Another day spent ashore, this time in the city of Norfolk. We decided to experience something a little different – glass. We took an Uber to the Chrysler Museum of Art and Glass Studio to not only observe the beauty of glass from bygone eras, but also to see how glass objects are made. We attended a demonstration of creating a glass blown vase. If we were here longer we could attend a class or two. As well, we soaked up the fine artworks of Monet, Renoir, Gauguin and Pissarro, not to mention modern pieces requiring more eclectic tastes.
Time for lunch and we hot-footed through the cobbled streets of West Freemason – the earliest residential streetscape in Norfolk. Not designed for stiletto heels. We dined at the Freemason Abbey Restaurant which is actually a repurposed Presbyterian Church. It was absolutely stunning inside. And the food was good!
We then followed the Cannonball Trail through 400 years of Norfolk and American history. We walked through different districts of downtown and even though we had a paper guide, narrative plaques marked places and events of historic interest. We walked past the MacArthur Memorial where General Douglas MacArthur is buried, as well as the Confederate Monument which is nearby.
Along City Hall Avenue is a series of Windows on History – 400 years of Virginia history are showcased in 16 display windows. The windows capture watershed moments of the region’s history.
We walked past quite a few beautiful churches. One in particular, St Paul’s Episcopal Church, has its roots back to the Revolution. It survived the British bombardment of 1776 with a British cannonball still embedded in the wall.
We followed the Cannonball Trail as it wound around and through downtown, past historic homes of early merchants and leading citizens, and government buildings, one being the US Customs House. It was used by Federal troops as a dungeon between 1862 and 1865.
The Cannonball Trail flowed on down along the shoreline of the Elizabeth River to the Waterside and Town Point Park. Earlier I had wondered where all the people were. None were spotted in the downtown area. As we approached the shoreline, groups of police had closed the streets and were on patrol. The annual Harborside Fest was in full swing. Who knew? Thousands of people had converged into a relatively small strip of greenery to listen to bands playing, watch boat building, scale tall ships, clamber aboard navy patrol boats, eat copious quantities of fast food, and generally have a grand ‘ole time.
We walked steadily through the throng to view the Battleship Wisconsin which is tied up next to Nauticus, a naval museum. This part of the world has a never ending supply of museums!
Another Uber ride was in order to get us back to Bushranger. Two foot weary souls ready for an afternoon siesta.
Such is Life!