After two months of touring Canada and Alaska and driving nearly 12800 kilometers it became time to say goodbye and head towards the US. We returned our rental car in Vancouver and hopped on an Amtrak bus towards Seattle, Washington.
At this point we have traversed the border between Canada and the US by nearly every possible way of traveling: plane, car, foot, train and now also by bus 🙂
Before crossing the border to the US all passengers had to get out of the bus and pass immigration with all the luggage. Luckily everybody made it and after reloading the bus we continued on towards Seattle.
About 15 miles before finally arriving in Seattle the bus driver made an announcement: “Folks, I hate to say this, but the bus is dying.” After that the bus promptly came to a stop on the left lane of the three lane highway, in midst of rush hour… Yuhuu 🙂
With several attempts the bus bearly made it to the shoulder, where we stood for around two hours waiting in the “sauna” to get the bus repaired by a mechanic. Without the AC working the bus toilet also started spreading a not so subtle sewage scent…
However we were not allowed to get out of the bus and wait on the embankment where a slight wind provided some cooling. As soon as we tried to leave the bus, a state trooper with a chic blue hat sent us back into the sauna bus, instructing us that we are otherwise guilty of “illegal trespassing”.
It was very surprising and disappointing, but Amtrak wasn’t able or willing to organize a shuttle or taxi or any other form of transportation. Currently we are still waiting for a reply to our complaint; let’s see how that ends 🙂
Eventually we made it to Seattle and checked in to our stay in Seattle, the Panama Hotel.
The hotel is quite historic and has been continuously up and running for the last 103 years. It was built by the first Japanese-American architect in Seattle, Sabro Ozasa, and contains the last remaining Japanese bathhouse in the United States.
It is located in the international district which is near a great variety of Asian restaurants. The owner was very friendly and gave us good advice on were to go for dinner and which areas to avoid.
The next day we explored Seattle by foot. We strolled around the famous Pike Place Market:
We also passed by the very first Starbucks, which was founded in Seattle in 1971 (here nicely presented by an unknown girl):
After checking out the shopping-opportunities we visited the famous Space Needle for a birds view of the city.
By chance we found the Tini Bigs Lounge, were we of course had to have a cocktail 🙂
For dinner we followed Colombo’s recommendation and went to the Pike Brewing Co. to relish their food and beer.
We shared some Poutine, which is especially famous in Canada.
Andy had a healthy salad…
and Tini tried the crab chowder, which was really tasty:
After dinner we took a walk towards Pike Market and enjoyed the chilly night breeze.
We ended up in one of the many bars in Seattle:
While Andy enjoyed his single malt neat,
Tini chose a special whiskey bundle offer: One glass of whiskey and two hot chocolate-chip cookies. Not being a whiskey lover, the cookies were by far the best of that deal for her 🙂
Some time later we fell into our historically squeaking beds for a deep and sound sleep. So we didn’t end up “Sleepless in Seattle” after all 😉
After a good coffee in the morning and picking up our rental car we started our road trip towards Yellowstone.