden, dark sections of rare manuscripts. Then you peek out of a high window in the centre of the building and discover a hidden courtyard far below with a delicate fountain as its crowning glory. Then you tumble back out into the hustle and bustle of the city centre streets and marvel at how quiet and removed it felt to be back in that courtyard. Sigh.
From there, we took another perspective on the city as we ventured up to the Skywalk Observatory, fifty floors in the air. Even better, we were granted free admission, thank you very much. We spent an hour wandering around the observation deck, which has a 360 degree view of the city accompanied by an audio tour. Halfway round, the husband swapped to the children’s tour and declared it to be far superior. As with the views from Bunker Hill yesterday, we saw some breathtaking vistas and some great alternative angles of buildings. Well worth the price of admission!
Leaving the Skywalk, we pottered past the Four Seasons Hotel where, a couple of hours earlier, we had seen the ESPN News people making a live report (another shot for which we were loitering in the background). This time, there was a police barrier set up with a range of seemingly random sports fans eagerly awaiting someone’s exit from the building. I still have no idea who it was and I haven’t found any pointers on t’interweb either. It didn’t help that all the onlookers were wearing different sports shirts so I couldn’t even identify the sport. I certainly wasn’t going to do anything logical like ask anybody what was going on.
We spent the afternoon in Harvard, trying to look edjumacated. It doesn’t have quite the grandeur of the UK Cambridge (Harvard is situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts) but is pretty impressive all the same, being, of course, one of the oldest institutions in the country. Feeling suitably educationally improved, we returned to the North End and had a lovely meal in one of the many yummy Italian restaurants that crowd the adorable winding streets there. The geography of the city is already becoming very familiar, which always seems to be the case when you’re about to leave somewhere. Also, today I learned that Benjamin Franklin was a high school dropout, and all the ducklings statues that we saw yesterday have names. So I did get myself an edjumacation after all.