Thursday, 24 April 2008

The Portland Adventure. And the Invisible Mountain too.

Portland has a secret.  Everyone has heard the rumour, but many don't believe it to be true.  Apparently, there is a large Mountain overlooking the city.  My immediate reaction was 'no, you must be kidding.  That's preposterous.'  But, if you ask the locals, they will all swear by the fact that Mt. Hood, does in fact, exist.   The only problem is, I never saw it and consequently, I can't be sure.  But, that said, I did visit Mt. Hood's  Timberline Lodge, famous for being the setting (but only the outside I grant you) of 'The Shining. The snow was so heavy, the lodge seemed but an afterthought, in keeping with the film itself. Who said Spring had arrived?


Mt Hood has been described to me as being not dissimilar to Mt. Fuji in Japan.  It's conical and snow capped reach overlooks (apparently) a city awash with micro brewery's and restaurants of every conceivable origin. You will find a world of gastronomic pleasures in this city, and don't be surprised if you find yourself sitting in a period home that has been gloriously maintained and now serves as a small enclave  where the stomach is king..  This is particularly evident in and around Portland State University, with its tree lined avenues and coffee houses, the area is a haven for students and intellectuals, so I couldn't help wondering, 'What am I doing here?'


A short stroll away you'll find the Portland Art museum. along with its permanent exhibits on both the inside and outside of the building.  Go now if your passion is Impressionism and you'll be able to enjoy the works of Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec amongst others.


Enjoy a latte, stroll down towards Pioneer Square and pop into one of the many shops that envelop it.  I dare you not to walk into Macy's.  A walk down to Portland's China Town might not feel particularly Chinese but you'll find ample distraction in the 4 floor Goliath that is Powells Books.   It is without doubt, the largest bookshop I have ever been in (and America's biggest).  If you like to read, Valhalla awaits you in the state of Oregon.


You can fly to Portland, like most cities.  But you shouldn't. And don't take the train either.  Drive. Yeah, you'll probably be in the car for a while, but you'll never be bored.  And unlike airplanes, you can stop, get out and enjoy what has to one the most beautiful corners of the US.


Boring Oregon is not, despite what the sign says...



1 comment:

Rosemary said...

"the area is a haven for students and intellectuals, so I couldn't help wondering, 'What am I doing here?'"

... you're right, you were in the wrong place. You needed the area where "profound people" congregate ;-)