Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Belfast,Stonington, Castine Maine and more

From Freeport, Maine we had followed our usual Route 1 route to Thomaston and then south to South Thomaston. We then drove back north towards Rockland after our coastal stay(previous blog)and then north on Route 1 to Belfast.
We always enjoy a walk through the shore area and marina. The large two master above was being worked on at the boatyard docks.
This picture is misleading. First-it is a very sleek catamaran.
Hard to tell the length until you look at the ladder by the stern. 
That is a 12 foot ladder which would make the cat at least 60 feet.

Along the main street a very classy 1937 Packard.

The interior with comfortable seats, wood steering wheel and fancy dash.  Note also the floor shift.
While in Belfast there is always a mandatory stop at Vinolio for olive oils and vinegar.  Jan's favorites this year are Raspberry Balsamic vinegar, Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil, and the new vinegar--Honey Ginger White Balsamic.  Check out the website for the recipes as well as products. Vinolio Website After picking up the olive oil and vinegar, we head north to  Young's Lobster Pound , right off Route 1.  Young's Lobster Pound Website This is where you can order your lobster which might have just come in on a boat such as the one above that unloaded while we were there.  From the outside deck there is a great view of Belfast Harbor.
From Belfast we still gladly follow Route 1 towards Bucksport and then follow Route 15 to 175 and back to 15 and over the Deer Isle bridge.  This route takes us more than 25 miles south of Route 1. This is how long some of the Maine fingers of land stretch into the ocean.

Still, a very modern impressive bridge for a rather remote region
The small village of Stonington is well worth the visit.  Not a huge tourist town. You will notice above that almost all of the boats are fishing boats.  Lobster boats to be exact.
Here and there a few sail boats.  While this used to be a fishing town, the fish like haddock,etc have played out to where they are very limited. But according to the gentleman at MCCF-The Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries in town, lobsters have made a huge increase the past few years.  So  most of the catch these days is shellfish.
The view above is from a wonderful small shop at one end of the main street.  It contained some great books from Maine authors and very good note cards and hand made sweaters.  The owner says he never gets tired of sitting in this chair(where he was when we arrived) and looking at the view.
From the shore in Stonington you can sometimes see Isle Au Haut to the south, Vinalhaven(island) to the west, and Swans Island and perhaps a bit of Mount Desert Island(Acadia National Park) to the east
Always a reminder of the rocky coast that is Maine.

The views go on and on.
From Stonington , we head back north on Route 175 all the way to Penobscot to take Route 199 and the Route 166A to Castine at the end of a different finger that juts into the ocean.
Jan and I had a great lunch at The Wharf above.  Some quite good Maine oysters and more.
We wanted to see Castine because a family friend, Dave, had spent some boyhood years here.  His Dad did some teaching here at the Maine Maritime Academy.  Since he lived here, the town has had considerable makeovers which have made it a definite tourist destination(much more so than Stonington).
Still  here and doing well is Pentagoet Inn, a Maine Bed and Breakfast. On the following website check out the vintage headboards under Rooms, the pictures under Dining of some of the plates, and the pictures of the pub(featured on the Travel Channel) The Pentagoet Website
Many of the homes and businesses have been upgraded and you will notice a number of high end homes in and near the beautiful town.
One of the older churches in town
It is a pretty ride along the main road to Dice Head Lighthouse.
Heading back off the peninsula, we once again cross the Penobscot River on the new Bucksport Bridge.  The far support is also an observatory. Visitors can go to the top (420 feet) to view the Penobscot Narrows and the area. Also next to the bridge from the same parking lot is the original Fort Knox 1844. Fort Knox Website
This is the second posting for pictures from late September to the end of October.  There are two more to follow in a few days.

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