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Travel

Stranded

You’re stranded in a foreign city for a day with no money and no friends. Where do you go; what do you do?

Daily Prompt

This is a tough one. I’ve been in plenty of foreign cities without friends, but never without any money. That makes it a bit more difficult.

But… the question says that you’re only stranded for a day, so the implication is that you don’t have to worry about getting home. In which case I would chill out in a park or on a beach, enjoying the great outdoors. Maybe go for a wander around the city. Find tourist information and see what I can do for free.

Something a bit like one of my days in Portland, where I chilled out down by the river in Waterfront Park, and messing around in the fountain. Or this day in Washington Park, which I remember fondly despite apparently not being in too good a mental state at the time.

Now if I had to also consider getting home… I guess I would see if I could get some work somewhere or else find a police station to phone home! I know it’s a bit of a dull answer, but I am a bit of a practical, sensible person.

Round the World 2007 USA

Portland to Seattle

I woke up early and tried to make it for the 8.30am train (I had a bus booked at 10.30am but wanted to leave early), but wasn’t quite fast enough. So instead I got a coffee at the place across the road from the hostel, took a walk around the block, and had 15 minutes on the internet. Then I walked down to the Greyhound station, via Starbucks where I got an Iced White Chocolate Mocha.

The bus journey was fairly uneventful, and lasted four hours.

We reached Seattle at 2.30pm, and I walked 10 blocks to the Green Tortoise hostel, which is right outside the Pike Place Market, one of the big tourist attractions here. It is also a really nice hostel with nice staff.

I unpacked and changed, and had a quick wander around the market. The Starbucks here is the original one, so loads of people were getting their photos outside. I then walked down 1st Avenue to the Online Coffee Company, and spent too much money on the internet!

Round the World 2007 USA

Portland Day 3

I went to Trader Joe’s (good quality supermarket) this morning because I decided to spend today having a picnic in Washington Park. I bought strawberries, yoghurt, humous, crackers, and juice. I then stopped at Starbucks en route and got an Iced White Chocolate Mocha, which is now my new favourite drink.

I found a shady spot where I sat and read and chilled out for a couple of hours. It was quite pleasant except for the train to the zoo which arrived noisily every half hour.

I walked around the rose garden and took lots of photos, and tried to get a photo of Mt Hood, but you can’t see it too clearly. I found another shady spot and sat reading for a little longer.

I don’t know when I got back to the hostel, but I went out again to Backspace (internet cafe) around 5pm. I spent ages there, and had a couple of coffees and some cake. It’s a great little place: they have tables with chessboards built in, a stage for live music, a gallery, internet points, and other tables dotted around. Later on, people came in playing cards too.

I don’t know what happened today. I have been having a crap few days, but that improved earlier today. Then it all went to shit, and I’m not sure why. I think a lot of it has to do with being stressed about not being able to organise New England. But I’m also feeling lonely and ignored by my friends. And I hate that I feel this way here, because I really like Portland: it has a really great vibe.

Round the World 2007 USA Vegan

Portland

So I got to Portland at 7am, but my hostel wouldn’t open until 8am, and apparently it was only a ten minute walk. Luckily I found a Starbucks en route (and one with pleasant staff no less). I managed to pass the time there until about 8.30am, then continued walking.

I checked in but my bed wouldn’t be ready until after 2pm, so I put my bags in storage and went for a wander. Northwest Portland is well-organised: the streets are named in alphabetical order, and the avenues that cross them are numbered, so you know pretty soon if you’re travelling in the wrong direction.

So I wandered around 21st Avenue, whch is full of coffee shops, bars, and little boutiques. Then I went into the city centre (Downtown) and found an internet cafe called Backspace, which wasn’t just cool, but also vegetarian! After spending a little time on the internet I walked towards Pioneer Square and found a vegan cafe. I got a little lost in Downtown, and went back to the hostel once I found my way out!

It’s very hot today, and I’m feeling extra smelly since I haven’t showered since my bus journey! After cooling down in the shady courtyard of the hostel, I walked up to Washington Park, saw Mt Hood in the distance, and read for a while.

I walked back down to the hostel via 23rd Avenue, another one filled with cafes and bars. I finally checked in and went for a shower, then wandered back to Backspace to upload photos and charge my MP3 player.