Today we were going further afield and headed out to Salem. We didn’t really know much about the town other than it was famous for witches (which turns out to not really be the case). The drive up was really easy and when we got there the town was rather empty. Raj had warned us that we were coming out of season and so places big on tourism might be quiet. This worked to our advantage though as it meant we got to do everything without it being busy. Our first stop to the tourist center to pick up a map and find what was going on in the area, whilst we were there they had a free movie we could watch to tell us about the history of the old import business and the witch trials that took place. Afterwards we walked past a cheesy harry potter (with signs saying this is no way endorsed or affiliated with Harry Potter) shop which sold butter beer so thought we should give it a try. It wasn’t as good as the stuff in Orlando or the Harry Potter tour in the UK for that matter but it was nice enough.
We’d booked on to a free Salem historic tour so made our way to the custom house where it left from.
It was run by the local park ranger and started out on an historic boat where we were told about the import business and how Salem used to be the richest town in America due to the import business. Afterwards we got to see inside the custom house which was partly set out as a museum but was still in use today.
We had some lunch at a Salem beerworks which was all but empty apart from us and another couple and Al tried some of their specialty beer. We wandered about the empty streets some more before deciding to go to one of the reenactment museums.
There was only us and a group of three friends on the tour which felt kind of awkward and the staff on stage were going through the story of the witch trials. Turns out the town wasn’t really famous for having a lot of so called witches but for a set of particular witch trials where some children had decided to make up a story about their nanny and a few other people who were all innocent but were then hung for witchcraft. Around 20 were killed including a dog!
After Salem we drove to Lexington where we met up with a colleague of mine, Simon, who I had worked with some years ago but had never met in person and his wife.
We got to take part in another Americanism and use a parking meter which weirdly I found fun.
We enjoyed a lovely meal in Vine Brook Tavern and Al really enjoyed his seafood gnocchi.