Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013: Sightseeing in Boston

Boston can be seen as an Eldorado for tourists. With its plentiful markets, the secure streets (even at nighttime), beautiful architecture and some major sights, the city is a contrast to many other Northamerican cities and should be on your list, when you visit New England.

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You could get a firm impression of the Universities in Cambridge and of the Boston Nightlife. Now it’s time to present some sights to you, covered with the photography of this beautiful city to address your imagination. This is the view on Little Italy. The district of Boston is also called Northend.

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Boston and Cambridge are basically one unit, woven into each other, not separable. The elite is found in Cambridge, though. The campus of MIT looks quite industrial, the people of Harvard, that I dealt with have a certain kind of arrogance. I preferred the MIT definitively over Harvard, it seems more suitable for scientists, a place where excellence is born with every semester of inscription. The people you meet there remind you of the famous TV series Big Bang Theory, IQ > 150, very polite but a tad nerdy. In contrast to the busy Universities, Boston is quite a touristic playground, very secure for a Northamerican city and beautiful. This is an impression of downtown. This church “hides” in the big skycrapers.

You already could see the skyline from Cambridge, so I will just give you impressions from the city itself. It has great markets, it’s clean and you find top notch dining for a bargain. For seafood you should check out the Union Oyster House close to Haymarket. On Haymarket you can buy all kinds of fresh food for you, if you have an apartment during the time of your stay. And since I have been to Miami and New York City as well, I can compare and state, that you never have an uncomfortable feeling, walking around, not even at night. It seems very secure and people are in the streets at night as well. On the picture you see the Union Oyster House. I enjoyed the best oysters I have ever had at this place.

The oysters you get in Union Oyster House are from different areas. The personnel tells you exactly where they are from, and it’s just delicious.

The mixture of modern skycrapers, cultural offers, markets, old brick houses and the feeling of Northamerica make Boston special. It’s like good ‘ol Europe manifested in this city. And although I live in a tad rundown area of Boston, kind of a Hood compared to the rest of this shining city, I never feel uncomfortable. This security and minimal crime rate is due to the healthcare program of the city, that offers food and healthcare to homeless people for free – so nobody has to suffer hunger. In downtown you find the world famous Freedom Trail and some more touristic food and arts markets, like e.g. Quincy Market. Another impression of downtown, seen from the freedom trail and many more in the attached gallery.

When I walk around, I finally make it to the areas of the Boston Public Garden and the Commonwealth Ave. Should have spent more time there… Discovered this beautiful area too late, since I was busy one full day in Cambridge. It’s very European, very beautiful and exclusive. The second picture you can see, taken with the cellphone, is from a market along Newbury Street, the Copley Square Farmers Market. Check this area out, longer than me.

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On my last day, just before I continue to Maine, I walk all around the Southend. There is a market, which you should not miss, it’s called SoWa Market and Maura told me to go there, before I continue to Maine. I have the best coffee there, I ever had so far in the United States of America – quality comes close to the coffee in Austria! And the market is great, so many antique stuff, linen, foreign wares and great ecological food is offerd there. Make sure to hit it on Sundays!

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Boston is a great city, colorful, diverse, classy and secure. I would definitively go there again and can recommend it to you, as a contrast to many other Northamerican cities. It is very different from those and the many markets – I did not bring pictures from Haymarket here, that you definitively should visit as well – offer a great alternative to American Mall shopping, that can be found everywhere else over the country.

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Boston nightlife, an inner monologue

A small report about my nightlife experience in Boston, where I attended a concert of a faous rockbank, the Two Door Cinema Club.

F*ck, they really start on time… First thought when I enter the concert hall. Today I attend the concert of the Two Door Cinema Club.

WTF a small beer costs $7?! Glad I came here by car. A band plays some decent rock music, a group of about 50 people is nodding to the sound, they form a little block right in front of the stage. This is obviously not Two Door Cinema ClubGoing out in the USA is certainly different. You have to leave the building to smoke and on return line-up again, a good reason to let it be.

