falls quite a bit on Bangor, Mainely
05.06.2010 - 06.06.2010 76 °F
Room2614, Back Bay Hilton, Boston MA: 3.18pm 6/6/10
OK. Without looking it up on the 'net or anywhere else, in which 60s hit song sung by whom did Bangor, Maine, feature? Answers in a comment without giving it away! (Work that one out!).
Dinner Friday night in the Bar Harbor Inn was excellent, apart from a squalling brat in front of us (Elithabeth Bott?) which was eventually dragged away by its mother. Frightful child who squatted on the floor and refused to move.
Bob's Rack of Lamb - delicious
John's Lobster Pie. I'm with Vivienne, I far prefer crab.
We got a very special price with a coupon when we checked in for 3-course dinner and breakfast. The dinner price was less than many of the "entrees".
Next day (Saturday), once away (North) of Bar Harbor, Maine becomes an all-but empty state. A few dwellings near the road, a few small towns. One we went through had about 4 churches and 3 houses! Quite a lot of poverty too, we guessed. Driving through the endless trees, there would be a small house or a mobile with scores of old cars, boats and lobster pots round it. We kept forgetting we were right by the sea or the many inlets on our trip up Route 1 (Coastal). The boats and the lobster pots kept reminding us. Eventually, as we went further "Down East" as they call it, even the odd hut and mobile disappeared and there were just endless trees. Occasionally we would emerge into a clearing or we'd go up a hillock and there was a mini view... of more trees and water, of course.
It rained the virtually the whole day and sometimes the fog would swirl in from the sea, adding to the feeling of isolation and dampness! This was probably the remotest spot we have been to in the US. Or it felt it, and this compared with the Arizona and Nevada deserts and the Rockies of Idaho.
We eventually ended up in Calais, a border town with Canada. We had seen fewer and fewer cars but here there were Canadian lorries and cars of people over the border for a weekend shop and fill up of fuel tanks. We peered across the river towards Saint Charles on the Canadian side.
St Paul, New Brunswick. Interesting, eh?
Queue for the border
Quite a long drive through the rain and the trees and the spray to Bangor, Maine where we had booked a hotel for the night. Located, just off the Interstate and right next to a Denny's, to Arthur's delight.
Whilst Bob was down unloading the car, the TV in the hotel room starting buzzing and flashing "WARNING WARNING" then visual and verbal warnings were given of an advancing tornado in the area. Luckily it was away from where we were, but still unnerving. (As I type this in Boston, there are warnings of severe storms scrolling across the bottom of the TV screen and we just watched a storm go round the building. Quite dramatic from the 26th floor!).
A final shop at Walmart and a blow-out in the retro Denny's and we were ready for bed. We really, really enjoyed our atmospheric drive through the rain in Maine.
This morning we drove into the centre of Bangor. It would have been a really busy city with department stores and shops but now most of the life has been sucked out by the likes of Walmart; actually, mainly by Walmart. There are splendid 30's (and earlier) buildings and there are a number of businesses clearly struggling to keep going. America has lost its various hearts and souls in these dying city centres. We assume there will be a plan to revive its Dowtown, which sometimes works (eg Oklahoma City).
Then on down I95 (a turnpike in places, which equates to autopista/toll road). But toll much cheaper here. We paid a total of about $8 today including a toll bridge coming into Boston.
Traffic heavy in places on the "A10" (sorry Brien). Hway 1 into Boston is really awful. A very old road on which nothing has been spent. Despite it being a Sunday, traffic very heavy into Boston. One wrong turning (misunderstanding Lori, our TomTom spokeswoman) took us back over the river but it only took 5 minutes to get back on course and to our hotel. Of course, we parked by the wrong entrance but eventaully got it right and the bell "boy" (about 55) took over, took our bags and parked our car.
Thanks to Bob's Hilton card, we have a room on the top floor with great view (not of the river though) and free breakfast coupons.
Now to go and orientate ourselves. Brien: any more tips, please? We'd welcome them. Where did you stay? We have not had time to do much homework on this city.
Arthur not at all interested in the view. Wonder why?
Will go and have a wander in a mo and look for somewhere to eat later.