Snate's Six-Month Sojourn travel blog

A store for Sam

Witch memorial

Map to cemetery in Salem

Graveyard in Salem

THE House of Seven Gables

It's now Monday, we've had our car repaired and are back on the road heading to Salem Mass. That's what people say up here: "Oh, you mean Salem Mass?" We had no really honorable reason to head to Salem - we were morbidly interested in the witch trials, and we knew the city was really old and would have some cool buildings. Plus, we wanted to hole up somewhere during the Baaaahstin rush hour. (Can you name one city in the country that truly has a rush "HOUR"?) Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of traffic getting into Salem, so by the time we wound around a bit looking for stuff, we decided to park in a public lot and go to Starbucks to read and cool down.

Once cool down had been successfully accomplished, we began looking for witch stuff, and we didn't have to look very far. It's amazing how an entire industry can be formed around eighteen innocent people being hanged and one innocent person being "pressed to death". Everything has to do with witches: there are witch museums, witch stores and places where you can put your face in the body of a witch and have your picture taken. It actually was a bit depressing. We visited the actual witch memorial, which was an open area with a series of nineteen stone benches with the name, manner of death and date of death of the people executed carved into the surface. Many of the benches had a fresh rose on them. The witch memorial was right up against the cemetery in which the "witches" were originally buried. We walked around this cemetery a bit and marvelled at the cemetery map meant to lead us to the graves of notable personages.

After our stop at the witch memorial, we took a walk along a historic route recommended by one of the signs in town. This route was actually very cool (plus the weather was reasonably nice); it took us past many VERY old houses, the old port and the House of Seven Gables which Nathanial Hawthorne made famous. Not being terribly sure what gables even are, we counted the windows, doorknobs and other features, but ultimately decided it was some sort of roofy jobby.

It was getting to be 8:30 or 9:00, and both of us were getting pretty hungry since we hadn't really eaten dinner. We were torn between trying to find a Let's Go recommended Indian joint in Cambridge (on the other side of the river from Baaaahstin) or just eat in Salem. Against our better judgement, we decided to drive toward Baaaahstin, get off the highway and wander, armed only with a street address, looking for a restaurant. Sheer idiocy, I must say. Boston/Cambridge is nuts, and we quickly were shot down several one way streets with no hopes of retracing our steps. Then a miracle occurred: we were about to stop to figure out how to get out of the city, when 1) I noticed that the street we were about to drive past was the street the restaurant was on and 2) Sam noticed the restaurant we were looking for on the corner directly in front of us. The place (Punjabi Dhaba) was well worth the visit, just a tiny little restaurant with cheap Indian food that came out on these silver cafeteria trays. We thought about splitting a plate, then ordered a combo for two, which was gut busting.

It had been several hours since we'd seen a good rain storm, so we were relieved when it started dumping as we left the city. With no great idea of where to head for the night to sleep, we grabbed a Travelodge on the outskirts of Boston.

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