By the way, this monologue comes right out of my mind, exactly like that! 🙂

My way here was crazy: I am quite late so I decide to take the car. And have an accident with an afroamerican guy, I hit the brakes hard… but my car touches his, when he suddenly brakes, while I check the way with a quick peek on the map. – He jumps out of the car, I tell him I am foreigner and needed to check the map, that I am very sorry and I could call the cops, if he insists. The magic word, he says I better take care the next time, there is no damage at our cars, and he doesn’t seem to like the cops, so he leaves. Man that was close and I was really lucky…

But back to the happening in the concert hall. It was just a pre game band, but they were good. I ask at the bar, they tell me, there will be two more groups before the main act starts. It’s really weird how the people in front of the stage form this block. The emotions are not yet at climax. It seems a bit like they are waiting to be invited to enjoy themselves.

Besides me sits a kid of 10 years with its mom. Isn’t it a tad late for such little kids? Thought it’s AO in the USA to get into a nightclub, at least in regard to drinking. And the kid really sleeps now on the lap of the mom. It’s so loud in here but it sleeps. Crazy!

Next pre band coming up, it’s getting full. The band sounds like a synthesis of Coldplay and Bloc Party.

Damn, just saw Mount Kimbie hits this place next week, they are really great! Just saying Made to Stray Morning High Remix. I will not make it to that concert, and this is one of their songs I really worship and you should check it out. A pity I will miss that.

The plan is to discover Maine for two days and the wilderness and do some Indian Summer hiking in Baxter State Park. The summit is the aim and without that I don’t want to continue… A preferable plan in my opinion, since the mood it still not bursting and a summit experience beats that by far. Hey but the band has a really hot keyboarder girl! 🙂

Just now a tad obese person gave some ear protections – the ones you put in the ears – to the mother of the little girl. Awww, hope they are unused. The pre-band just finished, I go for another cigarette, the whole lining-up shit included. Seems to me like a musical with plentiful breaks and I hope in that moment, that first of all Placebo appears in concert in NYC and second, that the NYC crowd rocks a little bit more, than people do here. The pre-bands have been Smallpools and St. Lucia, they were actually pretty decent, just for your info, when you want to study Indie Rock that is outta there and need some ideas. And what I notice as well… The floor is covered with carpet, I hate carpets and in a place like that, where thousands of people go around, it’s probably not the best choice.

It’s quiet… nothing goes on stage… And then they start Limp Bizkit from the record with Keep Rollin’ – alright! But not necessarily what I expected.

Harpoon Beer is actually quite tasty… This thought of mine is followed by Nelly with Must be the Money… Alright, what a mix of genres! What’s up in the almighty land of entertainment? Seems to me, Europe is far ahead in the meanwhile in regard to nightlife entertainment – especially Berlin – but even IBK in some regards. When the Two Door Cinema Club does not deliver properly, even newcomer Milky Chance, who I saw in Innsbruck‘s Weekender last week, was better.

The hall is huge by the way… Hope you can see it on those cellphone pictures.

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It’s as huge as the hall Tyrol of the IBK convention center, the biggest lecture hall of Free University of Berlin in Rostlaube or has the double size of our foyer in CCB.Not so easy to draw a comparison here, which will be understood by everyone.

Ahhh Still D.R.E. is played – good old reliable Hip-Hop. And it is still alive in America, which I love. Memories of my time as teenager come up.

And there it plays… Eric Pryde, Call on me… Followed by Darude with Sandstorm. 1999 here we are! Some rednecks dance discofox to that song (!!!), epic fail. On the other hand: For those images alone the admission fee von $75 was worth it! Then: Hedaway, What is love (baby don’t hurt me), back to the early 90’s ya!

Finally Two Door Cinema Club hits the stage, the girls scream, some probably lose their conscious, awesome! It’s 8:05 PM, pretty much on time! I head to the crowd now, to experience this concert right up front.

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The concert is awesome and I am in the 10th line in front of the stage. Party is on and when the concert is over all too soon at 9:20 PM the crowd yells, screams, and due to that asks for another round of concert awesomeness – even without the necessity to ask for “One more song!” – this is delivered automatically by the band. Have to say the mood was really cool when the actual band attended, the wait until they attended, not.

Now everyone leaves the hall all in a sudden, I don’t know why? I look around and walk up to a guy from the security what’s the matter. They tell me, the underaged need to leave and from 10 PM the party starts again, with the door selecting all the underaged, i.e. < 21 years.

