Through the Eyes of the Pilgrims
Imagine traveling for nine weeks, under the deck of a ship, crowded together with 100 other passengers and a variety of animals. You are sometimes wet, cold or sick, as you and your fellow travelers are searching for a new beginning in a new land. This is how the first settlers of Plymouth, Massachusetts, came to America.
As I walked on board the Mayflower II, a copy of the original ship, I could see how these Pilgrims lived as they traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. The replica ship was given to the U.S. by England over 50 years ago. Like the original it is neither big nor comfortable.
According to legend, when the Pilgrims first arrived, they saw Plymouth Rock and rejoiced at the new land. That rock is still in Plymouth. It, too, is really small. Plymouth Rock is where many believe William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims who founded Plymouth Colony in 1620 first landed in America. It is the most visited rock in New England!
I also toured the Plimouth Plantation, which is a recreation of a 1627 English village. I learned how the Native Wampanoag people lived, as well as the new colonists from England. It was interesting to learn how they built their different shelters and gathered their food. I walked around the Wampanoag village smelling food cooking over open fires. The food samples we got to taste were pretty good too! By the way, Wampanaogs have lived in the area for more than 12,000 years.
PHOTOS: Matthew on board the Mayflower II. Photos Courtesy Matthew Spana