I have just been back from a one-week Spring break trip. In fact, the trip was planned as a short three-day trip from Portland to Seattle by train. However, I ended up crossing the U.S. – Canada border and visited the city of Vancouver of the province of British Columbia in Canada. Traveling to Canada this time was an impromptu decision which turned out to be enjoyable and memorable experience for me.
I departed Portland by Amtrak Cascade northbound train to Seattle. With several stops along the way, the train took me approximately 4 hours to reach Seattle. The city is the biggest metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest region. My first impression of Seattle is its hilly terrain and modern architectural buildings around downtown areas, including an upside-down skyscraper shape of Rainier Building, an unusual structure of the Central Library and the famous Space Needle, the legacy of the Century 21 Exposition (World’s Expo) held in 1962 . The waterfront of Elliot Bay provides a spectacular view especially from the Seattle Aquarium. Personally, I enjoyed the modern arts and scultures around the Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park and Fremont area as well as the Seattle Art Museum. A view of Seattle cityscape from Alki beach in the West Seattle area makes the place worth visiting.
Initially, I planned to go back to Portland after a couple of days in Seattle. However, my friend drove a car from Portland to Seattle just a day before I scheduled to take a train back. He asked me to join his road trip to Vancouver, Canada which is just about 100 miles away from Seattle. As I have never visited Canada before, I agreed to travel across the border with my friend. I spent a couple of hours preparing the documents and went to the Canadian Consulate in downtown Seattle in the morning to apply for a visa and got the visa just before noon. It was fast and easy. Then, I was ready to hit the road to Canada. It took us 2 hours to drive from Seattle to Vancouver across the U.S. – Canada border.
Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada. The city will host the Winter Olympics Game in 2010. Downtown area is vibrant and energetic while the city is just minutes away from the natures; both mountains and beaches are easy to reach. The waterfront area and the famous Stanley park boosts a spectacular view of the city. I also took a Seabus, the public transportation from downtown waterfront area to North Vancouver, which provided a beautiful view of Vancouver by the waters. I also visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge which is 230 feet high and 450 feet across the raging waters of Capilano Canyon in North Vancouver.
All in all, this Spring break trip was enjoyable and adventurous experience for me. Now I have to get ready for the Spring term which starts today. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to my next trip around the U.S. and beyond in the upcoming Summer break.