I am hungry so I decide to go to Taiwan Cafe in Chinatown, right around the corner. I ride home and get more cash, than I return – and find out that I am numb after this experience.

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After the party, my impressions from the party – it’s 2:00 AM. The club became empty at 1:30 AM all of a sudden and outside everyone was fighting for the Taxis – good to have a car, it started raining as well. And I hope, it won’t rain or even snow, when I go hiking, it’s the least I would wish for.

The look back to this event: 11:55 PM. Now we talk party but truly PAAAARTY! I didn’t expect that to happen anymore – and there are again ladies who heat up the mood of the people in short clothes – to bring the mood to the climax. The music is mediocre but I have a Red Bull, that builds me up after so many kilometers of walking this day. I have some nice flirts, a hot girl pours me a drink, but when I ask her out to talk somewhere else where I can understand her better, she neglects. Strange world.

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The resumee: It was a stunning concert but the nightlife seems so controlled in the USA. You can not just go to a public event / party and enjoy yourself and the fact everything is over at 2:00 AM was not really appreciable. But after all this experience was great and the Two Door Cinema Club in concert is worth to be visited!

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Boston Arriving & Cambridge

The beginning of my stay in Boston and Cambridge is focussed on Cambridge and the best known Universities on planet Earth. I discover the campus, learn to differentiate between MIT and Harvard people and discover a stunning city in between.

Leaving Cape Cod is a tad sad. It’s beautiful there and the last day was vacation at its best and my hosting family was very nice. On my way to Boston I stop at the Mayflower memorial in Plymouth. It showcases the rebuilt Mayflower II of the first pilgrims who came to young America back in the day. At 1 PM I reach my Airbnb in Boston

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This is the rebuilt Mayflower II, a memorial for the first pilgrims who reached America. You find it in Plymouth, between Cape Cod and Boston.

I am a bit shocked in the first moment of my arrival. I will stay in Roxbury and the area looks a bit rundown, like in a hood. There are lots of people hanging around on the street. My host is not there, still at work. I follow her directions and claim the key out of a little lockbox, which lies on the porch. I need to sleep, am totally worn out, the jetlag is stronger than the days before. Want to be fit, when I discover the campus of the big two, MIT and Harvard in Cambridge. That is the plan for the afternoon. 

In the afternoon I start with Cambridge and get an overview over both Campi, starting in Harvard. My plan to meet up with a Professor from MIT manifests, I want to do it the next day, since it is already late. So I just continue to discover the campus and visit the Technics Museum of MIT, which is really cool! Sun already sets, when I come out and the mood over Cambridge is great and the view to Boston stunning!

I have to say, from the people I met, I liked the guys from MIT much more, nerds like you and me. The personell of Harvard is kind of arrogant, as some of the visitors have been at as well. I ask myself “Why?” – Shouldn’t people on the top of society be glad for their status and be grateful and polite? Especially the brats, who get this once in a lifetime opportunity by their dad, who they probably rarely see, because otherwise they would have better manners. If I compare both elitist factories, I prefer MIT for sure.

At night I speak to my host, she tells me I don’t have to be worried, the crime rate of Boston is really low because everyone in this city receives healthcare, even if people can’t afford it and nobody is just left behind to suffer poverty. And I can confirm that as far as I can walk around without any incidents – you get used to it very fast. My dinner is pasta and afterwards I continue the sightseeing and head into the touristic parts of Boston, but the pictures of Boston will be showcased in another entry, this one is focussed on Cambridge in regard to the photography.

At late night, around 10 PM, I hit the restaurant & jazz lounge The Beehive – I enjoy live music, a great blue cheese burger and awesome IPA beer. A really great experience to get enjoyable American beer!

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The dark lounge of ‘The Beehive’ is cosy, food is great, beer good and the live music really cool. Thank you for this recommendation from Toronto, Oli!

