I travelled to Portland from Seattle on the Bolt Bus. The trip was easy enough, but whilst the company is owned by Greyhound, they don’t run from a station. Instead the ‘terminal’ was simply a sign saying ‘No parking, except buses’. I somehow ended up the expert being the first person there, standing awkwardly and confused as to where I was supposed to be. But sure enough, later than expected the bus turned up. Disorganised, with possibly the most sarcastic, apathetic bus driver this side of the Atlantic.
I’ve been battling the dreaded travel flu since I arrived. It’s the first time I’ve been unwell in a hostel, and man does it suck. At this point I wish I’d put an Emergency budget aside for an Air BnB. I can’t seem to get hold of anyone back home which doesn’t help. To distract myself and power through – I refuse to be unwell – I forced myself out of bed and tried to do as much as I could before my body gave in and I had to head back for another nap.
Portland was a mixed bag; in many ways similar to Seattle but more relaxed, with far more homeless than anywhere else I’ve visited. There were a few times where I felt a little uneasy walking around alone, but in general it feels relatively safe. You might get a few random comments here and there, but most seemed fairly harmless. In short, if you like weed and doing not much of anything. Portland is the place to be.
Highlights of Portland
Walking down to the Saturday markets. Lots of food, pottery, and beautiful handmade jewellery. I had planned to grab a doughnut from the legendary Voodoo Doughnuts, but one look at the queue and I decided no doughnut was worth that wait. Check out their Instagram page for some food porn. Blue star Donuts is a short walk away if you’re still craving a sugar boost, and the queue shouldn’t take longer than 5 minutes.
The ridiculously long queue for Doughnuts
A stroll in to Powell’s Books proved entirely worth the trip. Before going I had it in my head as something to do, but figured it would be just another bookstore. Instead I was taken by the sky high bookshelves full of beautiful books, some signed, hidden gems. A mixture of new and second hand, from cookery to science fiction, travel, American History, if you can think it, they probably have it. This place is totally worth the trip.
Exploring the shelves in Powell’s Books
The last gift from Portland were the Rose Gardens. I had set out to see the Japanese Garden, and instead ended up here. The variety was simply astonishing, with countless test varieties which may never even make it into production. I’m not usually a rose girl, but these were something else. Even with a blocked nose, the smell of some of the varieties in the test garden were simply beautiful. Since I can’t share the smell of them, I’ll end with some pictures instead.
The Rose Gardens, and over 600 varieties to choose from