I now know what the rubber ducky felt like as we sat in the tender bouncing up and down with the waves. We were on our way into the town of Newport RI to discover the Cliff walk.
As we left the ship and entered the harbor, I was transfixed by the idyllic setting of this tiny coastal town. The rows of sailing ships their sails tucked away for the upcoming winter season, welcomed us to their quiet way of life. The sun smiled as it sparkled on the water.
We walked off the tender and onto the pier located right in the heart of town, walking a short distance up the street to the right landed you at the visitors center. After getting directions from a very helpful local, we walked out the side to where you catch the local bus. The gentleman inside informed us to catch the yellow line out to the stop that would bring us close to 40 steps. The driver was very helpful in that being a big tourist draw called out to anyone who wanted to do the cliff walk that this was the stop to get off at.
Half a block later we entered the Cliff walk. That same smiling ocean greeted us once again as we started down this historic path. No wonder the well to do made this their getaway. The summer cottages and I use the word cottages loosely, manors I think is a more appropriate word, would be used for only a short period during the year as an escape from the summer heat.
As we took in the sights and sound along the path we marveled at the beauty that surrounds this tiny community. We continued along , the rolling lawns that were open to the sea for one home turned into manicured shrubs and privacy for the next. Rounding a bend in the path, we were brought back to present day and we observed several people surfing in the ocean in front of us. It would be hard to imagine women in hoop skirts and men in suits and top hats strolling in front of us on a sunny afternoon. Strange how your mind transports you back in time to having afternoon coffee or tea while sitting on the porch in your Sunday best.
The cliffwalk itself is an amazing journey over the jutting rocks along the shore of Sheep point cove. Most of the path is flat and very walkable, there are a few points near the eastern most tip that you need good walking shoes and sure footing. The views on both sides of the path are breathtaking and well worth the hour or so it takes to make the journey.
When we did leave the the shorelined path, we walked up into the neighborhood that is not as famous as the one we just witnessed, but has an equally compelling story to see as you stroll through her streets. The homes while not quite as opulent still lend to the mind the history of the area.
Hopping off the bus back in the harbor district, we walked along the wooden planks peering into the local stores that are showing their wares, we come across a small coffee shop located on the edge of the wharf overlooking the beautiful masted sailing ships that line the docks. Drawn in by the aroma of fresh ground beans we make our purchases and head back into the sun only to find two Adirondack chairs waiting for us like old friends. We slump into our companions arms and relax as we watch the sun kiss this small inlet with her warmth.