Portland

Often proclaimed as one of the most liveable cities in America, I found Portland a pleasant if not hugely exciting place to visit. Though I was there on a day trip from Seattle back in 2008, so I only got a brief snapshot of the place.

One of Portland’s claims to fame is Powell’s World Of Books, one of the largest book shops in the world. It was indeed a rather large and well stocked bookshop, but I think it’s fame was built into the prices, with cheaper (if not quite as enormous) book shops to be found in Seattle, and it’s hard to beat New York’s Strand Bookstore.

Pittock Mansion was built by a newspaper magnet on the hills above Portland, an unusually grand slice of heritage America, if not a patch on the endless National Trust places I’ve visited in the UK. Still gave a good idea of how the new rich of early 20th Century America lived, and offered panoramic views of the city below.

Finally (didn’t have that long there) the Portland Classical Chinese Garden was a very good example of it’s kind (seen similar in Vancouver, Sydney and Dunedin) and worth a quick visit.

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