It’s another beautiful day in Boston, a city which is fast becoming one of my favourites, and despite the toll that yesterday’s mammoth historical trek might have taken on my feet, today we will pretty much be leaving the city of Boston altogether… on foot. I’m venturing to neighbouring Cambridge, home of one of the world’s most famous and prestigious educational establishments the mighty Harvard.
Apparently, the walk is 3.8 miles. Each way. Better be bloody scenic, cause I am not wearing appropriate footwear.
It was about as scenic as I could have hoped for. The route Google Maps had chosen for me nicely bisected Boston Public Garden. Right next to Boston Common, but posher and more gardeny. It’s got manicured lawns, ponds, waterfowl, weeping willows and everything.
From the Public Garden, the route took me up Charles Street, which is quite possibly the nicest street I’ve ever been on in my life, complete with red brick, cute boutiques, old-school street lights and uniform black and gold shop fittings which make for the quaintest little wee Starbucks you’ve ever seen.
Then it’s across the Salt and Pepper Bridge. It’s actually called the Longfellow Bridge, but it looks like it’s supported by pepper pots, and that’s apparently what the locals call it too, so I shall copy them in this instance, because… when in Rome and all that. You also get nice views of the Boston skyline from it.
If you were ever wondering where all of these are labs where the sinister goings-on occur in sci-fi/superhero movies… it’s this neck of the woods.
And definitely this place ^ (jk Draper, please don’t sue me for libel)
Just in case I was beginning to think I was hopelessly lost, like a shining beacon of turquoise affixed to a silvery pole of light, a sign appears to show me that this street might perhaps lead me to my destination after all. Thanks Cambridge, we can all learn from your common-sense approach to town planning.
The street itself is not to be sniffed at, and very much lives up to its esteemed name as all the residences are very… ivylicious. Well we truly are in Ivy League territory now. And there’s one which is pretty much a castle. Ok, maybe not by Scottish castle standards… but we’re not in Scotland any more. I bet there’s a unicorn mounted above the fire place.
And so, past a few more fancy houses, and after Harvard Street merges with Massachusetts Avenue, we arrive at the revered institution itself. But, although the first gate I see and its alluring inscription beckon my inner scholar so, I resist the temptation to be wisdomized (for now), and follow the Avenue to Harvard square, where, or so I’ve been told, it’s all happening. In other words, I really need an iced coffee and a cold metal chair to sit on, so screw the University for now.
Harvard Square was also everything I expected. Nice coffee bars, bookshops aplenty and university stores and stuff. And of course the famous Harvard Coop. After a refreshing beverage, I was more than ready to see what all the fuss was about inside those campus walls, so headed for a big set of wrought iron gates
…and it is beautiful. Red brick, latticed windows, pointed archways, splendid lawns, leafy trees. Enough to make you want to grab a book, sit against a tree trunk in the sun and do a spot of old-fashioned learning. Nearby is a cute little church, which was built in memory of all the men from Harvard who died in the war.
On the wall is a short lesson about the history of the institution. I’m still trying to figure out if that’s how people actually wrote in those days or if the person responsible for this plaque was just semi-illiterate and/or taking the piss massively.
A day at Harvard wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the famed law school. Law schools aren’t generally on the list of my top 100 favourite things in the world, but this one I had to see. Getting there involved yet more walking, as the campus is bloody massive. This massive. The yellow is only the law school. aka just one faculty..
And here is the main Harvard Law School building. slash the central columny bit of the main building of the Harvard Law School.
On the way back from the Law School, I passed the renowned (everything here is renowned/famed/legendary. I don’t know why I’m even bothering putting these adjectives in) Widener Library. There are three million books in this building, and it was named in memorial of Harry Elkins Widener, who graduated from Harvard in 1907, and died in the sinking of the Titanic 5 years later aged 27. And a humble chem lab (2nd pic).
And finally, this insightful poster:
I cheated and got the subway back to the centre of Boston, because my feet would have disintegrated If I’d put them through the three-mile trek, and that would have spoiled a lovely day out. I may or may not have been to Dunkin’ Donuts to grab a snack for the ride. Because donuts really are the best way to end day-trips to to the best educational establishments in the world.
I then went back to my hostel, put my feet up and had a cheeky FaceTime with my best pal Lewis, after which I got a fantastic three course dinner made for me for free by a bunch of girl guides and am now planning my evening. Gonna go to the waterfront and see me some Boston Tea Party action! I ❤ Tea Parties.