Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day in Cape Cod

So i was in bed for 7:30pm last night, the swim in the pool earlier on had cleared my headache a bit but i was still feeling a little under the weather. I laid in bed watching Gossip Girl (i know, i know!) on my laptop and must have fallen asleep within 10 minutes. I woke around 3am to find me laptop on my chest. I managed to get back to sleep for a few hours and went down to the Gym around 9am. I still wasn't 100% but felt good enough to do 25 mins on the treadmill.
I’d picked up a couple of tourist maps from the hotel reception and a couple of friends had suggested places to go and visit on my way up to Provincetown. I'd been told Provincetown was a really cute town and if i had the chance to see it then it was worth the 1 hour drive north. I had also been told it was the gay capital of the USA! 
I'd heard the rain last night outside and it sounded pretty bad! there was no sound at all this morning so i was guessing it had stopped, thankfully it had and although it was thick cloud it was dry but real windy.
My first stop was Fort Hill, my friend Franz had suggested i stop by here as the view fo the ocean was great, he wasn't wrong. When i said it was real windy that was an understatement, its was blowing a gale! i got out of the car at Fort Hill and it nearly took the car door outa my hand and off the hinges! it was nice to feel like i was back home in England!
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I sat there for 20 minutes or so just watching the wind blowing the surf off the top of the waves, it cleared my head a lot and i felt great after getting back in the car!
Fort Hill Panorama:
fort hill panorama
As i drove to the car park at Fort Hill i passed a beautiful old house and stopped by on the way back. It was uninhabited and as i got closer it was obvious it wasn't just any old house and was somewhere special.
Penniman House:
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The whole of Cape Cod is littered with Bed & Breakfast places,I've never been a real fan of bed & Breakfasts to be honest but it would be worth staying in some of them on the Cape just to stay in such beautiful houses! they look amazing from the outside and i can only imagine what the rooms must be like on the inside!
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As you can see from the above pictures, the weather was picking up and the sun was coming out, it was still real windy though but i can handle this, its the rain i don't like, i hate getting wet! and it's no fun wandering around in the rain.
My next stop was Marconi beach. On the way i passed the biggest Halloween display I've ever seen! this was just someone's house and they had gone all out to decorate their garden! Halloween is HUGE in the USA and the more the days go by the more people are decorating. Not sure I'll see another one as good and  as big as this though.
halloween panorama
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I would have loved to have seen the above at night, there were lights all over it and it must have looked great when it was dark.
My friend Matt suggested i stopped over at Marconi beach as it has a bit of significance sinec i was English! Guglielmo Marconi built the first radio station near the beach and sent the first transatlantic radio transmission from the USA to King Edward VII in the UK!
Although there's nothing at all left of the actual radio station there's lots of info there about it including area maps, models and details of the whole transmission that took place in 1901
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I thought it would be cool to call my dad on my cell phone while i was there so called him and explained where i was and why i was calling, this was kinda cool and ironic that i was stood where i was  and calling the UK some 109 years later on a cell phone that was no larger than a couple of credit cards stuck together! Click on the above pics for larger images to read about Marconi.
I sat on the edge of the sand cliffs for a while just taking in the view, there were signs everywhere warning of the eroding cliffs. As i got closer to the edge you could see just how high the cliffs were and they were just pure sand, no rock at all and these must erode back at an amazing rate! Again, it was nice just to sit there and watch the surf and the waves crashing down.
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The pictures below give you no idea at all as to how steep those sand cliffs were, they must have been 50ft high and very steeply raked.
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I was about 15 miles away from Provincetown and all the way through the cape were seafood places at the side of the road, these ranged from large restaurants to real small shacks selling muscles, lobster, clams and anything else you can get from the sea and eat! Being from the UK i wasn't a huge seafood eater and had only eaten seafood while i was in the US and specifically on the east coast. One of my favourite dishes is the clam chowder you get in the bread bowl, they do it on the west coast in San Francisco and it comes in a sourdough bread roll which i love. I was going to stop for lunch on the way up to Provincetown but thought id get there instead and find somewhere to eat up there, this turned out to be a good decision.
I love the style of houses in the Cape and i don't think I've ever seen as many cedar shingle clad houses in my life!! Every single house was different, there were no two alike, each one was unique in both style and colour. Just as i saw one that i liked i saw another and this went on the whole time i was around the Cape. I love looking at houses and this was heaven for me.
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I arrived in Provincetown around noon and parked in the car park for the Pilgrim Tower. It was $7 to go up and i thought it would give a great birds eye view of the area from the top.
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There were 116 steps to the top, no lift, just concrete steps all the way. The steps weren't like one after the other like the staircase in a house but like 2 long steps, then you would turn 90 degrees and 2 more steps and so on and so on walking around the inside of the tower. I'm not sure how many floors it was equivalent to but i would have loved to have run up it in my running gear, would have been a fantastic workout!
The steps up the tower
The view from the top was nothing short of spectacular, you could see for miles and miles in either direction. It was however VERY windy, as i walked round the top of the tower and walked to the east side i had to hang on to my hoodie to stop it blowing off. You were totally out in the open at the top but there were railing all around and plastic lookouts where you could take pictures.
Views from the top of the Pilgrim Tower:
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I was the only one at the top of the tower and didn't see anyone else on my way up or down! i wanted to get a picture of me at the top but the only way was by taking a picture using my cell phone, hence the comb over from the wind in the pictures below!
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   After 20 minutes at the top i made my way down to look round the town centre. As i said earlier i had been told that Provincetown was the gay capitol of the USA, i had no idea at all just how gay it was! There were same sex couples EVEYWHERE! i have no idea how it came to be like this in a little sleepy town but it was very obvious from the moment i walked down the street. I'm pretty sure had i waited long enough in one place i could have taken five or six pictures and assembled a montage of people resembling the Village People from the video for their song YMCA!

