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Showing posts from June, 2016

Drive from Mt Rainier to Oregon

We spent the night a little bit outside of Mt Rainier National Park at Packwood. Unfortunately the next day it was really heavy rain so most of the stops we planned to make on a way to Oregon we just skipped.

We made a quick stop at Degoede Bulb Farm. It was perfect timing and felt a little bit like in the Netherlands:

There is a website describing a route called White Pass Scenic Byway that we took to get out of Mt Rainier park:

Other places where we were considering to see but skipped:

Salkum PlateauMayfield LakeApe Cave -

Mt Rainier National Park

We reached to Mt Rainier National Park in the end of April. The gate where we arrived was closed because this road in the park was still officially closed. We parked the car behind the gate and just walked in. We decided to just go and see the first trail.

It was totally amazing experience to be there with seeing only 2 other people in several hours. We ended up taking a trail that starts from Ohanapecosh campground.

The trail is called Silver Falls Trail. Make sure you go to the end of the trail because the views are amazing.

Ohanapecosh campground is known for its hot springs. I can't say I was impressed. You could smell a little bit sulphur there but it's most warm muddy moss that you can see on the photo below.

Snoqualmie Falls

From Seattle we rented a car and headed to Mt Rainier National Park. On a way we had a stop at Snoqualmie Falls. There is nice short trail that offers views from above and from below to the falls. Those views are really worth seeing! The power of water is really impressive.

There are picnic areas available as well so you could also make a day trip just there and browse the surroundings.


Seattle Day 2

The second day in Seattle started with the underground tour. I don't have any photos from the tour itself because the light conditions weren't the best but I really recommend it. Tour guide takes you literally under the streets and tells lots of fascinating things about Seattle history. There are two companies organizing the tours and they have different routes. We used  Beneath the Streets. Both start from Pioneer Square - they oldest area of Seattle.

As we were already into history we decided to pay a visit to the smallest National Park in US - Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. It's quite nicely set up and gives you a really good impression what it felt like to be there (or all the obstacles you had to overcome to even get there). If you like history then spare an hour for this small museum.

Close to Pioneer Square are Chinatown and International District. It's nice to pass by those places but you don't need much time there.

I unfortunately didn't…

Seattle day 1

First day in Seattle started with visiting Olympic Sculpture Park. The thing about this park is that it looks much better on photos than in real life. It's a nice walk by the sea but you don't really miss much if you don't go there.

From there we continued to an iconic place - Pike Place Market. It's a little bit like a maze with several floors and lots of small shops and stalls. We also saw a fish throwing show which unfortunately ended with a fish on the floor...

It is worth going there and see fresh local produce and maybe get a chance to hear some music. If you expect low prices then you might get a little bit disappointed though...

We planned to meet some friends for lunch and still some time until then so we had a quick stroll on the piers...
 ... and a stop at Seattle Central Library. The building has been promoted as something very special. It probably was during its creation but my expectations were much higher than what I actually saw. It is a nice place for…

Taking a train from Vancouver to Seattle

I don't have any photos to illustrate this post but I thought I just share some information about this topic.

Train is actually slower than a bus! But you will see some spectacular views during the train ride. The railway goes occasionally very close to the ocean and the views are really nice, especially in a setting sun.

Amtrak trains leave from Pacific Central Station. You should be there about an hour before the departure to go through the customs. Don't take any fresh fruits or vegetables with you. Our carrots got confiscated. The luggage is taken from you and you get it back at your destination (same as when flying).

On a train there is a bar where you can have some light meals, snacks and drinks. We didn't use the services so I can't comment about the options and quality of food on board.

When you reach to the US border then train is stopped shortly, the border control comes on a train and checks quickly the passports of all the passengers. This goes really quickl…

Vancouver day 2

Second day in Vancouver started with a visit to Van Dusen Botanical Garden. If you like botanical gardens then this is a must-see!

Their collection of rhododendrons is amazing and we were there just on time to see them all in bloom.

On their website they also provide self-guided tours for every month but we just walked around and didn't do the tour. I must say I really liked their information boards. They were fun and interesting.

Very close to botanical garden is Queen Elizabeth Park with Bloedel Conservatory. Queen Elizabeth Park is another really beautiful garden. Plus there is a really nice view over the city.

Bloedel Conservatory is a big glass dome with tropical climate and lots of birds flying around freely.

It was time to head back to the downtown and check out the famous Gastown with the Steam Clock. It's a nice area with lots of restaurants. We had lunch at a nice Indian restaurant.

We had train tickets for the evening to go to Seattle but there was still some ti…

Canada. Vancouver day 1

I must say I really like Vancouver. It is a city with many faces - historical Gastown, waterfront, totem poles, Chinatown, a little bit creepy downtown with lots of homeless people, hippie and bohemian Commercial Drive neighborhood...

We used public transport to get around in Vancouver, mostly trains and buses. We also walked a lot.

From the previous post you could read that we started our Vancouver visit by going to Lynn Canyon. After returning from there it was conveniently close to go and check out Stanley Park.

These totem poles are said to be the most popular tourist attraction in Vancouver. I actually imagined those totem poles to be much older but they are quite recent, mostly the replicas of the originals. The newest one is from 2009.

The views from Stanley Park are amazing. You can really see the modern cityscape of Vancouver from there. Stanley Park is also very nice place to just relax and have a picnic or read a book.

We walked back from Stanley Park and continued to stro…

Canada. Lynn Canyon

We started our adventure in Canada by visiting Lynn Canyon. The first evening we arrived to Vancouver we had dinner at one small restaurant. There were no other guests than us and the woman working there was obviously quite bored. So she came over to talk to us. We of course asked for recommendations about what to see. Her definite must see was Lynn Canyon.

One of the places we were considering to visit also was Grouse Mountain but she didn't recommend visiting it in the end of April. So we skipped it.

Lynn Canyon is located very close to Vancouver - just a little bit North. We took a ferry to the other side of the bay and then right from the ferry terminal there are buses leaving for Lynn Canyon.

Nice thing about Lynn Canyon is that visiting it is completely free. There is a suspension bridge (that you can kind of see on a photo above) like at Capilano but to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge you have to pay quite a lot of money.

If you are afraid of heights then the suspension b…