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Thursday, 8 November 2012

Travelling New England

New England colonies were part of the original thirteen colonies that declared independence and formed the United States of America in 1776.
It is certainly richly steeped in history, cultural and natural attractions, picturesque towns and cities, scenic villages, and the outdoors.

Then there’s the spectacular brilliant fall foliage, thousands of natural lakes and panoramic mountain views to mention a few features of the region. Many of these may be experienced within just a few hours’ drive,
or ride,


or stride.

Travelling north from the hustle and bustle of NewYork just outside of the Bronx, one comes into Connecticut passing through the many small towns along the Connecticut river. 
A little ways past the town of Hartford ‘though wheat fields and the clothes lines and the junkyards and the highways come between us’, and I’m reminded of a song. I can't quite remember the name of the song - am wracking my brain, but this business of thinking-and-driving is not quite gentle on my mind. Perhaps I should try driving while indoctrinated.

And then the Interstate crossed into Massachusetts. The American Revolution first emerged here where its heritage is preserved in many history museums and fields including Springfield, Deerfield, Greenfield, Pittsfield, Westfield etc. Or I should say battlefields, farm fields, grazing fields, paintball fields, sporting fields...

Further on up the road is Vermont.

I stayed near White River Junction in another town also called Hartford, and walked on the backroads, where the Connecticut River's flowing 'gentle on my mind'. Now I remember the song. It's right on the tip of my tongue, or was.

I arrived in Vermont in early winter but caught the tail end of the fall foliage season. In my brief stay I became a leaf peeper. One of Vermont’s claim to fame is the ‘best free show on earth’ when in the fall (autumn) millions of leaves on trees change color to produce a tapestry of scarlet, gold, purple and orange. 
Vermont also boasts Lake Champlain. The “west coast” of New England stretches from Massachusetts up to the Canadian border. I barely sighted Lake Champlain on a brief stop in Burlington, the largest city among the many charming and historic towns in Vermont. 

One does not visit Vermont without trying out maple syrup. I would have bought a tanker of this liquid gold but for a truck licence.

Vermont has great scenery with farm fields dotted with cattle, red barns and covered bridges, stone walls and country roads.
 It is also great for hiking –
 but I was already on one.

From  Hanover we went on a lakes tour:
Lake Morey, Lake Fairlee, Lake Sunapee, Lake Mascoma (above) etc. 




Queechee gorge.

New Hampshire is home to the towering Mount Washington (1,917m) and the White Mountains (48 peaks over 1,220m) in the northern Appalachians. The Granite State would be classified as ‘mountain province’ if it was in the northern Philippines. The high mountains here in Appalachia come close to the bilig of Applai-cha in MontaƱosa.
There are also hundreds of lakes here, the centrepiece being America’s largest lake Winnipesaukee. New Hampshire really does offer something for everyone.

During winter the White Mountains offer the most affordable skiing holidays in North America. More on a trip to the snow later, but complementing a skiing trip here are four historic grand hotels that take visitors back in time. 

The Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods has hosted presidents and celebrities. It was also the venue of the Bretton Woods Conference a gathering of 730 delegates after the conclusion of World War II.




In New Hampshire there is no state sales tax so I took the chance to buy something for my gracious hosts.
Over and through Lake Winnipesaukee, I went to the tax-free shopping haven - to Settlers Green Outlet Village in North Conway. They invited visitors to ‘Shop till you drop!’, so I did. I went window shopping all day long, but not one of the shops was selling windows! I was so disappointed for my hosts, but they cheered me up with a parting gift - a brand new pair of racing shoes.

Now I can really go hiking. Bring on the green mountains!


I went to Hanover first.

Then I went boating.
Lake Sunapee.

Then I took a hike - to Georgia. Not the one in the Caucasus, nor the state south from here in the blue ridge mountains.
My New England tour guide in Georgia near the Canadian border.
She looks Chonglian, not a Georgian from North Vermont.