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Wednesday 24 July 2013

Bit of exploration today. We could have gone back to Boston and picked up all the places we missed but decided that would take up most of the day, so instead we went upstate.

First stop, Cantebury Shaker Village, passing a tortoise crossing sign on the way. A preserved group of houses and other buildings dating back to 1800s. We chose the history tour, one of three to choose from, and Darryl was our guide. Basically, the Shakers were Puritans who came to America from Manchester, UK, and started their own brand of Puritanism. It consisted of pacifism, celibacy and commual living. Men and women co-existed, but lived seperately. Today there are only 3 Shakers remaining, the main purpose of their religion, mutual support and benefit, dying out with the rise of the benefit state.They got their name from ‘shaking’ whilst dancing during worship. It was an interesting and informative tour, cost us $17 dollars each, and includes the tour and access to any open buildings.

We headed for Lake Winnipesaukee near Gilford. We had search very hard to find a roadside view, the viewpoint being completely hidden by trees! We snuck down a holiday home road to take a couple of photos. Saw two baby deer in a grassy area, had lunch (grilled cheese sandwich and hot dog) at a diner come shop then continued on to Nubble lighthouse in York, definitely a holiday destination. The beach was crowded with bronzed bodies, the types of tan I will only dream about. There were plates from as far away as California and Quebec. The lighthouse was built high on it’s own island, a stone’s throw from shore, with a pulley system reminding me of ‘The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch’. Then we had ice cream from Brown’s, billed as the best ice cream for miles. A huge helping for $5.

The wiggly bridge, the world’s smallest suspension bridge spans the end of a small dam into a harbour area. Very picturesque and peaceful.

On to Salem. We arrived after most of the shops had shut, but there were a couple of diehards still open, enough for our wants. Salem was a bit of a disappointment. Modern town centre, I was expecting a quaint area steeped in witches. They seemed to pay lip service comercially. The old witch house looked well preserved though. We had dinner at The Lobster Shanty before heading back towards Boston. The houses in Maine, whilst still clapboard, have more of a Dutch barn look to them with the roof coming down the sides of the house. The day had been hot and sunny, little wind. The countryside is reminiscent of England, rolling with lots and lots of trees…