Portland

As I sat on the train from Seattle to Portland, I'd have to admit my mind wasn't really on my imminent arrival in the 'City of Roses', but on my arrival back home five days in the future.

Portland turned out to be just what I needed.  I had ended up booking into the HI Hawthorne hostel, a couple of miles out of downtown.  Really cool place - a big, rambling suburban house that had been converted into a hostel with a focus on sustainability.  Much more to my tastes than the city centre 'gap year' megahostels I'd stayed in elsewhere, with a really nice atmosphere.

As in Seattle, I did a lot of walking.  Not really so much by way of tourist attractions, more just chilling out and enjoying the feel of the place.

The Saturday market came with a good selection of sideshows.

And after nearly eight weeks in the country, I finally managed to see some live music (specifically, Eleanor Friedberger)

Before having a horticultural day, taking in the International Rose Test Garden...

...and the Japanese Garden.

And then it was time to go home, catching an overnight flight from PDX to JFK, a long day waiting in the airport, and another overnighter via Dublin to Birmingham.