Friday, November 18, 2016

Visiting the Portland Head Lighthouse [Part 5]


Portland Head Light is truly a great lighthouse, located in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The light station sits on a head of land looking out towards Portland Harbor. It was completed in 1791, and it is the oldest lighthouse in the state of Maine. The light station is automated, and the tower, beacon, and foghorn are maintained by the United States Coast Guard, while the former lighthouse keepers' house is a maritime museum within Fort Williams Park. We spent an afternoon there and visited Portland as well, which charmed us too. As you all maybe know I love lighthouses, so this venture was one of the highlights of the trip for me.


An Early Start...

This was one of a couple of days of our road trip where we had to start early with the drive. We had a lot of ground to cover. Not only did we visit the Portland Head Light, we also visited Portland, Maine and then headed inland towards North Conway. The sight from our window at the Western Plus Inn in Portsmouth was promising. Clear skies and not too much traffic. Unfortunately the weather would turn for the worse towards the end of the day, but we still got to see everything before the rain arrived.


The drive from Portsmouth to the Portland Head Light was a short one (around 1 hour). We used the state highway to get a head start, which helped us a lot. The arrival to the lighthouse was really great. Lots of lovely houses, covered in autumn leaves were greeting us as we drove through the lone streets towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Portland Head Light

I have talked about the fact that there were a few visual sights of New England before we started our journey. The images of the Portland Head Light had been in my mind for 10+ years. I loved Maine even before I ever stepped a foot there. Of course the fresh breeze from the Ocean was the first interaction with the lighthouse. I loved the salty scent in the air. The Atlantic was laid open in front of us, and gazing into the distance was a real treat. Of course the sights closer to us were equally thrilling.





We took this group photo with a GoPro camera, which worked well in this instance. There were other people here so we had to make sure not to include them into this wide angle shot.


The lighthouse itself is a museum nowadays, and for a small entrance fee of 2$ you can enter and take a look at the exhibits. The nearby gift shop offers souvenirs (though highly overpriced). We got our souvenirs later when we visited the Old town of Portland. But still it's nice to take a look around, and escape the winds that naturally occur here.





Visiting Portland

The city of Portland is only a 20 minute drive from the Portland Head Light. We did run into some traffic while heading into the city, but eventually got there in time. Portland is a bigger city, but not too big. If you happen to be driving through or only visiting a short time, I think it's best to head into the Old Port and skip the rest.


We had lunch in Three Dollar Deweys, a cozy pub. The food was ok, we only had small bites here and saved ourselves for dinner later on. We didn't do much in Portland except having lunch and buying some souvenirs. The Old Port is really nice and I loved the red brick buildings, a sight which would greet us later on in Boston.



Our Drive Inland

We finally departed from Portland around 3 in the afternoon and left the Atlantic Coast which had been our guide in the first few days. The drive inland through Maine and New Hampshire was a bit bland at first, since we didn't drive through any interesting towns. But eventually the sights became more interesting as we passed by lakes, woods and more autumn foliage.





Shopping in the Settlers Green Outlet

We didn't shop that much during our stay in the USA, because we were more focused on sightseeing, but we did stop at the Settlers Green Outlet in New Hampshire. This outlet is special because there is no sales tax. So you can get high-name-brands cheaper and without tax. You can take a look at the website to take a look at the stores. I got some Timberland boots there (which actually proved to be very useful in the rest of the trip since we did have rainy days).

Arriving in North Conway

We arrived in North Conway at the end of the day. The shopping outlet is only 10 minutes away from the town. North Conway is very charming and full of fall foliage. We stayed in the Oxen Yoke Motel, which was very nice.


The night rolled in and we headed out for dinner. We at the the Ninety Nine Restaurant which had great food, and even better deserts. We headed back to our motel and got a great rest which was much needed after this long day.



I will speed this up a bit from here. The next post will truly be a autumn wonderland post! We will head inland through the White Mountain National Forest. As you can imagine there will be fall sights galore in the next post so you can look forward to that. After that only one more post divides us from the first big city of our trip: New York City!