This is the first time, as far as I can remember, that the beer was actually good – I remember my times in Florida of 2008, where I never appreciated the offered beer on liquor stores. Scenic and en vogue South End really seems to be the place to be in Boston! And those are some impressions of my way home, since the Metro and Bus does not ride too long anymore, I have to walk home about 45 min…

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The next day starts again in Cambridge. I have a good overview how to get there – by Metro – and what to do. I want to see a Professor of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the MIT, but sadly she is on travels and a second Professor I had on my list, as well. But the Koch Institute of Cancer Research is an impressive building. Should I ever remain in Science, I’d be honored to work there. 

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Inside worlds famous Koch Institute at MIT
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The Koch Institute of Cancer Research, MIT

After this attempt – hey it worked great at Yale University – I take a walk over the campus of Harvard and decide to continue from the main campus to Harvard Medical School in the late afternoon.

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Inside Harvard’s holy halls
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Inside the Institute of Chemistry of Harvard University

The way to Harvard Medical School is interesting, since I go back to Boston by Metro, followed by tram I see a lot – the campus of HMS is not in Cambridge but in Boston. I would need more time in Boston as it seems… I can’t access the main building of the Medical School, stroll around a little more and by surprise run into the Pharmacy school. What an incident! I take a look around there as well, then I return home to plan the next tours, potential interviews and what to do at night…

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Beautiful Cape Cod

Indian Summer can be like true summer as well. The two days on Cape Cod are amazing, the sea is still warm, swimming possible, the city of Provincetown beautiful and the seafood great. This is true vacation and a very relaxed part of the roadtrip – perfect to recover from the flight and New Haven with Rolli!

While I planned this trip I haven’t had Cape Cod on my radar. I heard about it from a friend of mine a couple of days before I left from Europe. A spontaneous adjustment of the journey – a little beachlife never hurts! And it was worth it, it is a fabolous place and I found an affordable and great location with Julie in Orleans

After I come home from the beach, I am freezing a little bit. The sunset was worth it, though. The shower is outside under the porch of the house, I like that gimmick! The only thing that is not too nice about it, I have to take a cold shower and would be in need for a warm one at this moment. Doesn’t matter, we are not out of sugar, are we? I got my own room in the basement of the house which has access to the garden. For the night my plan is to prepare my pizza and teach Julie and her kids how it is done. They are a very nice family and Julie tells me that there have been travelers staying with them who creeped them out – I try my best to not do that and I think I am quite successful with that… 🙂

After a little chat with them I have my plan for the next day, I want to visit Provincetown – a gay and lesbian el dorado, at the tip of Cape Cod, like a Key West of New England – and I want to see the beach of Truro

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Provincetown is really peaceful. Some older gentlemen try to flirt with me while I do my workout at the beach, first jogging and afterwards push-ups and sit-ups. Beaches are perfect for that. I tell them that I am into girls, they chuckle and leave me alone. It’s no big deal and the people are very friendly here! I even can go swimming with pleasure. Compared to last night it is very enjoyable with 27°C and sunshine on this beautiful day! Here you get a little impression of the Herings Cove beach (just the cellphone shots, the others are in the attached gallery).

On my return to Provincetown I have lunch at Mojo’s – Julie told me to go there and she was absolutely right. The food is great, fresh from the sea!

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After this very welcome snack I continue to the beach of Truro. That’s the one the locals attend. Or nobody at all. I am alone for two consecutive hours and enjoy the calm, while I observe some harbor seals a little bit offshore. I go swimming again but listen to Julie’s advice, not to go in too deep where the seals are – Cape Cod is a known spot for Great White sharks and just in 2012 there was a severe accident. I prefer just to dip into the shallow water to cool down and sleep and dream the day away…

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And to finalize this wonderful day a little shopping never hurts, especially since the US prices are a steal compared to the German / European prices – I go to T.J. Maxx at night and get me a bunch of cloth – have done that the last time in 2008, when I lived in Florida to attend UF. What a great day – life could always be like that, I would not mind! Ah and there are some more pictures to come… 😉

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Round of three states

Throwback to the USA and Canada Roadtrip 2013: The second episode of this roadtrip begins in New Haven (CT) and since New England’s states are not too big, you can easily do three states in one day. The first stop is Mystic (CT) where you can have a look at the historic shipyard. For lunch and some gawking I chose Newport (RI), where the wealth of New England accumulates and the final destination of this trip is Cape Cod (MA), where I stay the next two days, before the trip continues to Boston (MA).

