After more interchanges on the Interstates than you can poke a stick at we arrived at Rockport, Cape Ann, MA about 4 pm and checked in at our classic New England Queen Anne style guest house ” The Pleasant Street Inn “on the hill overlooking the very picturesque town. Our room was again a big one and had the corner turret area for the Sitting room which afforded a lovely sunny aspect.
After a short nap we decided on a discovery drive as my foot was really playing up today when I walked, now affecting the heel more than the ankle so off we went. The dusk was approaching so the light was lovely and we drove around a few of the bays admiring the housing and massive estates on the waterfront but realised that there was very little tolerance for visitors. Signs, signs everywhere signs , do not park here, tow way zones, residents only and nonpublic spaces even at most of the beaches.
We found some accessible areas but they were in the minority. We wandered around trying to find a general store in town and boy was that hard to find, eventually we found one as we had feasted on a massive Tuscan lunch special in Salem on the way and we only wanted a bit of cheese and fruit for a supper.
The next day was another cracker and after a nice sleep in we enjoyed a good breakfast with a Swiss couple and a German family so English was at a minimum.
We took off to the South today to see the sights down to Gloucester along the coast, past some amazing houses, rocky coastline and a few surprisingly nice Beaches, one we could actually park at and a few that virtually had Keep Out of our space signs up.
We contemplated a swim at Good Harbour beach that had masses of people having a fun and swimming but it was a bit windy so I passed on it but when we passed through town we found a lovely public park that felt like it was on Sydney Harbour and a stunning little beach called Half Moon Beach at Stage Fort Park where I had to take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean to continue my desire to swim in as many places I can across the Globe. It was as cold as it can get in Sydney so it was a short swim.
We them made the best discovery of our jaunt around the coast when we stumbled across Hammond’s Castle, an amazing Folly by the eccentric and very successful/famous inventor of remote control John Gray Hammond Jnr. He was absolutely hilarious , and his Castle was built in 1929 on a cliff overlooking the ocean in the style of a medieval Norman Keep combined with a French Chateau. It has a Grand Hall, dungeons, towers and a covered inner courtyard that allowed him to control the weather inside for his guests to be surprised by. He held medieval feast nights and was the talk of society all over the east coast for his outlandish behaviour ,my kinda guy.
He has over a 1,000 inventions Patented to his name including the piano pedals and his massive pipe organ in the Hall is one of the largest in the world. He also loved to shock his guests with the life sized nude bronze of him self and many women guests would steal the fig leaves from his modesty patch as they left.
We left for Boston the next morning but first spent a few hours on Bearskin Neck, the main Tourist section of Rockport and also the oldest, some buildings dating back 300 years and where Ann picked up some nice boots and I enjoyed my first decent Cappuccino since San Francisco with a nice Apple Strudel overlooking the lovely Inner Harbour.