Cape Cod – where only “Frankenstorm” can end the summer

On our way from Nantasket Beach to Cape Cod, we passed Plymouth and stopped briefly to see where the first settlers lived. We didn’t go into town, just down to the harbor, where a replica of the Mayflower lies:

Replica of Mayflower in Plymouth

An ancient greek looking building holds what is said to be a piece of the first stone, the pilgrims set foot on…:

Building holding the stone of the pilgrims

The stone the pilgrims first set foot on - so the story goes...

Interesting fact about Plymouth: This is not the place, where the pilgrims stepped on land first – even the rock is not from here! It was close to Provincetown on Cape Cod where the pilgrims feet first touched American soil! But they didn’t like it up there and came down to the place that is now called Plymouth (like the English city the Mayflower left from) to settle here.

We arrived quite early at our accommodation, the Cape Shore Inn Motel in South Yarmouth. But the owner was very friendly and gave us a room straight away. The room is nothing special but quite big and very tidy.

Our room at the Cape Shore Inn in South Yarmouth

We quickly unloaded our car and then drove off to Chatham Light because we were told you can see seals from there and sometimes even white sharks. Even though Cape Cod looks very small on a map, it took us half an hour to get to Chatham. We parked in front of the lighthouse and went down to the beach.

Chatham Light

Chatham Beach

Enjoying Chatham Beach

Footprints in the sand

We could spot some seals from the beach, but they were too far out to really observe them.

Seal

Our next stop was Fort Hill where we wanted to do some short hikes. We drove to Penniman House, an old house that one belonged to a whaler, and parked there. We had planned to start with the Red Maple Swamp Trail but it was unfortunately closed because the boardwalk was broken. This trail is part of the longer Fort Hill Trail. We decided to do the rest of the Fort Hill Trail nevertheless. The loop we did was only 1 mile (1,6 kilometer) long and very easy.

It leads over a meadow first…

Fort Hill Trail leading over a meadow

…until you pass a forest and arrive at the edge of a marsh.

Fort Hill Trail leading along a marsh

You follow along the marsh…

The marsh along Fort Hill Trail

…until you reach Fort Hill where you can overlook the landscape.

Our next destination was the Salt Pond Visitor Center where some more trails start. At first we wanted to do the Nauset Marsh Trail but when we walked the first minutes on it we could still hear the street noise and the trail was a bit crowded. So we decided to do the short Buttonbush “Trail” (it’s only 0.2 miles, 0.4 kilometers, long) instead. But it offers several information panels along the way and is also designed for the blind with descriptions in braille and a rope you can hold on to.

Rope on Buttonbush Trail

The trail led mainly through forest but offered a boardwalk at one point, too.

Boardwalk on Buttonbush Trail

And you were encouraged to touch the plants along the way.

Fooling around on Buttonbush Trail

  • What do you mean by “touching only, not using as a liana”??

On our second day on Cape Cod we drove all the way up to Provincetown in the morning, which took us about 1.2 hours. Provincetown was once a small village where only fisherman lived. Nowadays, “P-Town” is a hip and open-minded place with a vivid gay and lesbian community and art scene.

We arrived around 10 am and parked right at the harbor – which cost us 6 $ for the whole day. The most interesting street of Provincetown is Commerce Street as there are many galleries, shops and cafés.

Commercial Street in Provincetown

Creative shop in Provincetown

The people here are also very creative when it comes to Halloween decorations! You can see friendly cats sitting on houses…

Halloween decoration in Provincetown # 1

…but also not so friendly ones staring at you…

Halloween decoration in Provincetown # 2

…then there are drunken pumpkin people lying around in the streets…

Halloween decoration in Provincetown # 3

…and I recon that’s the only time in my life that I see Halloween decoration in public restrooms!

Halloween decoration in Provincetown # 4

But even though these were pretty awesome already, the best Halloween decoration – maybe of our whole trip – is still to come, you only have to continue reading this post… 😉

After walking around Provincetown for two hours we left the town for some more hikes. We drove further north and parked at the Province Lands Visitor Center. From here, the Beech Forest Trail (1 mile, 1,5 kilometers) commences.

It began with a boardwalk…

Beech Trail boardwalk

..and led along a marsh…

Marsh at Beech Trail

…and through forest…

Beech Trail leading through forrest

…that stood partly in its most beautiful autumn colours:

Indian Summer on Beech Trail

We also walked along a pond in the forest:

Pont at the Beech Trail

When we had finished this little hike, it all felt a bit repetitive. So we needed some good old school beach fun for a change! 🙂

Race Point Beach old school # 1

Race Point Beach old school # 2

Race Point Beach old school # 3

…sorry, I got distracted by pixlr effects… 🙂

But it doesn’t matter whether in black and white or in colour, we had a great time at the beach by just stepping a bit into the cold ocean and sitting in the sun.

Cold ocean at Race Point Beach

Race Point Beach

But after a while we saw clouds rising on the horizon and we decided to give up the beach to what might be the beginning of “Frankenstorm”… 🙂

On the way back to South Yarmouth we stopped at Pilgrim Hights for two more hikes:

The Small’s Swamp Trail (0.7 miles, 1,1 kilometers) led through another forest…

Small's Swamp Trail # 1

…were we saw a turtle next to the trail…

Turtle next to Small's Swamp Trail

…and another view of the marsh:

Small's Swamp Trail # 3

The last trail we walked on was the Pilgrim Spring Trail (0.3 miles, 0,4 kilometers). Again, forest…

Pilgrim Spring Trail # 1

…and marsh.

Pilgrim Spring Trail '#2

I have to admit, after having done a few of the trails on Cape Cod, I found them not really spectacular. But the peninsula is probably not a destination for hikers, but for those who come here to enjoy the beaches. And that I can understand! 🙂

Our last destination was Bass Hole Boardwalk in Yarmouth.

Bass Hole Boardwalk # 1

Bass Hole Boardwalk # 2

This was a very long boardwalk going straight out into the marsh. As I like boardwalks very much (I don’t really know why, I just do… 🙂 ) I loved this one!

Remember, I promised you the maybe best Halloween decoration of our trip earlier in this post. So here it comes!

Halloween decoration # 9 Volume 1

Halloween decoration # 9 Volume 2

Halloween decoration # 9 Volume 3

All these life-sized puppets and a few more stood in one garden! Wow!!

Halloween decoration # 9 Volume 4

We are leaving sunny Cape Cod tomorrow for New York City – where we will meet up with “Frankenstorm” for a little party in the city :-S

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