O Canada

We’ve wrapped up our North American adventure with a fabulous three days in Vancouver, but quickly before I get to that I should fill in a couple of activities missed in previous blogs. In Portland, one of our visits was to Powell’s City of Books, which is a giant bookstore (seemingly the largest in the world) that takes up a whole city block and is on three stories. It really is impressive, and people spend anywhere between an hour and an entire day there. In contrast, Portland also has the world’s smallest recognised park, which is only about 1m² and houses one small tree! In Seattle, we took an entertaining underground tour as the city essentially built itself on a higher level after a massive fire took out much of the city in the early part of last century.

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Sleepless in Seattle

Onwards and upwards to Seattle, the last American stop on our road trip. In many ways, Seattle is a lot like London, with similar strengths – lots of varied stuff to see and do, a nice vibe, some hidden gems – and very similar irritations – it’s overcrowded and overpriced, lots of traffic, parking is extortionate or impossible to find. On some occasions we drove around the same block multiple times because there was nowhere to stop or park, which ate into our exploration somewhat.

Those frustrations aside, we enjoyed our first stop in Seattle, the area of Fremont. This is another quirky place with a bit of a Route 66 vibe, with various oddities to draw people in. One of these oddities is the Fremont Troll, a stone piece underneath one of the bridges sculpted to look like a bridge troll.

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The long and winding road

The last couple of days have been mostly travelling, having to cover many hundreds of miles through Oregon to get to Portland and then on to Seattle. We left California along the coastal road and its continuing scenery, before starting to come in-land towards the city.

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The City by the Bay

Even though both of us have visited San Francisco before, we were looking forward to seeing it again on this trip, and it did not really disappoint. Before arrival though, we took a trip to a Six Flags theme park for some thrills and spills. The park had some fantastic rides and we did not queue for long for any of them, which was a bonus. My highlight was a rapid, high, twisty ride called Superman; Kirsty’s highlight was me getting absolutely drenched by a waterfall on the river rapids!

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