I continue, New Haven (CT), albeit of one of worlds finest Universities is not really a favorable place to live, not for a long time at least. At 11:00 PM life ends spontaneously, i.e. the streets get really empty, and everything of this city which is not directly on campus looks rundown and I heard the crime rate is really high if you leave the campus regions, where the campus police takes care to keep criminals off. The more it’s time to continue. Bobcat Cody woke me up early, he is awesome and I had the feeling I miss my cats at home in Berlin.

The first stopover is in Mystic. It’s just a little village which became famous due to its shipyard. There is a relatively nice museum and it’s a nice place to stay for some hours, take a coffee, or like in my case, have some breakfast. It’s is nothing really special, though and you could skip it as well, when you want to push miles. As you can see, Indian Summer is there, the leaves of the American oaks shine in bright red!

My next stop is Newport in Rhode Island (RI). It’s the place of the rich and famous, at least it was very dominant as a summer residence to those families. I enjoy my first lobster and I have to say, it is a delicacy which I would not be able and willing to afford in Europe. American pricing is just different, in regard to consumption, no matter if it is for cloth, electronic devices, or more or less luxurious food. The poor lobster was awesome – it’s true, New England is famous for its seafood for a good reason. What I love about America: Several older people wonder where I am from, when I skype with my cousin in Canada to assure that I will arrive in a couple of days – German accent most likely included. We get into conversation quickly. They ask me if the lobster really is as great as it looks. “Yes Ma’am it is!” 🙂

The cribs in Newport are very impressive – I show you some shots in the attached gallery. You can certainly see the wealth of this region and you feel it in the pricing compared to CT in regard to tobacco, beer, softdrinks – your daily needs.

At 5:15 PM I reach my final destination for the day, the half-island of Cape Cod. I stay in an Airbnb in Orleans with Julie and her family – she is not there on my arrival so I decide to head to the beach which I reach easily by car, passing through a dense forest. It is just beautiful and I decide to take a swim – it is not too cold after all!

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That’s me, just out of the water. It was fresh but not unbearable cold!

The day ends with a most beautiful sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. I love those moments, when I am alone, able to let the thoughts pass, not worried for a short time, just silent and in a status of meditation. It is beautiful and I feel blessed to be able to see all of this – already, although there is so much more to come!

My plan for the next day is to spend the day at the beach. I want to talk to Julie later what she can recommend. The weather is supposed to be splendid with up to 25°C – a perfect day to enjoy these nice beaches and to explore Cape Cod.

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – The arrival to New Haven

Throwback to the USA and Canada Roadtrip 2013: The first part of the trip from Innsbruck, over Frankfurt / Main to New York City and the first roadtrip to New Haven is tough – if you sum up the hours and the distance made. My first stop is the worldwide known Yale University.

28.09.2013 IBK (Austria), Late afternoon. My French tenants arrive in my apartment, I receive cash – not the desired transaction to my account. I finish to clean the apartment last minute. I bring my car to the University with all the luggage, from there I take a cab to the trainstation.

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Chaos, luggage and maps for the different sections of the trip

When the train reaches Munich, it gets really overcrowded with smelly and wasted Oktoberfest visitors, one vomits into the train as if there would not be any tomorrow, really awesome! In the middle of the night I reach Frankfurt, meet old friends of the family, who I haven’t seen for ages. At their home, where I stay for this night, I am pampered with delicious carrot soup, Äpplvoi (this is an alcoholic beverage made of apples) and we sit together quite some time on their balcony. Afterwards the deepest sleep you could ever imagine…

Servus USA, servus NYC, here I come!

29.09.2013 Frankfurt (Germany), In the morning everything works in accordance to plan, just the transaction of my cash to my account won’t work, not even to my German account. My friends bring me to the airport, everything is routine. I buy a bottle of Wisky, The Dalmore Valour – it’s quite mild but very enjoyable. Flying with Delta Airlines is really comfortable. The flight is great and the service outstanding – basically no wish remains unfulfilled.

