Boston is one of the best-known and most attractive cities in the USA, drawing tourists by the thousands from all over the world year after year. Visitors wishing to take a break from the big city should consider spending some time in Gloucester, a small town on the coast about one hour north of the city centre.
We came across Gloucester quite by chance. We just wanted to get out of the city and spend a couple of days somewhere on the coast. Now we’re lying on our bed in a tiny but very cosy room at the Long Harbour Inn, enjoying a cup of coffee and gazing out through our panorama windown as the glittering red sun rises from beyond the crashing waves of the Atlantic.
In general, the ocean here is calm, sometimes as smooth as glass. During the summer, the beautiful sloping beaches are an attractive spot for a dip in the water. Now, however, it is October and the sea and the air are accordingly cool. This doesn’t hamper surfers from jumping in, though, as they strive to take advantage of the two-metre-high waves, a gift from Nature. Two kayakers are also out on the water. They laboriously battle their way out of the bay into the open sea. The waves repeatedly wash over them, flipping them over, but they somehow emerge upright on the crest and glide all the way back to the shore.
Actually, we had planned to go on a whale watching tour today, an activity which is said to be particularly fruitful in this area as the whales mostly stay near the coast and are therefore easy to find. But today’s strong waves call for extremely good “sea legs”. On this basis, we are not ideal candidates for a whale watching tour today.
We go down to the beach, breathe in the cool sea air, listen to the thundering waves and the cry of the seagulls. The first few people of the day are already out and about. An elderly couple observe the surfers, a man throws a stick for his Labrador to fetch, a woman walks along the water’s edge. At the end of the beach we encounter a young seal resting in the sand behind a large rock. “Not unusual at this time of year,” the receptionist at the hotel tells us later in the day. What is unusual though is that the seal allows us to come so close that we could almost reach out and stroke it. With its huge black eyes and shiny fur it resembles a cuddly toy. We watch it briefly but then leave again soon as we don’t want to scare the seal away.
Back at the hotel we each get a donut and another coffee and then take a seat on the terrace, which has been used as a location for scenes in a couple of movies. Gloucester itself has served as a location for such popular films as Mermaids (Cher and Wynona Ryder); The Perfect Storm (George Clooney) and Moonlight Mile (Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon and Jake Gyllenhaal) It is easy to understand why this particular spot would be chosen as a setting for a movie. Even if the air is a little cool, we thoroughly enjoy the morning sun and the fantastic view of the sea. For us, this is a perfect start to the day.