Our next destination was Portland…the city of Roses
With rosy dreams of Portland, we boarded the Southwest Airlines flight from Midway Chicago to Portland.
The flight was comfortable and rewarded us with some great views .
The captain drew our attention to Mount Rainier and Mount Hood …the snow capped mountains in the distance and it was really an awesome sight. Unfortunately it was too far for a picture….
As we flew closer to Portland we had amazing views of The Columbia River winding along like a snake.
The Columbia River
The ariel view of the trees in fall colours was another treat as we reached Portland….it was indeed a riot of colours.
The airport at Portland was also very attractive and well done up. The decor and interiors just hit you as you arrive there….far from the dull drab environment seen at most airports. Subsequently I was given to understand that it has been voted one of the best airports in US under several categories over many years.
At Portland Airport
We took a cab to our hotel …..Ramada by Wyndham. Nice cosy place. Walking distance to the light rail station and with good eateries and a Target store close by. After checking in, we explored the locality and located the light rail station for our trips the next day.
October is fall time and Portland was a riot of colours….…
Beauty of fall in Portland
Walked up to Southeast Main station and took the Tri Met train to town. We hopped off at Washington Park Station to explore the recreational facilities there. Washington Park Station itself is unique.
Washington Park Station
It is entirely underground and part of the Robertson tunnel.It is the deepest transit station in North America.The Robertson tunnel consists of two single track tunnels, one in each direction.Really unique concept of geological exhibits created from drilling samples during excavations runs along the platform walls.The east side tunnel walls are yellow symbolizing sunrise and the westward ones are orange symbolizing sunset
Two elevators take you to ground level where you have the Oregon Zoo, The Hoyt Arboretum, The World Forestry centre, Vietnam Veterans Memorial etc..The parking lot at this level is beautifully landscaped and in autumn, it is simply majestic!!
A free shuttle starts from the elevator landing area every hour and takes tourists to various spots in the area including the International Rose Test Garden and the Japanese garden.
The conceptualisation and implementation of this underground system and ensuring connectivity to all places of interest is simply amazing!!
The Robertson tunnel and the exhibits of excavated rocks exhibited on the station walls
The beautifully done up shuttle pickup area and parking at Washington Park
We took the free shuttle from just outside the station. This shuttle runs every hour and takes you around all the tourist spots nearby. We decided to visit the International Rose Test Garden.
The International Rose Test Garden exemplifies Portland’s nickname City Of Roses
It is home to more than 600 varieties of roses blooming from April through October…peaking in June.
New varieties are continuously tested here for various parameters like fragrance, disease resistance and colour. We saw rare varieties of roses.
The garden and some of the roses
After we finished the rose garden, we took the shuttle back to Washington park.
We visited the Oregon Zoo
We had a lot of school children for company as they were having a picnic in the zoo. We really enjoyed the excitement created by the children on seeing the animals.
Outside the Zoo
After finishing with the zoo, we took the Tri met train back to the hotel.
Next day was The Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area tour….meet you there in my next blog…bye for now…
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