Just landed in New York City JFK a little overdose of impressions overcomes me. Sooo many people, everywhere! And where can I claim my prebooked rental? I get the directions, take the shuttle train to Federal District Circle, take another shuttle and claim my rental at 6:15 PM. Not really a small car – that was ordered (that’s great!) – I get a VW Jetta with quite some horses. Many thanks to Lisa, who booked everything from Austria, everything perfect! A tad scary is the situation when I claim my rental and the nice bro behind the counter asks me, if I would not live in Oxford Manor, Archer Rd, Gainesville, Florida anymore – I lived there in 2008 and returned to Europe for five consecutive years without being in the USA. Big Brother is watching you!

Somehow I enter a status of trance now. The highway flies by, the lights of the cars are passing by like in a dream. It’s still a good piece of way from NYC to Westhaven in Connecticut (CT) and at 9:00 PM E.T. I finally reach my AirBNB. Short brake then I make my way to Yale Campus, where I meet Rolli, a friend and colleague of mine from the Chemistry department of the University of Innsbruck. We go to the bar BAR and to my surprise it has really good pizza and what surprises me even more… On the restrooms hangs a picture of … well see for yourself – uncovered boobs.

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Uncovered boobs in the USA, I wonder to find that in a bar close to Yale Campus.

Did not expect something like that at all. But you never stop learning, I mean as European you are not bothered by that. The interior with those cow skins reminds me a little bit of a Tyrolean hut. Another unexpected finding. Nice. I’m very satisfied, everything worked fine and yet in accordance to my bucketlist.

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Those cow skins remind me of the huts of Tyrol

In the meanwhile it’s 5:00 AM on 30.09.203 in Westhaven. I already slept short and good, but I will have trouble to fall asleep again, since it’s already 11:00 AM in Europe. Well, a sip from the Wisky and it might work. Good night America, good morning Europe.

Shedule ready, steady for GO!

The upcoming tour gets more realistic to me and I have read a lot during the last days… I am looking forward to what expects me on my travel. Indian Summer shall arrive by that time and in particular my planned trips to the Baxter (ME) and the nature of Ontario (ON) are tingling!

Will definitively leave out Algonquin State Park in Ontario, it’s way too far away! Time to leave in about 3 hours, directed to Frankfurt, where I’ll stay over night. Tomorrow by that time ET I will be close to landing in NYC… Unbelievable!

Roundtrip Übersicht

12 days in the USA, 8 days in Canada so far – but plans are also there to be changed… I chose to go northwards first since the temperatures outside in the State Parks for hiking and swimming (maybe) by the sea in Cape Cod will be higher the earlier I get there. Indian Summer starts by that time, too – I hope for great views of unspoiled nature and colorful trees with snow covered summits. And my project No. 1 as resident of Innsbruck is – of course – to climb on Mt Katahdin (1605 m) located in Baxter State Park (ME). I am really curious to start, hope that weather will last and no hurricanes arrive by that time!

Some figures for the trip…

Datum Location [distance / day]
29.09.2013, So Arriving NYC / New Haven [150 km]
30.09.2013, Mo New Haven / Mystic / Newport [170 km]
01.10.2013, Di Newport / Cape Cod [120 km]
02.10.2013, Mi Cape Cod Area
03.10.2013, Do Cape Cod / Plymouth / Boston [100 km]
04.10.2013, Fr Boston
05.10.2013, Sa Boston / Salem / Camden [400 km]
06.10.2013, So Camden / Baxter State Park / (Millinocket) [300 km]
07.10.2013, Mo Millinocket / Quebec [270 km]
08.10.2013, Di Quebec / Montreal [260 km]
09.10.2013, Mi Montreal
10.10.2013, Do Montreal / Ottawa [200 km]
11.10.2013, Fr Ottawa / Kingston / Prince Edward / Toronto [500 km]
12.10.2013, Sa Toronto
13.10.2013, So Toronto
14.10.2013, Mo Toronto / Algonquin Park [600 km in / return]
15.10.2013, Di Toronto / Niagara / NYC [800 km]
16.10.2013, Mi NYC
17.10.2013, Do NYC
18.10.2013, Fr NYC
19.10.2013, Sa NYC Returnflight at 6 PM, time to 3 PM
20.10.2013, So FFM / IBK