Thursday, 27 August 2015

Baltimore: Puerto 511

Baltimore Puerto 511 Aug 15 1

When the rain stopped, it was quite late so we did not want to go far from the hotel to eat. A check on ipads found a restaurant within 2 minutes' walk. Puerto 511 was on Clay Street. If we did not know from our various internet-connected devices that the restaurant was there, we could easily have walked past without noticing it.

We went in and found it was little more than a small dining room and a kitchen. We were shown to a table and discovered, on asking for a wine list, that it was a bring-your-own establishment. A quick journey was made to a local shop for a bottle of wine (at a fraction of the price usually charged for wine in a restaurant.)

Baltimore Puerto 511 Aug 15 2

The food was fantastic.

Baltimore Puerto 511 Aug 15 3

Baltimore Puerto 511 Aug 15 4

The restaurant also seemed to be a mini art gallery. So you can have a great meal, a drink at a sensible price and buy a work of art, all in one go!

Baltimore Puerto 511 Aug 15 5

Puerto 511 was an unassuming, simply furnished establishment that served up excellent food. It's definitely on my fully recommended list.

Baltimore: a cocktail called Jaws

Baltimore cocktail Jaws Aug 15

Having reviewed the fleet of historic ships in the Inner Harbour, we headed back to the Baltic Harbour Hotel. After a spruce up in our room, we headed down to the hotel bar. Outside, the weather had taken a complete turn and for the first time since arriving in the US, the rain fell, big style. We waited for the rain to stop falling by trying out one of the hotel's cocktails, called Jaws

Baltimore: Chesapeake Lightship

Baltimore Lightship Chesapeake Aug 15 1

The 3rd ship we visited was the Chesapeake Lightship. It last saw service in 1970. It took less than half an hour to tour the ship and read all the information boards.

Baltimore Lightship Chesapeake Aug 15 5

I did of course get to pose as captain at the wheel.

Baltimore Lightship Chesapeake Aug 15 4

Baltimore Lightship Chesapeake Aug 15 2

Baltimore: Cheesecake Factory

Baltimore Cheesecake Factory Aug 15

Having visited two ships, and with the sun still providing a heatwave, we called in to the Cheesecake Factory in the Pratt Street Pavilion on the Inner Harbour. Sadly, we opted not to eat cheesecake. We'd had a large lunch. I had a soft drink instead.

Baltimore: USS Torsk

Baltimore USS Torsk Aug 15 (1)

The USS Torsk was the 2nd of the ships we visited in the Inner Harbour. The submarine saw service towards the end of the Pacific War and then continued in service up to 1972. During that time it carried out over 11,000 dives.

If you want to see the inside of a mid 20th century submarine, the Torsk fits the bill. I had a great time!

Baltimore USS Torsk Aug 15 (4)

Baltimore USS Torsk Aug 15 (6)
Baltimore USS Torsk Aug 15 (10)

Baltimore USS Torsk Aug 15 (12)

Baltimore USS Torsk Aug 15 (14)

Baltimore: USS Constellation

Baltimore USS Constellation Aug 15 (1)

Armed with our tickets to board all 4 historic ships in the harbour, we chose the USS Constellation as the first to visit. It was the last sail powered ship of the US Navy and saw active service as an anti-slave ship and then during the Civil War. Indeed, it is the only surviving Civil War sailing ship.

Baltimore USS Constellation Aug 15 (23)

Baltimore USS Constellation Aug 15 (20)

Baltimore USS Constellation Aug 15 (16)

Baltimore USS Constellation Aug 15 (13)

Baltimore USS Constellation Aug 15 (10)

Baltimore USS Constellation Aug 15 (9)

Baltimore Harbour and Visitor Centre

Baltimore Harbour Aug 15 (1)

Lunch eaten, so it was time to explore the harbour. It is a popular location for restaurants and cafes and there were also 4 historic ships just waiting to be explored.

Baltimore Harbour Aug 15 (3)

Baltimore Harbour Aug 15 (2)

To explore the ships, tickets were needed. We got ours from the visitor centre next to the harbour. We got tickets for $18 a person. That gave us access to all 4 ships.

Baltimore Visitor Centre Aug 15

We were greeted by helpers as soon as we entered the visitor centre. I think they were all retired people who were volunteers rather than paid staff. They were very helpful and knew everything that we needed to know about local attractions and how to get around.

I'm not sure if the pink poodle is on permanent display in the visitor centre but it was a fun feature that was worth seeing.