For much of my stay in Portland, Oregon, the city looked like this.
And I felt like this.
This was supposed to be super awesome but instead I was freezing and miserable and the only thing to do was to drink about it (in one of the squillions of breweries or McMenamins bars).
But when the sun was out, Portland was lush and lovely.
In a way, it was exactly what I expected. All the young people were good-looking and inked and had matching glasses to me. They were all eating organic food and drinking craft beers. And they can all go to food trucks.
But I just couldn’t love it. I spent a lot of time wishing I was back in sparkling California, and since I had planned a whole week to relax and gather my thoughts, I had a lot of time to dwell on it. But as much as we all rave about travel, some places are just cities that people live in and visit. Not every stop along the way has to change your life.
Some more things about Portland:
– people are calm and have a good sense of humour – it’s “where young people go to retire”
– the beers are strong and tasty
– there is usually an early AND late Happy Hour at bars (and this includes food)
– unsurprisingly, drinking beer is a top activity – apparently it’s a brewing capital of the world
– there is a strong commitment to sustainability: my hostel was largely made of recycled materials; it’s a bike-friendly city; if you can’t finish your food at a restaurant they will automatically give you a box to take it home in
– Uber/Lyft/Sidecar – none of these things exist in Portland!
– they are proud of the TV show Portlandia and you can go to organised screenings in pubs around the place