The town itself was real nice, it was very similar to Key West, lots of real small streets with small boutique shops and real nice architecture. Again each of the buildings were very unique and each had their own style and colour.
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I did a little shopping and went in and out of the stores for an hour. I then saw a little seafood place and went in for lunch. I sat at a table inside the restaurant on the ocean front looking out over the ocean at the boats moored up and the wind blowing the waves onto the beach and had THE best clam chowder I've ever had!
The Lobster Pot                                 My clam chowder lunch                     The view from my table
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I headed back out onto the street and just wandered up and down the alleys taking in all the people and buildings around me, if your a fan of people watching then believe me this is THE place to come. You cannot even begin to imagine the sights i saw! as I'm sure a lot of people say in Provincetown, what happens in Provincetown stays in Provincetown!!
Some of the shops and buildings (yes it was a bakery for dogs with their own cookies!):
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The beautiful colours of the trees turning.
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It was now past 2pm and i had stayed in Provincetown a little longer than i had planned, i had no idea it was so nice and would have booked a hotel here instead of in Hyannis the night before had i known, ah well its another place to come back to some day i guess. iIhad a three and a half hour drive to do to get to Hartford for the show tonight and i was meeting a few people around five before the show so i had to get moving.
Provincetown beach panorama
provincetown panorama
Just wanted to say thanks to Franz and Matt for suggesting the places i went to, had it not been for you both i wouldn't have known about these, cheers.
Lots more pictures in the album here, click below.


  1. Haha - did you overhear anyone singing show tunes in Provincetown like we did? I'd love to visit Cape Cod again someday - it's been over 10 years since I went. Glad you liked it.

  2. Great photos! I love P-town, it certainly gives SF a run for its' (gay) money! There's a little section of San Diego called Hillcrest which is sort of a gay mecca too, but not on the scale of P-town. Glad you had such a great day.

    Julie :)

  3. We're glad you enjoyed the Cape, it can be a beautiful place! Nice that the weather improved enough to get out & about, you visited some of our favorite spots. If you make it back this way again it would be fun to show you some others in person.