Exploring Boston and some of its museums

Visiting Boston for just about a week, we had kept our plans loose about what we were going to see. We wanted to see some family too, and also like to not be too tied down by plans. Of course we had researched a little about what there was to see, and what we would find interesting. Doing the Boston Freedom Trail took us through a fair bit of the city and showed us many sites of interest along the way. It made sure we had seen some of the important buildings and places that are almost a ‘must-see’. So where to go and what to see after that?

On the day we arrived we had taken the megabus down from NYC after having spent part of the night at the airport. We didn’t want to do too much, as we were still tired and also feeling the jet lag a little bit (having arrived from Japan). So we decided on just doing one thing that day, which was the Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of History and Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital. We both love science and one of us is going to be a med student, so of course this place was intriguing and it was free. You don’t need to be really into medicine or science to come by. You can read about some of the medical history connected to Mass General Hospital, and how this area has advance. It’s all divided into topics such as; the evolution of health care. You can view old instruments that don’t look too pleasant, and get a demonstration to the newest technology used both in teaching and diagnosing. If you want to visit a different kind of museum this is the place. While you’re in the area, you can also go to the Ether Dome where the first successful public surgery using anesthetic took place. Read more here.

Of course our trip also included going to the Cambridge area and walking through Harvard Campus. The sun was actually out, making everything look a little nicer. It also included going over to the John Harvard statue and rubbing his left shoe like a tourist, thinking it is a student tradition hoping to give you brains. Luckily, we’re not planning on that event to get us through uni. We then went past the Natural History Museum at Harvard, which is a smaller yet interesting one. You can learn about climate change, look at all the mammals and how big and small some are, or explore the variation in butterflies and beetles. Just remember to make time to take a look at their shop, where you can find things like some creepy crawly lollipops.

We can also highly recommend to walk around in the Cambridge area and soak up the atmosphere. The mix of students and tourists. Some great restaurants and shops where you can buy your Harvard hoodie or cup, and funny and quirky little shops.

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Something that is definitely worth a visit and probably not something you would necessarily stumble upon is the Mapparium. It is located at the Mary Baker Eddy Library and is a 3-storey sphere depicting what the world looked like in 1935. You can visit and get a guided tour walking over the bridge inside it. You will get to experience an audio and light show talking about how ideas have moved and changed the world. It is worth a visit to stand inside the colourful globe, though you are not allowed to take photos due to copyright. The tour inside is about 20min, and will also give you a moment to whisper along the edge. Due to how it is built sound travels (so even your whisper is heard loud and clear, so don’t while the guide talks), which means you can stand at each end of the bridge and whisper along the edge and hear it. You can also stand in the middle and it will feel like a surround sound. If you want to read more about it or see a few photos, you can go to their website here.

During our stay in Boston we also visited the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum was too big for us to go through everything, since 2h saturated us. We can appreciate art, but some is probably lost on us too. We did enjoy the time we spent there. We started by walking around looking at the art of the ancient world, but soon found ourselves looking at some of the temporary exhibitions. Having just arrived from Japan, it was interesting to find the Hokusai exhibition at MFA. Seeing depictions of temples we had seen in Japan. Also the photography exhibit showing the aftermath of the great east Japan earthquake that happened in 2011 was intriguing. Though the exhibition we probably enjoyed the most was that of posters from world war 1. You can read here, what exhibits are currently there.

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