Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge, Massachusetts is located in the metropolitan area of Boston, being a smaller town which was first settled by the Christian Puritans, back in 1630. During that period of time, the town developed its agriculture and a little while after that, in 1793 and 1809, the first bridges were built over the Charles River, thus making a more rapid connection to the larger Town of Boston.

That has led to the rapid development of the furniture industry, as well as of glass production. Over the next ten years numerous Irish immigrants settled in Cambridge, and nowadays the Irish population represented up to 22 per cent of the entire number of inhabitants. In the years that followed, the region received thousands of other immigrants arriving from Italy, Russia, Germany, Poland and even Portugal. Many Jews also chose this city as their residence and came over in large numbers.

So, it is no surprise that today, the population in the Cambridge area is very diverse. Due to the proximity of Harvard University, MIT or Radcliffe, many intelligent young men and women have populated the region. At present several huge internationally known companies like Google, Microsoft or Novartis have offices and factories in this region.

Today the city has about 100,000 inhabitants and it is known as a unique place which is filled with history and culture.

cambridgeCambridge is also visited by thousands of people every year. Some of them come to see the MIT Museum, some for the Harvard Museum of Natural History, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology or the Busch Reisinger Museum.

Harvard Square represents the center of the town, a social and commercial area where major boulevards or avenues meet. It is the very place where one can find nice book shops, all sorts of restaurants, bars or terraces.

Close to Harvard Square, tourists can visit Harvard Yard, the campus of the University that was first opened here in 1636. Several of the buildings located there are very old, very beautiful and still perfectly functional. The place is wonderfully embellished by a statue of John Harvard.

Another interesting place for the visitors arriving in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is the Fogg Art Museum, which was firstly opened in 1895. At present the museum is considered to be the best university art museum in the country. A collection of works belonging to John Singleton Copley can be admired there; also, Stuart Gilbert signs many of the works exhibited in the museum.

MIT is the other great university located in Cambridge, and it has its own museum that was opened back in 1971. People will find there all sorts of documents related to science, engineering and technology. There are two famous exhibits in the museum: the Artificial Intelligence exhibit and the Emerging Technologies Gallery. The collection that can be seen in this museum contains more than 1800 pieces and is considered to be the largest in the entire world.

Back in 1949, the Collection of Historical Instruments was opened in Cambridge; it is there that people can admire all the interesting and unique apparatus that scientists from Harvard have used over the years. Another interesting museum that should be visited while in Cambridge is the Museum of Useful Things. A visit to the museum will teach you to look in a different way at the things that you use daily; you will find answers to questions related to the origin and invention of the commonly used objects.

Somerville, Massachusetts

Massachusetts is one of the great American states whose capital is the wonderful, stylish Boston City. It is the 14th state when it comes to the number of inhabitants. The state has several nice symbols, among them being the wild turkey, the cod fish, the mayflower, the ladybug or the American Elm.

Mayflower is the name of the ship that brought the first pilgrims, puritans, back in 1620, to the shores of America, where they have founded Plymouth. Before the arrival of the puritans, the region was populated by the tribes which used to cultivate squash and corn, as well as hunt and fish. During the 17th century, the land was occupied by the white people coming from Europe.

The puritans came to America looking for religious freedom; the Europeans tried to be friendly to the natives. During the 19th century, Massachusetts became the leader in the industrial revolution, having several factories round Boston and Springfield.

Somerville, Massachusetts was firstly established in 1630 and was part of the town of Charlestown. At present the town occupies an area of 5 square miles / 11 square kilometers, and its neighbors are Cambridge, Arlington, Medford and Everett.

Somerville is known especially for Davis Square, considered to be a magnet for people visiting the town. There one can find different restaurant and shops, as well as listen to street musicians. The square is also the perfect place to stroll with your loved ones.

boston-massachusettsDue to the proximity of Mystic River, there are several activities people can do for fun on the river, boating and canoeing being just two of them. The river offers several perfect places to start you water adventure. Tourists and locals are advised to wait about two days after a heavy rain before they sail the river. Mystic River Watershed is linked to 22 communities, and there are several trails and parks in between them.

