(I'm going through some months-old draft posts; better post late than never, I reckon. Sorry for the disjoint nature of the posts ...)We junked our plans to visit Martha's Vineyard once we'd looked at the times of the ferries, the crossings, and the bus services around the island. So on advice from Rebecca and Alistair we headed instead for Newport, Rhode Island. In particular we walked most of the famous Cliff Walk that skirts between the ocean and the backs of the houses on Newport's Bellevue. This was once the richest road in the US, full of massive mansions built for the likes of the Astors and Vanderbilts in the second half of the 1800s. The building spree stopped with the great depression, and most of the houses were sold off by the 1940s. (BTW, good stretches of it are a rock scramble, not just a cliff walk ...)


We could imagine the Great Gatsby being set here (and we later discovered part of the film was shot here), and someone walking with us thought that the party scene in Meet Joe Black was filmed in one of the gardens. We took a hint seen on www.tripadvisor.com and parked on Narangasset Ave, walked about 2.5 miles to Ledge Rd. We then walked back along Bellevue Ave to the car looking at the fronts of the houses, complete with little signs giving some history. On many of them we saw that these houses were regarded as "white elephants" even at the time. Much money doesn't necessarily buy much happiness or much sense ...We drove a few miles to Fort Adams where we admired the view over the harbour and to the Claiborne Pell suspension bridge, and read our books for a while. Our stopping point was a generic Best Western, which we reckoned was much better value than the posh-ish Royal Sonesta we'd stayed at in Boston.There's been one thing that's puzzled us so far: a number of houses have had large 5-pointed wooden stars painted red fixed to them. We haven't yet worked out what they're supposed to signify ...

AuthorJonathan Clark