Friday, October 07, 2005

Day 119 - Seattle, Washington, USA

Day 119 – 5th October 2005 -8:00 GMT

Seattle is the coffee capital of the world there is a Starbucks every 100 hundreds yards or less a Tulleys Coffee and Seattle’s Best Coffee in between every Starbucks. They have a Starbucks opposite another Starbucks so you don’t have to cross the road. People in Seattle like Coffee. Reece and I had a wander around Pike Street Market first thing and saw the Pike Market Fish Company throwing fish around like they do on a daily basis to entertain the customers. A fish flying through the air and over your head is a usual sight. The market is pretty cool with lots of quirky shops that sell everything from Antiques to Persian Rugs.

I’d been up for over an hour now so needed some Seattle Coffee, from where I was standing I could only see 5 coffee places, this makes it a difficult choice, until I saw the sign Seattle’s best coffee. Unfortunately it wasn’t. Although Reece tells me the Latte is good. We then walked along 1st Avenue and up Bell Street. We then zigzagged between 5th and 4th Avenue checking out the shops on route. Had a look around the Westlake Centre, which is a mall.

Outside Westlake Centre

Then back to the hostel to meet Jill. Jill was now dressed and showered so we headed out again and wandered along the waterfront past all the piers. A huge 127 carriage train thundered past (yes I counted all the carriages) and we waited to for it to pass before we could cross the tracks and head up Broad Street.

Modern Art at the Seattle Centre

We visited the Seattle centre which is a park in which there is a collection of museums and the famous Space Needle.

The Space Needle

The Space needle is 605 ft high and gives you excellent views over Seattle and on a clear day the surrounding mountains. Lucky for us it was a fairly clear day and we could see for quite a few miles in all directions.

View of Seattle City Centre

View of Seattle

View of Seattle

View of Seattle

We spent just under an hour at the space needle and then caught the monorail which is newly built back into the city centre.

Me outside the Space Needle

Here we stopped at the Westlake Centre and had some Indian Food. Back to the hotel for a rest before heading out again, this time Jill lead the way we walked about 20 blocks up Pike Street and stopped at a Elysian micro brewery where we sampled a pitcher or two of there beer and had some food. We spent a few hours in the bar before making our way back down to the hostel.

Day 118 - Portland - Seattle, Washington, USA

Day 118 – 4th October 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 18561

Checked out of hotel and left Portland driving up the I-5 into Washington State we stopped just outside Tacoma for a spot of lunch at a diner come Casino, which I did not know until I got inside.

Happy Days Casino/Diner

Happy Days Casino/Diner

After a nice meal of Coffee, Steak and Eggs we were back on the road arriving in Seattle around 3pm. We are staying at the HI Hostel at the end of Union street, it is right in the city centre and on the waterfront. Unfortunately it is the most expensive hostel I have stayed in costing over $80 a night for a room for Jill and I. The place is Spotlessly clean but the rooms are very small. Was feeling quite tired so just stayed in the hostel and slept whilst Jill and Reece explored. I watched the film Man on Fire and played a bit of Poker online.

Day 117 - Portland, Oregon, USA

Day 117 – 3rd October 2005 -8:00 GMT

Drove into the centre of Portland and visited the world’s largest bookstore, although this was the third shop we had visited that claimed to be the world’s largest bookstore. This Bookstore has over one million new and used books. After a thorough browse we all left empty handed.

Downtown Portland

A Million Miles Away

We then found a small café where we stopped for lunch and a beer. We then wandered down to the waterfront and had a walk along it before returning to the car and driving back to the hotel.

Jill by a Fountain

Williamette River South

Williamette River North

Reece and I then had a swim and used the spa for a couple of hours whilst Jill had volunteered to do the washing. I then headed over to Safeway to buy some food which we ate in our room and watched TV before falling asleep.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Day 116 - Eugene - Portland, Oregon, USA

Day 116 – 2nd October 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 18381

Checked out of Motel around 11am and again hit the road, carried on up the I-5, we drove around Salem which is the capital of Oregon and took a look at the State Capital Building which was not as impressive as some of the others.

Oregon State Capital Building

We then took a trip to Wal-Mart and Jill bought some hair dye. A quick bite to eat and then back on the road. We drove up to Portland and found a Hotel on the outskirts, we decided to stay here for 2 nights as we got a suite for a cheap price. Bought some food from the 7-11 and just ate in our room, watched the film California Man on Television and Jill dyed her hair.

Day 115 - Redding - Eugene, Oregon, USA

Day 115 – 1st October 2005 -8:00 GMT Total Miles 18218

Checked out just before 11am and got back on the road heading north on the I-5. We stopped at Shasta Lake as they have the second biggest dam in the whole of America. We did not do the tour we only stopped to take photos.

Shasta Dam

We carried on through California and the rain started, the temperature has dropped and it is around 11C now time for the jumpers. We stopped at Yreka for some lunch a quick Taco at Taco Bell, then back on the I-5, I decided to stop at a Casino we passed the Seven Feather Casino, so I could collect a couple of chips and have a short break from driving.

Seven Feathers Casino

Chips I have collected this week

after 6 hours driving we arrived at Eugene in Oregon. We stopped at a Best Value Inn and ordered a Thai meal for delivery. Chicken Green Thai Curry was superb but very hot and spicy, we ate and watched TV for a bit before calling it a night.
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