Sunday, September 25, 2011

Exploring the East End, Portland, Maine: Part 1 ~ September 25th

Recently my friend Jenifer treated me to a belated birthday present: a visit to the Portland Observatory followed by lunch at a nearby restaurant.

This was my first time visiting the observatory, which is the last remaining signal tower in the U.S. It's located on Munjoy Hill in the East End section of Portland Maine, just a short walk from Jen's house.

Luckily for us, it was a gorgeous day so once we got to the top, we were able to fully appreciate the lovely views of Portland and Casco Bay.

[looking up Congress Street toward the Eastern Promenade]

[looking toward Casco Bay]

[view of Back Bay]

[Jen snapping a photo]

[cruise ship at anchor in Portland]

[Jen at the top]

[me at the top]

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and his talk was an enjoyable way to pick up a little bit of local history.

[Munjoy Hill circa 1829]

The tower was designed by Captain Lemeul Moody.

The observatory, rather than having a basement, is anchored by large boulders on the bottom level. The tower is just over 65 feet high. It was built in 1807.

 [Model of the observatory]

My favorite part of the tower was the graffiti: names and initials that visitors have carved over the years in a particular spot inside the tower.

In my next posting, I'll tell you about some of the shops we visited and the fantastic lunch we had!