Wednesday, June 13, 2018








The entire  Northeastern region of the United States comprising the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island  is known as New England. People from England  , Ireland and Netherlands  arrived here in early 17th century  for permanent  settlement. New England is   known for its Colonial past and beautiful Atlantic coastline.

Perched  on the shores of Mystic river, MYSTIC  is about three hours distance from New York by a   fast  Train . It is  almost at central point if you go by Boston bound Amtrak  train. Although a small  train station  happens to be at Mystic village but only   few trains  stop at this station. Visitors to Mystic coming by Train generally get down at New London and cover  approximately  10 kms  distance to Mystic by Taxi/  Cab .

Mystic is a famous Tourist destination well known for the Mystic sea port , Mystic Art Museum,  Mystic Aquarium and the adventurous  Quaint downtown.  Mystic  village is located within the towns of Groton (west of the Mystic River, and also known as West Mystic) and Stonington (east of the Mystic River). So the complete visit to Mystic means visits to Groton and Stonington Towns as well.

 We were at Mystic last month (May 2018). It was 14 degrees Celsius at day time and we felt  need for woolens. We were told that the Village (total  population of about 4000  ) freezes in winters. River Mystic passes through this beautiful place that lies  close to Atlantic .Once  this area was a hub of whale catching activity.

As you walk through the nicely decorated shops catering to Tourists, you find Whale  images on Bags, souvenirs, cups ,key rings etc. that tourists buy . You find  old churches with   tops resembling some old  Ziyarats of  kashmir. Then you have the  landmark Bascule  bridge over  river Mystic that  rises up many times during the day at predetermined time slots creating passage for ferries and small   ships to pass . It is amazing to see how a massive bridge rises to create  the passage .

Mystic provides some best food and delicacies around. You have so many coffee houses, Bakeries, Spices shops , Tea shops and ice-creams outlets  of  mouth watering taste and quality.The main Market is full of Restaurants that serve Mexican, Italian , Chinese and other continental food. Sea food remains a specialty of  the town.

At water street, you have the Oyster club,  Water street Gallery and the famous Friar Tuck's Tavern that claims to serve the best  fresh fish and chips. We were suggested to book a table at the famous Captain Daniel Packers's inn for our dinner. Old Hotels have fireplaces where timber is still burnt .  

Anytime of the year , tourists are seen walking along Mystic River boardwalk looking at boats sailing in and out.

We located an Indian Restaurant ( A Taste Of India )  , And  the only one in Mystic  .I am not sure about any other in  Groton  or Stonington or  nearby   . It is owned by a Punjabi namely Bharat Bhushan. We had spicy and sumptuous Indian Food after so many days especially Kadai chicken and Baingan ka Burtha .

Breakfast at another  Restaurant  was quite  interesting. It was   run by a father son duo. The father and his young  son   work hard and supply Bread,  Buns and Bakery  to so many Hotels in the village . We had Tea,  cakes and omelets . The son of the proprietor became friendly on knowing that we were from India. He said  :
" Have this special  cake piece . I made it myself . I stayed awake at the Bakery all along the night today.  We had some urgent deliveries. I told Dad to sleep and take rest. He is old now. See he has sweated his life working so hard for our family. I need to help him now. We are Americans though Turkish speaking people from Iran. We love peace and family  life. My maternal  grand mom told me good things about India . Love  Indian cinema.  Good Bye.  Grandma says  khuda Hafiz."

" Good bye. Khuda Hafiz . We say Orzu in our mother Tongue. It means may you be healthy ,fit and fine. "  I replied .
" Orzu sounds good.Like a Turkish word."
He said  and smiled at us as he went  inside the restaurant cum Bakery.
we came out , we saw  the  father sipping coffee with some local friends outside the Bakery cum Restaurant. We said' good bye ' to  him  and his friends . He and his friends  were prompt in reciprocating our ' Good bye ' . The sincerity of the communication  brought smiles on all faces.  

And over here, residents live in total peace and harmony.

There are so many historic  places to Visit  in Mystic .Places like Mystic  sea Port Museum , Williams Beach Park ,Mystic Museum of Art and Mystic Aquarium .Also nearby, in Groton town , is the US Submarine Force Museum .

Mystic seaport Museum is the largest Martine Museum in the world. you can  Go fishing, climb up to the top of a lighthouse, or sit back and watch the sun set. All wonderful and enjoyable.

Except some Bars and Restaurants,  The Market over here closes at 8PM. Shops are just closed with lights on. You can see everything lying inside from the glass doors. No grills  or shutters.
We stayed at the Picturesque"  Inn At Mystic (Harbour House ) Hotel that overlooks this beautiful Town.  From the  window of the hotel  room, we could see the  passing Trains   just about  hundred yards away  .

We were told that crowds throng to this  beautiful place on Saturday and Sundays  during summers. The Hotels rooms  are totally booked to capacity . Private accommodation in residential houses is also available at cheap rates . Tour operators arrange Itineraries that include river canoeing / kayaking, visit to wineries , visit to  Williams Beach  Park( Small Beach ) , Sandy Point Island  and also a visit to  Fields  of Fire Adventure Park.

We walked through the Market and residential area of the town. Shops are well decorated for Tourists. A spacious Book store is busy with visitors. This book store near Bank Square  has a huge  whale  sculpture at its entrance.  The houses are neat and clean and mostly painted in white. No walls to segregate and create boundaries between two structures. We saw private Boats also tucked alongside cars in  garage area of some houses. People use Boats for fishing and sea or river holiday trips. So many landing ghats near the port area are privately owned and fenced.  At crossings, Traffic is efficiently managed by Neon Lights . As usual, the pedestrian has priority right over the road.  It was Spring time and we saw abundance of flowers and greenery all over. Willows and Poplars  at some places reminded me of my hometown.
The market had all varieties of fruits coming from various parts of US or Mexico. We saw cherries, apples, oranges, Mangoes, Watermelons, Muskmelons, Apricots, Bananas, plums, Kiwis and Pears.  Most of the shops sold gifts that Tourist carry back home. A little expensive for sure but no bargaining and  cheating of any type. You will be told clearly what you are buying should you seek any clarification. Shopkeepers are Courteous and welcoming even if you stroll inside and buy nothing. Shop for Art, Old LP records ,Antique Maps,  sculptures, glasswork items, Designer jewelry and relish the Mystic Handmade fudge, ice cream  or the famous Mystic Pizza.

I am told that there are  some World class Casinos  around Mystic  . So many Hollywood movies have been shot in and around Mystic .Apart from so many movies and TV serials, I am old that popular Films like  LOLITA with Stanley Kubrick as Director  ' MYSTIC  RIVER  ' with Clint Eastwood,  'AMISTAD '  directed by Steven Spielberg , 'HUNT  FOR THE  RED  OCTOBER ' featuring  Sean Connery and' HOPE  SPRINGS ' featuring Meryl Streep , MALCOLM  X,  MYSTIC NIGHTS AND PIRATE   FIGHTS , MYSTIC  PIZZA  were filmed in this area .

There are some round the year attractions like fairs and festivals  for Tourists in this area  . These include' Sea Music Festival',  Taste of Mystic Festival, Wooden Boat Show , Stonington Agricultural show, Mystic Outdoor Art Festival , Midsummer festival,  Chowder Days Festival, Luminaria  Lights or  Festival of Lights , Chocolate Festival, Great Pumpkin festival and Local Artisan fair.

So long so much about the Beautiful MYSTIC (Connecticut ).

( Autar Mota )

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