A Travellerspoint blog

Las Vegas

semi-overcast 24 °C

16th May

Arrived in the evening and checked into my hotel room. As I’m here during the week hotel rooms are much cheaper, which is useful as the few hostel there are here don't look that inviting. It was a luxury to have a room to myself, no one snoring through the night and even a big queen size bed!
The hotel is on Fremont street, a bus ride from the well known strip on Las Vegas Blvd.
Slept well for once... before having to get up at 5am for a tour to the Grand Canyon.

17th May

Reluctantly got up early and met the tour bus. It was roughly 3 hours to the canyon so I naturally passed out. Along the way we stopped to get a few photos of the Hoover dam. Unfortunately it was too windy for the large bus to go across the newly build bridge that over looks the dam.

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We arrived at the Canyon a little before midday. You basically have the afternoon to look around yourself. There are three sites to move between, with regular shuttle buses taking you there. You can walk along the edge with nothing stopping you from falling in, slightly nervous when I tripped a couple times! The true size of it can't be seen from just photos. The first photo is from 'Eagle point', if you can make out the eagle in the photo with its wings spread.

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After a long ride back I went and looked around the 'Fremont street experience' just outside the hotel. Its a collection of live music, shops and casinos. I didn't gamble though, I'm too poor... and don't know what I’m doing.

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18th May

Had a much needed lay in. Caught the bus late afternoon down to the strip. Got a few photos of it during the day, and then saw it lit up by night. The hotels and casinos and extremely extravagant and over the top, but that makes them all the more impressive. For example the New York New York hotel/casino with its replica New York skyline and State of liberty... as well as a roller coaster going round the building.

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Looked around some of the casinos, such as the MGM, know as 'the city within the city'. By night there are a number of shows, such as the pirate show outside treasure island, the volcano erupting outside the Mirage and most impressive, the fountain display at the Bellagio. After looking around I went back to sleep as I had yet another early bus to catch.

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Posted by Stefan.m 18:15 Archived in USA

Salt Lake City

sunny 25 °C

14th May - 15th May

Arrived in Salt Lake around half six the next morning, after a sleepless night. Arrived to see a large fire in a warehouse next to the bus terminal, luckily the wind was blowing the smoke away from where I was waiting for a local bus. Caught the bus to the hostel. It was too early to check in, which was unfortunate as I could have easily passed out on a bed. As it turns out I later did.

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Had a day looking around the city. The city is surrounded by yet more snow capped mountains. These are a lot closer however and something I wasn't expecting to see. The city is a popular place for people to stay while they go skiing, as its only around an hours drive to the slopes. Its not peak season though so it was quite quiet. The city hosted the 2002 winter Olympics. Also, almost half the population is Mormon.

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Posted by Stefan.m 18:11 Archived in USA

Back to Portland

semi-overcast 16 °C

11th May - 12th May

Eight hours from Vancouver back down to Portland. Going back over the boarder through American boarder control wasn't so quick. They took their time to inspect everything about everyone, scanning bags and seeming to not notice I was in the country only a few days ago.
Arrived early evening and spent the night there. Its a nice hostel so I decided to rest here another day and stock up on some food... making the most of the lack of sales tax.

Left Friday the 13h for a 16 hours bus trip to Salt Lake City

Posted by Stefan.m 18:10 Archived in USA

Vancouver

overcast 14 °C

8th May - 11th May

Another four hour bus journey, this time passing across the American, Canadian boarder. This didn't take too much time, they were quick about it.
Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada. I only saw the down town area though. The hostel wasn't the best, but this was slightly made up for in the mornings when they had the biggest free breakfast I’ve seen. On the couple of full days I was here I walked around the city and Stanley park. The city recently hosted the 2010 winter Olympics, with the base for the flame standing by the water front.

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Walked along the water front. The city is surrounded by mountains, which look good on a clear day, was slightly cloudy though. Planes are constantly taking off and landing on the water, offering sightseeing tours and a general mode of transport. Walked through Gastown, Chinatown and over to the Ice hockey stadium, home of the Canucks, didn't get to see a game though.

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Also walked around Stanley park, a huge park area sitting alongside downtown Vancouver. It was larger then I thought and I spent most of the day walking round there, getting slightly lost. Walked up to the lions gate bridge and eventually back down through the park. Didn't see any beavers, but did see a raccoon. Its odd to see such a large park area, makes you forget you're in a city.

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This is as far north as i'll be going, i'll now be heading back down south.

Posted by Stefan.m 17:57 Archived in Canada

Seattle

overcast 14 °C

Just one big blog post for Seattle as I haven't updated the blog for so long I've forgotten which dates I was there. 5th May to 8th May, maybe.

Not a bad bus journey, 4 hours is short. Walked to the hostel which seems nice... another top bunk though. Spent the next couple of days walking around the city, its big but you can easily walk around it. Its colder up here, much windier and more rain. Could do more walking tours but I've decided to show my self around to save money.

Seattle is nicknamed the 'emerald city' due to the green forests in surrounding areas... its also nicknamed 'rain city'. The city also has a strong music culture, being the home of Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, amongst other people. The people of Seattle also like their coffee, I noticed a Starbucks on what felt like every block, not to mention the other coffee companies based here.

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Went for a walk the first day and looked round the financial district. The space needle is the popular tourist attraction to visit and get a view of the city, but I instead went up the 'Columbia center' building. At 76 stories high its the tallest in the city and over twice as high as the space needle... and most importantly, much cheaper! You get a good view of the entire city from the 73rd floor. There's even a Starbucks in there too on the 40th floor, for the addicts. The smaller white building is the Smith tower, apparently the oldest skyscraper in Seattle.

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Also had a look around the Pike Place market, which is just over the road from the hostel. Its a famous market along the sea front containing a large variety of shops and stales. Saw them throwing the fish between fishmongers, as they do regularly.

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The next day I went for a walk over to the space needle and had a look around, without going up it. Walked further on, slightly out of the city centre so I could get to Kerry park. The small park looks over the entire city sky line and is where most of the panoramic photos of Seattle are taken.

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Next stop, Vancouver Canada.

Posted by Stefan.m 17:47 Archived in USA

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