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This is an extract of the main sights in this state, with small photos. You will find the full description and full-sized photos in my e-book View America: Mid Atlantic
In the travel series View America, this book describes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. Each state is described with its own brief historical background and its main sights, points of interest and tourist attractions.
It is not a traditional travel story, but a non-commercial and more or less objective chronicle of an in-depth exploration of these states. My book does not describe lodgings, restaurants or entertainment, except where these may interact with the narrative. It is illustrated with more than 120 full-sized photos.
MARYLAND is one of the thirteen original colonies, also known as the Old Line State, in honor of their heroism during the American Revolution. The colony of Maryland was founded in 1634 and was named after the wife of Charles I, Queen Henrietta Maria. In 1788 Maryland joined the US as the 7th state. The capital is Annapolis, and the largest city is Baltimore.
Maryland has a surface area of roughly 32,000 km2, and nearly 43% of the state is forested. It has 5.3 million inhabitants, with a density of 212 per km2. Baltimore is part of an enormous urbanized area that runs from Washington, DC to Boston in Massachusetts, and is sometimes called Megalopolis.
Along the coastline, continuous and intensive tobacco cultivation has exhausted the soil, just as considerable overfishing has decimated the schools of fish. St Mary's City, the first colony, was founded in 1634. Famous sights are the Chesapeake Bay, with its beautiful bridge, and the Potomac River.
THINGS TO SEE
The port of Baltimore is world famous. The city of Baltimore looks quite European, which is enhanced by the many typical English names. This is not surprising, because many English sailors "washed ashore" in this port. The buildings around the port are mostly ancient warehouses, which were converted into offices and apartments.
One of the most prominent features is the USS Constellation, the last sailing warship that was built for the U.S. Navy in Portsmouth, Virginia. It was built in 1854, right before the advent of steam ships. This ship was very modern for its time. It is a three-masted Sloop-of-War, with a wide and flat deck, almost two hundred feet long, with a displacement of 1,400 tons.
Aninteresting anecdote was that the ship's guns on each side were never fired simultaneously ! Each gun weighs around 7,500 pounds, and they were kept in place with thick cables, that were anchored (if all went well...) to the side of the vessel. A simultaneous salvo of eight guns would have brought about a recoil of about thirty tons on the side of the ship ! And everyone on board preferred the ship to remain watertight... Furthermore, these cables broke every so often anyway, and it's safe to say that more casualties and injuries were caused by the recoil of their own guns, than by enemy fire...
Many local names seem to come straight from the old continent, such as Cambridge, Bethlehem, Queen Anne, and so on. The exploration leads along beautiful country roads, some of which are Scenic Byways.
St Michaels is a beautiful and rustic village, dozing in the sun ! During the summer, it is very touristic and much busier. A stroll around the harbor and the main street, Talbot Street, is definitely worth the trouble. Everywhere one finds Antiques shops, and by browsing through the offerings, one can sometimes discover that one exceptional pearl... There are also lots of nice, small, and very customer-friendly fish-restaurants.