End of Part Five
To be continued...

25 comments:

  1. The Portland Head Lighthouse is very pretty! You have captured it very well. Beautiful autumn photos from Maine too.
    Happy Weekend!

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    1. Thanks Marit. We had some nice weather during our stay at the lighthouse. It was really great.

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  2. sehr schöne Fotos von dieser tollen Reise.

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  3. Loved to read your new post. Awesome pics.
    Have a nice weekend :)

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  4. Great photos, Mersad, as always. I hope you will drop by http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2016/11/haifa-israel.html to share!

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  5. wow on the drive inland, what a view to have while driving and I love the red brick buildings and the light house is beautiful to..

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  6. What can I say? Too many superlatives can begin to sound insincere. This set of images is outstanding. It looks like the morning couldn't have been better for your visit to the lighthouse. Your photos show the increasing clouds as the day wore on, but that didn't seem to hamper your photos at all. That last roadway shot if gorgeous. Love the brick streets in your Portland shots. That motel in North Conway looks like just the kind of place Doug and I would enjoy. No need to "speed this up" on my account. I'm enjoying every bit of it.

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    1. Thanks Linda. I am following our trip chronologically but from this point on there are a few days where not much happened so will concentrate it a bit. Nothing will be skipped though. When we come to NYC it will be a whole different story. There is a lot to see there. Thanks so much for your kind words again, it's much appreciated.

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  7. Terrific shots of the lighthouse and Portland's Old Port area (especially the old brick). I am amazed that you were able to pick a year when the colorful fall foliage has lasted so long. Very lucky!

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    1. Yeah we were very lucky with the weather. It did rain after North Conway for 2 days but it didn't lessen our enjoyment.

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  8. Gorgeous photos, Mersad...the lighthouse, the views, the Autumn colours and the food! I have been to Maine only once...like about 50 years ago, when I was 9 years old. :) Even though it has been so many decades, I have not forgotten the wonderful time I had in Old Orchard Beach! :)

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  9. That lighthouse is lovely! And I've always wanted to visit the "other" Portland. :)

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  10. I would have to go back and read from the beginning of the series. This time around you visited the other coast, eh? Great shots.

    Worth a Thousand Words

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    1. Yup. This year we visited the East Coast. New England and New York to be precise.

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  11. What a great looking tour you are on. Love all the fall colors in your pictures. Those old light houses are great to visit. There are quite a few of them around the Great Lakes. Looking forward to seeing your take on fall in the White Mountains.

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    1. It's going to be very colorful I can promise that much! :)

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  12. Maine is such a beautiful state and Portland is a favorite city of mine. Gorgeous shots!

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  13. All great, but the street scenes in Portland are Fantastic. Well done. Oh, and by the way, that shot of you is another opponent-scaring pose!

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  14. Stunning photos of breathtaking views, as always, Mersad. I so enjoyed accompanying your road touring in such nice colors of autumn blessed with the fine weather. Portland Head Lighthouse is the place I’d like to visit and I like the architecture of the nearby gift shop with steep red roof. I was interested in Fire engine of Portland. At the end, you made me hungry, yes, time for lunch now.

    Yoko

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    1. Thank you Yoko. Greetings to Japan. I'm glad you enjoyed the images and I hope you ate a nice lunch :)

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  15. Wow! Everything in your post is pretty. The lighthouse (and its setting) is beautiful. However, I like how lovely Portland is. #PhotoFriday

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  16. Danke dir für diesen wieder wundervollen Post mit all den herrlichen Eindrücken.

    Liebe Grüsse

    N☼va

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  17. Great shots! Nice to see different angles of the famous lighthouse.

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  18. I truly love visiting lighthouses! We have one nearby that I am seen taking photos of....but it's privately owned and you can't get even on their road. Bummer.

    I see that other states have typical 'white line' drivers. [the little red sports car]

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  19. Fantastic photos. Such a beautiful place to be in the fall. I especially like the photo of you and the group with the lighthouse in the background. But, those fall colors are really appealing too.

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