Group of people standing in a line smiling at the camera on the coast with the sea in the background.

Day Trip to Rockport!

A big part of going on exchange to a new country is looking around a little and exploring the country outside of the city as well! Today, I’ll take you along on a day trip to Rockport I went on with friends a couple of days ago, but first let me share some insights about traveling that I gained the past months.

Traveling when on exchange

Cliffs in front of a body of water with a lighthouse on the cliffs in the distance.
The quarry close to Rockport. Photo: Muriel Heitsch
  1. Travel at the start of the exchange! This is likely when you (and any friends you may want to visit) will likely have the most time and thus it will be easier to find a time that suits both of you.
  2. Make a plan of what places you would like to visit. This will help you plan when you would like to do what trip, since some places may take longer to get to or you would like to spend more time there than in another place. It will also make it easier to prioritize certain trips over others in case you do notice that you do not have enough time to do them all.
  3. It’s worth it! Going on short (or long) trips around the host country will allow you to get a better understanding of the culture and the country since the landscape may vary a lot depending on the area.
  4. Look at transportation. Some countries may have better public transportation than others and it is important to consider if it might be worth renting out a car. Especially in countries like the US, a car is often the best way to get around outside of the city.

Going to Rockport!

A pier with colorful lobster cages and a red barn stretching into the water.
The famous red barn with colorful lobster cages in front of it. Photo: Muriel Heitsch

Rockport is a super cute town in Massachusetts just about an hour away from Boston by car, so a great place for a daytrip!! It is a coastal town with a couple of beaches, which make it ideal for summer trips to the ocean.

We started off the visit by going to my friend’s favorite lobster restaurant. Lobster had been on my Boston bucket list since the start, so I was super excited about it!! It definitely isn’t the neatest meal and things do get messy (hence the bib they actually provide with the food), but I really enjoyed it! I also tried calamari and clam bellies, which are both typical dishes for New England. The latter which had a strong seafood taste to it that I really loved.

A cooked lobster with fries, clam bellies and calamari as well as a small salad on a red tray on a blue table.
Lunch!!! Photo: Muriel Heitsch

After the meal we decided to go for a walk along the quarry that was close to the restaurant. It was a beautiful walk and although not all the trees have leaves yet it was really nice to be out in the green. The hike took us to the coast, where we spent some time just standing and looking out at the ocean.

After the walk we headed to downtown Rockport and explored around. Apart from a lot of cute little houses with seafood restaurants (more lobster! 😊) and sweets (if you ever go you must try the fudge and the ice cream!!!), there are a lot of art galleries featuring a large variety of different styles. There are also many small boutiques with neat summer clothing.

Blue door with many famous quotes written on the glass in the painted blue doorframe.
The bookstore door with some neat quotes! Photo: Muriel Heitsch

However, I must say that my absolute favorite store was the bookstore! Located in a light blue shack, it consisted of just one small ­room, with books lining the walls and two shelves in the center. Although it did not have many books, a great variety was present and there was everything from Oppenheimer over books written by Nobel laureates to Rachel Carson.

It was an extremely nice and fulfilling day, a perfect break from my thesis writing. We all arrived in Boston very happy and relaxed.

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