Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Rolling, rolling, rolling (Amtrak Cascades from Vancouver to Seattle)

Here is a bit of music that goes with the rolling title ;-)

Vancouver's Pacific Central Station
 6:30 am  
When the train leaves  I'm already asleep.  NO, despite the tempting title, this post is NOT about the train ride. I slept through pretty much all of it.  Catching the 6:30 am train at xxx Station meant catching the 5:40 bus at my hotel (coincidentally the FIRST bus of the day). Using an estimate of my rising time and the fact that my downstairs neighbours were slamming their door (which makes my bed shake) until 1 am, probably gives you an idea of how much I slept last night.

3 things I did notice during brief periods of being awake:  The train does have functioning free WiFi. The heater in my compartment wasn't working.  Shortly after I move to a car with working heater, the heater stops working there.  The weather is SO GREAT that THREE mudslides between Seattle and Portland have had the result that EVERYONE is leaving this train in Seattle and all those who booked a ticket to Portland will get there by bus.  

11:30 am

The train arrived at King Street Station. Just before the station I even caught a glimpse of Seattle's Space Needle ...
LOL, yes, there is a space needle in there somewhere

 ...and Seattles Tent Town.
Finally Proof:  iPhones are more important than people 

The weather in Seattle is even worse than the one in Vancouver earlier.  Millions of raindrops are somehow released by the uniform grey surface above.  
I could take the Link train right away to my hotel at SeaTac Airport but I doubt that it's the most pleasant area and in addition it's a bit early for check-in.  So I wander into China Town. Given the number of Korean Tofu places it should probably be called Korea Town ;-)

Shanghai Garden Restaurant is the chosen candidate.  The Chardonnay is that hazy, almost greenish colour of the sun seen through the car exhaust dome in Vancouver.  The Szechuan Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce is neither spicy nor recommendable. Ah well, it fills a void, as does the Chardonnay ;-)  Surprise:  come 11:45 am, the place is FILLING UP.  Did I order the wrong thing or do Seattelites have no taste ?

When the bill comes (US$ 18.65 for one glass of wine and mediocre food) I also get a fortune cookie:  You are active, full of ideas, and have a generous nature.   HOW do they do that? 


Time to start the next leg of this journey.  Now I just have to find the Link light transit rail station again ;-)

A short 40 minute Link ride later, I am at the SeaTac Station.  Fast, considering the distance. My hotel is only about 400 meters from the Link station and only costs US$ 50 per night.  NOT bad, considering it's REALLY close to the airport.  And this price includes breakfast !!! Although the display case for Otis SPUNKmeyer baked goods in the breakfast area worries me a tiny bit, LOL.

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