Tuesday, July 12, 2011


We drove the extra fifty miles west to the outskirts of Portland last night as it was much more affordable to stay here than in Hood River. So with no riding planned today, we were free to explore the city a bit. Supposedley one of the greenest cities in the States with all its public transportation - we had to take the light rail in. It was pretty cheap (less than five dollars for an all-zone day pass), but gosh it seemed slow. Eventually we were deposited downtown & with good instructions from some loud-voiced (according to Valerie, at least) guy at the Visitor Center we set off walking to find the streetcar (trolley).

With a brief stop at Powell's (claiming to be the largest new & used bookstore in the world) second store, I then wandered in to the main store. This one takes up a whole block & four storeys - once I read that we had to runaway ("Runaway! Runaway!") or else the whole day would have been wasted. It was a very pleasant walk around Nob Hill & all the nice old houses before we wandered up the hill to Washington Park. After a sobering time at the simple, poignant & effective Oregon Holocaust Memorial it was a short walk up to the International Rose Test Garden. Portland, as the Rose City, does have a mighty impressive lot of roses. Never have I seen a rose garden so large & so well visited - there were people everywhere. Another very nice place to sit down & eat our wraps for lunch.
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A bit more wandering, ridng the streetcars, checking out the riverside (they sure like bridges here - there were well too many crossing the river) & we ended up looking up at Portlandia. She's the second biggest statue (of the kind) in the country.
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She's also up on the second or third floor, so bigger than she looks here.

We were exhausted from pounding all those pavements ('sidewalks' isn't quite as alliterative) & the Max train was packed most of the way back out east. We had our usual dose of crazies on American public transport & a rather disturbing whitetrash domestic.

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