Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bunker Hill Monument

This monument is a tribute to the Battle of Bunker Hill, where the famous phrase "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" was popularized due to the colonist's lack of ammunition. Unfortunately, this battle's name is a bit of a misnomer as Bunker Hill is actually the next hill over. The battle mostly played out where the monument is located, on Breed's Hill. This is one of Boston's most famous landmarks located on the Freedom Trail in Charlestown across the Charles River from downtown Boston.

I was very excited to learn that the monument and adjacent museum is free to the public (though donations are accepted). The monument is 294 steps to the top observation area, so make sure you're in good shape. There's no room for stopping as the stairwell is exactly big enough for two people across, one going up, and one going down. And near the top, as the building tapers, two people passing do need to squish a little bit to the side. Claustrophobics beware!

Finally we reached the top and were rewarded with a beautiful view of Boston.

When we came down, we were lucky enough to catch a musket firing demonstration. I'm always a sucker for anyone dressed up in traditional dress, even in my own country! (It's a little known fact that I used to be one of those people who dressed up like colonial people or frontier people in those recreation villages. Yes, that was my dream job until probably high school)

After that, we took a walk through some backstreets of Charlestown and found ourselves at the U.S.S Constitution or as we Bostonians lovingly refer to as "Old Iron Sides" alluding to battles during the war of 1812 when cannon balls were said to bounce off her hulls. The admission prices nowadays to get onto the ship are a bit steep, but you can still see her from the outside in the Navy Yard.

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