Got up very early (4:30am) to catch the Amtrak from Pacific Union station to Seattle, Washington. As this journey was taking us back over the border into America, it was passports at the ready again as we were fingerprinted and stamped at customs. It always feels a little strange, having your passport checked and your baggage x-rayed before getting on a train, but there you go…
The train journey was going fine until we came to the border – the train stopped just as we crossed the Peace Arch separating USA and Canada, and we were boarded by immigration officers – yes, they actually came on board and checked everyone’s passports…a very friendly & smiley bunch as usual (NOT)!! Of course we were fine, but Seio decided that it was a good time to go to the toilet and left his seat – arousing suspicion from one of the female immigration officers…Seio!! When Seio returned to his seat she asked him ‘Where have you been? Why did you leave your seat?’ and told one of her colleagues…’Hey, this guy was just walked off somewhere…you might want to check his bags!’…Seio!!! So, we had to have our bags checked and hold everyone up…luckily we weren’t the only ones, a Chinese woman with limited English sitting in front of us also held matters up as she hadn’t filled in her customs form properly….Never mind, we were soon on our way again (^^)v
The journey from Vancouver to Seattle took about 4 1/2 hours, which wasn’t so bad. The Amtrak train was clean and comfortable and the driver was giving us a little tour guide of landmarks along the way. After arriving at King Street Station, we decided to take one of the free buses to our hotel, and a nice ‘homeless veteran’ took it upon himself to take us to the bus station – of course he wanted money…and he was giving us the spiel about being in Iraq and his ‘buddies’ getting killed etc…It’s one of those sensitive subjects that you don’t know if someone’s telling the truth or not, but at the same time you don’t want to sound rude…we gave him a couple of dollars just to get rid of him, but there’s nothing worse than being taken for a ride on a lie that involves people who are actually risking their lives for others! He wasn’t much help anyway, as we still didn’t know which bus we were meant to catch – typical!! I started asking some people for directions, but as we seemed to be in the middle of Chinatown…the people I asked either didn’t speak English or didn’t have a clue about our hotel location!! Oh dear… (^^)>
In the end, we lugged our suitcases all the way back down the hill to the station and grabbed a taxi – that was much quicker and simpler, and we wished we had done that from the very beginning…!!
We arrived at our hotel, which is very nice, and unpacked a few things. Our room is very spacious and comes with fridge, microwave and cable TV, so we should be fine here for the next 4 nights. The hotel also has laundry facilities, which we are very happy about, and we plan to do a big wash…or 3 this evening!!
We look forward to seeing Seattle from tomorrow morning…
Filed under: USA | Tagged: Amtrak, customs, laundry, Seattle, Vancouver, Washington | Leave a comment »