Thursday, August 5, 2010

Final Route

Vis større kart

This is our route in its entirety. Total distance traveled by car was 9633 km, by train we traveled 866 km and by bus 226 km for a total of 10725 km or 6664 miles.

Last stop, Vancouver BC

We took a bus from Seattle to Vancouver – a real downgrade from the comfort of a car, but a cheap and fast way to get across the border. A 3-hour ride in a bus is actually tolerable. We were met by my parents and stayed at their place in the university area in Vancouver. We had started to feel a bit, well, tired after a month of traveling so it was nice to come to a familiar place and just relax.

During our 4 days here, as we have been here many times before, we took things pretty easy and had no need for touristy sightseeing this time. We took a trip to Lacorno beach and admired the city skyline and the mountains in the background. A visit downtown for a little shopping and a movie were the second day’s plan. A couple of ice-cold frappuccinos were enjoyed in the heat, as well as great burgers at Red Robin, and delicious beef at Trafalgar’s Bistro. We spent the rest of the time in the garden sunbathing and beginning planning for future travels. China is looking good ;)

We wish we had had a car, and more time so we could have checked out more of British Columbia, but some things have to be saved for another time. We’ve packed our suitcases now, heading home tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Seattle, WA

This was our second time in Seattle, and we spent 3 days here. we had already done the major tourist stuff the first time around. Our hotel had a great location, just a block from Pike Place Market and other attractions downtown. First we checked out the public market and then went for some shopping. Next day we visited family in Edmonds, and had a relaxing day in the sun with excellent home cooked food and good company. Big thanks to Aida and Alf for their hospitality and cooking up a great meal on such short notice. We got back to Seattle late, and grabbed a late night bite before turning in. The last day was spent shopping, walking around and checking out a parade in the evening. That Saturday was the opening evening for Seattle Sea fair, which is started with the torchlight parade. It was fun to watch and a perfect last night in the US – for now at least.

The Olympic Peninsula

We left Portland early and drove towards Astoria by the coast. From there we drove across a long bridge over to Washington State and drove the highway 101 through the Olympic National Forest. We drove past the foggy coastline, a rainforest, snowy mountaintops and some clear water lakes. The nature here was beautiful, and would have been better experienced by camping than by driving the car right through it. But still, we were glad we took this route, because the views from the car were more than enough to impress us. We stayed at a roadside inn for one night and continued early on the next day through rest of the peninsula, and took a ferry from Kingston over to Edmonds, just north of Seattle. We arrived Seattle by mid-day and checked in at a downtown hotel.

Friday, July 30, 2010


We made a decision to head for Portland next. The coast has been awesome, although the Pacific summer is not exactly warm. Temperatures all the way down to 100C makes even a Norwegian summer seem warm. We drove the last bit of highway 1 until it merges with a slightly faster highway 101 and enjoyed the ride. We stopped in a charming little town called Florence on the Oregon coast for lunch (delicious and highly recommended clam chowder) and a stroll in old town.

After almost staying in Florence for the night, we finally got to Portland before dark and checked in at Jupiter hotel on the east side. A very original hotel, with a friendly and unique vibe, we absolutely recommend checking this place out when in Portland. We ate a delicious dinner at the hotel restaurant and then had a great night out listening to a live band, also at the hotel.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Red Wood Forest

We stayed in Point Arena for two nights, just relaxing and doing nothing much. We didn’t really have a plan for the next stretch, we just headed out on highway 1 again, and drove for some hours. The views were still beautiful, both towards the sea, and inland. Before leaving California, we passed the Red Wood National Forest and drove a short while on a scenic road through a part of the woods. Definitely worth the detour! We passed the state line to Oregon and checked in at a nice hotel by the sea for the night. 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wharfmaster´s Inn

We had a hard time deciding whether or not to stay an extra day in San Francisco, but then finally decided to go for a relaxing stay in Point Arena, which is a 4 hour drive north of the city. After checking out the Golden Gate Bridge (the photo does not do it justice, it was very foggy), and stopping several times an hour to admire the view over the Pacific, the ride actually took about 10 hours. We drove the highway 1 all the way. We had booked a room at Wharfmaster´s Inn, an oceanview hotel situated right at the shore, and were ready to kick back, and enjoy the silence.

San Francisco, Day 2

We started the day with a walk down Haight Street and continued to the Castro district. From there we walked further to Mission district, which is the oldest district in the city. It is mainly a Hispanic neighborhood. We stopped for great quesadillas for lunch, and took a bus to Fisherman’s Wharf. This is the centre of tourism in town, but still nice, and we got the first glance of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. After a little shopping we waited in line for the cable car to take us downtown. This was a fun experience, almost like taking a rollercoaster through town, and something you just have to do when in San Francisco. Downtown was as it is in every major city, loud, full of people and stressful. We took a quick look around and headed back to Haight Street, and were even more appreciative of its originality.

San Francisco, Day 1

We woke up early to get the most out of the day. The Red Victorian Inn was run by the nicest old lady, who started the hotel back in the 60´s. Every room had its own character and theme. We got breakfast in the Peace café downstairs, and ventured in to the Haight district, which is the old hippie district. It was the centre for the hippie movement in the 60´s.

We walked along the Haight Street, only to discover that we were the only early birds there. Shops don’t open before 12 or later. We waited a bit, and as the shops opened, the street was filled with people, luckily not all too touristy. Some of the weird shops make you wonder how they keep in business at all. The atmosphere in Haight is nice, and very different from what we have seen so far. We spent much of the day just walking around the district, taking in all the impressions. For lunch we picked some tasty organic food from a local store (a lot organic stuff here), made some sandwiches and headed out for a picnic in the Golden Gate Park. The park was nice, and very big. As the night fell, the charming Haight Street showed a little more shady side, and even though there is a lot less peace and love going on there now, it is still a cool neighborhood to stay in.