If tourists arriving in Somerville love to ride a bike, then it is good to know that the region has several bike trails that they will enjoy. The authorities manage an entire system of bike trails and hiking routes, so that nature lovers can experience many wonderful days just enjoying the region by bike or by foot. The internet is also providing reliable info concerning the trails. Among those trails there are East Boston Greenway, Bike to the Sea and Somerville Community Path.

The Somerville region is also great for bird exploring. There are numerous bird species spending either the summer or the entire year there, and they can be watched in especially designated spots all over Somerville neighborhood.

Visitors or inhabitants of Somerville can watch old movies, or attend a live show at Somerville Theater; other entertaining shows are organized in Davis Square. Also, people that love to breathe fresh air can have nice and pleasant walks in the Powderhouse Square. Several benches, the proximity of the clean and green grass, as well as several nice playgrounds for kids will make your walk a pleasant experience.

Do not forget to attend Somerville Porchfest, the local festival dedicated to music. All sorts of bands from the region gather to offer nice shows to all participants.

Somerville is also linked to the tasty Taza chocolate, an artisan chocolate factory which can be visited almost every day of the year. A visit at the factory will mean learning several interesting things related to the art of making chocolate and the cocoa beans. Picnics can be organized in Prospect Hill Park, a nice place for families that want to have fun in the open air.

Fastest European Highways

Speed lovers will love to hear that the German autobahns have no speed limit, which means that theoretically you can drive the car the as fast as you want. However, the German highways have some speed recommendations, limiting the speed at 80 miles / 130 kilometers per hour. In Germany the autobahns are 8,000 miles / 12,845 Km long, which represent the fourth world place, after the Chinese highways system, the American highway system and the Spain highways.

fastest highwaysThe Transfagarasan Road is definitely not the fastest in Europe, but according to the Top Gear Team, it is the most beautiful road in the entire world. If you decide to rent a car in Romania, there are several car rental companies that will offer you the possibility to enjoy a nice road trip while driving a modern car. Here are the European winners at the fastest highway category:

1. The German autobahns have multiple lanes in each direction which are separated by a barrier in the middle. The Germans began to build the highways during the Nazi regime. In 1936, a number of about 130,000 workers were involved in their construction.

Speed limits are imposed at junctions and in several dangerous points, which are either repaired or under construction. Some limits have been imposed to reduce noise and pollution, of course. But statistics say that one eight of the entire autobahn system has no speed limit at all. One third of all highways have a permanent speed limit, while the rest have temporary speed limits.

If you are going to drive your car on the autobahn, keep in mind that the left-hand lane is for very fast cars. The speed difference that exists between the lanes on such a highway is the main risk factor, as it is very difficult to approximate the necessary time for a usual overtake.

2. Italy boasts also with The Autostrade, a fast highway where the speed limit is 80 miles / 130 kilometers per hour. What is indeed interesting with the Italian highway system is that under certain circumstances, when there are three lanes in each direction, the speed limit can get up to 95 miles / 150 kilometers per hour. The Autostrade totals no less than 4,000 miles / 6,400 kilometers and the biggest part is a toll way. Italy was the first country is the world to start building motorways; the first was ready in 1926. At the end of the 1920’s, about 2,500 miles / 4,000 kilometers of highway were ready.

3. The Autoroute system in France offers drivers the possibility of driving with a speed limit of 80 miles / 130 kilometers per hour under normal conditions. Due to the high safety level associated to all highways in the country, this speed limit is a usual one for France. The lanes are larger and there is longer space for acceleration and slowing; in addition to this, the lanes are separated by crash barriers, which are created to resist an impact of a car up to 110 miles / 180 kilometers per hour. There are no intersections, but only tunnels and bridges. There are emergency call centers every mile / 2 kilometers and resting areas every 6 miles / 10 kilometers.

4. The Autobahn in Austria had a speed limit of 100 miles / 160 kilometers per hour, but this was allowed only for a short period of time. At the beginning of the 1920s the Austrians began to consider the idea to build high speed roads across their country, but the first autobahn that has been constructed in Austria was ready only in 1938, linking Salzburg to Vienna. Austria has 18 autobahns currently.

5. The Netherlands boasts also with one of the most modern highway systems in the world. Safety is a major concern for those managing the highways, so the speed limit is 80 miles / 130 kilometers per hour on most of them.