Portland and Seattle
Seattle Travel Blog› entry 93 of 99 › view all entries
The train ride to Portland on the Coast Starlight has some beautiful scenery. Unfortunately as the first 7 hours are under cover of dark, you don't see the northern Californian countryside, but Oregon was dramatic with big lakes, snow covered mountains and forests. I even saw a covered bridge. The train eventually arrived an hour late at Portland and I walked to the hostel in less than 20 minutes. This was my first hostel experience in North America. While much more expensive than South America, it was at least well equipped and local bakeries and pizzerias were donating food at the end of each day that hadn't sold. So I got free pizza each night and bagels for breakfast!
Portland is a very pleasant city to walk round and not very large. Even so, they have free public transport in the downtown area.
On Friday I took my first Greyhound bus north to Seattle. Glad I wasn't sat a row in front, as the whole seat just slid right into the row in front when the bus braked once. That would have been quite the shock! Seattle is very different, much more a typical large North American city, with skyscrapers everywhere.
On Saturday I visited the Pioneer Square area, took the Underground Tour, contemplated buying a utility kilt for my beer holding needs, and queued up 2.5 hours outside the QWest Field and finally got tickets for a Sounders FC (football, real football that is, from the MLS) game that evening about 20 minutes before kickoff.
On Sunday I walked to 5th Avenue and took the monorail to the Space Needle. I could have walked, but the weather was foul and it was debatable whether it was worth going up the tower anyway! There was a good view of downtown and the harbour, but I couldn't see the mountains in the distance.
On Monday I went to Fremont in the afternoon with an english friend from the hostel. It was still raining heavily, so after seeing the troll (yes, really!) we seeked comfort in a burger bar and had lunch there. A little kid at the troll site was amazed that I climbed up on its head. "wow, no-one's every got up on his head before!" he said. Elementary, kid, but don't try it yourself until you're a bit older.
Today I'm leaving Seattle to go to Bellingham, up near the border with Canada. Here I will see one of my friends from when I was in Pucon, in Chile, climbing the volcano.