New England is so beautiful, quaint and picturesque…but there is a seriously strange undercurrent. I blame the witches… It so hard to get anywhere, it is almost as if they hate tourists!? Hard to believe!
The one part of my trip I did not pre-plan, because I thought it would be so easy to get a day tour here, a day tour there, I was so wrong. There are no tours being run until June and this is the end of May. I can feel that Puritanical influence. thou shall not tour in idleness. The witch at the Prudential Centre Lack of Tourist Information Centre told me it was easy to catch a train to Plymouth and Salem… What she omitted to tell me was that the train to Plymouth stops in the middle of no- where, with no way out! A little old witch trick, I am sure!
So I arrived in Plymouth, it was in an industrial wasteland, the other two passengers disappeared… And then there was me. I had no idea which direction to go in, and it was as hot as hell! So I walked in one direction for 15 minutes and turned in another direction for another 20 minutes. This was starting to feel seriously weird. There was no- one around at all. No signs, no directions, no information, no taxis or buses. Just nothing! Then I spied the broken telephone tourist phone.
Then a bit like some B Grade science fiction movie, or the Twilight Zone, I stumbled into a laboratory in the industrial wasteland, confused, dehydrated and distraught! It was nicely converted factory, very trendy. They took pity on me and rang a taxi. It the cost me $25 to get to Plimouth Plantation and 50 cents to get back on a trolley bus.
When I finally found the Tourist Information Centre, I had a whinge and complained about their lack of tourist-friendly features, namely the public transport system.
The lady looked at me and replied, “Welcome to New England. We don’t cater for public transport.” I was at least thankful that I had discovered the 50 cent trolley bus as it was much more attractive than spending $25 on a taxi to go anywhere.
I have a terrible, terrible cold, and probably a bit of hay fever, which is always unpleasant when you’re away from home. The theory that Adelaide is the worst place for hay fever, with those hot dry winds in November was put to rest when we moved to Canberra along the Paul Keating funded Salvation Jane Highway. Canberra hay fever was terrible and lasted longer. Then in Italy a few years ago in spring I had an even worse attack, and a lady told me “Roma, she is a the worsta place for hay fever in the Worlda,” now here I am in Boston on the train to New York with another bad dose of the itchy eyes. So it is not the Australian grasses and pollens which I had always blamed for it. But on a positive note, I get very little hay fever at the coast!
When I finally arrived at Plimoth Plantation it was school field trip time… I just love visiting historical sites with masses of screaming school kids. The children were amazingly polite and well behaved. It was an incredible Living museum, I entertained myself shoving school kids out of the way so I could see the Wampanoag chief, then I bought my darling daughter some Wampanoag earrings because as a child she adored Native Americans. I even made her a Pocohontas dress way back when she was younger.
The English settlement was equally fascinating. Most of my day was spent commuting and catching trolleys and trains, but I am glad I made it.