When I first came to Canada I didn’t fly directly to Vancouver but to Seattle. Why? Well, there’re two main reasons. The first is that the flights to Canada are overpriced on an insane way! So given this the best choice ever remains on flying to States saving up to 30% on the flight’s final price. The second reason is that I had never visited Seattle and as for being there I could cross the boundary on the mythic Amtrak Cascades rail route which links Portland (Oregon) with Vancouver (British Columbia).
This railway is a compelling trip for those who love the mighty atmosphere in which the trains are involved. After having done the trip 6 times since march I don’t fed up with it and just look forward to have new excuses to be onboard again, like our upcoming need to renew our 6 months US Visa at the border otherwise we won’t be able to book prospected holidays in Hawaii or Alaska early next year 😉 .
The Station in Downtown Seattle is photogenic as if it was from a movie.
The route from Seattle to Vancouver is everything but pointless. The first third of the whole way leads the train throughout the pacific shores of Washington State running so close to the coastal edge that you feel yourself like traveling over the water, beside in the right hand the landscape is formed by dispersed houses spread out the forest.
The restaurant wagon displays a map of the route on its ceiling.
The Pacific beyond the window.
The raccoons whisperer.
Once the sea is left behind the trains runs across a prairie, valley or whatever it is infested of those iconic american farms with the sheds within them to end up again drawing the Pacific shore until it cross the US-Canada border.
The border: Children of a common mother.
The third and last gap of the trip is not as worthy as the first ones owe to going all over the Greater Vancouver area, a mostly industrial part of the province.
Bald eagle outside Vancouver, the American national symbol featured in the seal, which ironically inhabits mostly in British Columbia rather than anywhere in United States.
On the whole a ride in the Amtrak Cascades really worth the experience, the appearances can be deceibing though, because as the chief steward told me on my first trip this train and pride of the American freedom is 100% made in Spain and just assembled in Seattle! 😀
The best way to book the tickets is on the internet. They are usually around the 35 US$ one way, basically the same price the coach companies charge but having as an asset the advantage of skipping the stop at the border.