Oregon and northwards into Washington….

First stop this morning was the small town of Cannon Beach, so delightful was it that we spent quite some time wandering round the beautiful shops and art galleries before grabbing a coffee and snack and heading to Ecola Beach State Park.

We drank our coffee on the cliffs overlooking the bay with stunning views each way we looked. Having planned to go down onto the beach to view the rock pools, we found the track we took gave us stunning views but was way too steep to consider going further.

Our next stop was Seaside, too commercial for us so after a short wander round we left, our intention was to stop in Astoria but it didn’t attract us as we drove through and as time was getting on, didn’t stop.

We did stop in Portland which I had been looking forward to as it has a great foodie reputation. A bigger city than anticipated we headed for the waterfront. As a number of ‘double decker’ bridges cross the river, a small number of small boats huddled together it was a bit of a disappointment. Not sure how to find the action we had dinner, strolled the waterfront eating ice cream and headed off to our hotel for the night. As we drove out we saw the downtown area which looked pretty.

Our route north towards Seattle we chose a scenic drive taking us through Mount Rainier National Park. However as we progressed we saw the signs telling us that the route was closed so had to reroute. The best thing was we chanced upon the Mt Rainier scenic railway, and had lunch in one of the old railway carriages.

Arriving in Bellevue (cheaper than staying in Seattle) we were reminded we were back in civilisation with the heavy traffic which we haven’t experienced for a while! Exploring the town we climbed up to the pedestrian walkway and felt like Alice in Wonderland, walking along corridors, through walkways and suddenly into very modern restaurants before more corridors. Finding a way out we escaped into the more comfortable ground level streets! After walking as far as the old town area we headed back cutting through the downtown park. The kids area is heaven to kids, I’ve never seen such an exciting kids play area, and many kids and parents were using it to its best. Next there’s a long attractive waterfall, then grassy areas where a number of groups were playing volleyball.

After a restful night we headed into Seattle by bus, intrigued by how the buses and trams share the same underground routes. Our primary destination being the famous Pike Street Market.

Busy with tourists rather than serious shoppers the market is on a number of levels, famous for the fish markets huge displays of crabs, salmon and a multitude of other fish and shellfish. Flowers, fruits, vegetables and just about anything else can be bought here, it we just enjoyed a coffee whilst taking in the views.

Moving on to the Sculpture Park, we were disappointed to find a flower garden with a couple of ‘sculptures’!

On to Seattle Centre, one of the highlights of the city. Bit of a dump really, maybe not helped by renovation work on the go. We jumped on the monorail back to the downtown area and found a streetfood waggon for lunch before heading back to Bellevue

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