Jul 9, 2008

Seattle (Day 2, Mt Rainier) - シアトル(2日目、マウント・レーニア)

What a fine day out I had today!

To start with, I hardly had enough sleep last night. It took me until 2:00AM to get to sleep, and, while asleep, I felt like I’m half awake. To make the matter worse, I had to get up at 6:00AM, because the Mt Rainier tour that I was joining was going to start at 7:00AM!

After contemplating for a while, I decided to go for the Mt Rainier tour run by Seattle Tours. As soon as I got on the bus, I knew that I was going to have a great day.

I couldn’t choose any better day for a trip to Mt Rainier. It was a gorgeous sunny day with clear blue sky. We could see the mountain clearly as soon as we left Seattle downtown!

While our tour guide Liz was brilliant at her job, we also had a fun group too! Throughout the whole trip, we just kept talking and talking. It was also funny that we had a few families that had just come back from a cruise to Alaska while I have been thinking about doing it myself lately!

Honestly, I can use just one word to describe Mt Rainier – stunning. When I booked this tour, I didn’t realize that we were going up over 5,000ft. We stopped at various places for different views of the mountain, and every stop was breathtaking. We stopped at canyons, river, and so on, and I just couldn’t stop taking pictures (typical me). The air up on the mountain was so sweet, and it was such a delight that we did a bit of picnic for lunch in such a spectacular set-up. The colour of the water coming from glaciers was very “white”, which is a lot different from the water I saw in Alberta, Canada. It’s different, but it was just beautiful!

We also saw some wild animals along the way, such as deer, sheep, and even marmot! The marmot is a funny looking animal, but was very very cute. Thanks to one of the boys of Spirel, a Greek guy who is living in the NY state, we were able to see it. But I was the only person in the tour who was able to take a good photo of the marmot.

It was so funny that, while I have been thinking about doing an Alaska cruise before moving back to Japan, there were three families that had just come back from one! Spirel's family was one of them. It really sounds like this is something I must do sooner or later!

I am so glad that I joined the tour with Seattle Tours. It was a fun tour of a relatively small group (16 people) in a small van with spacious leg space, which was accompanied by an excellent tour guide. This is the kind of tour I like. This tour is $20 more expensive than the one from Grayline, which is more of a big group, big bus tour, but it was well worth it!

After I had a very average sushi at this Japanese restaurant, which is clearly run by Chinese people, near the Pikes Place Market, I took a bus up to the Kerry Park. Kerry Park offers a panoramic view of the downtown Seattle and its waterfront. Although I arrived much later than I wanted, I managed to see the evening view of the downtown with Mt Rainier in the back ground!

I don’t think I could have asked for a better day!

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今日は何とも素晴らしい一日になりました~!

まずはじめに、今日はほとんど寝れなかった。眠るまでに2時までかかった上に、寝ていても半分起きた気分。それに追い討ちをかけるかのごとく、今日のマウント・レーニア・ツアーが7時開始ということもあって6時に起床する羽目に!

迷いに迷った末、結局Seattle Toursのやってるマウント・レーニア・ツアーに参加することにした。バスに乗ってすぐ、今日一日がいい日になることを確信した。

マウント・レーニアに行くには今日は最高の日だった。青空の広がる晴れの一日。そのおかげでシアトルのダウンタウンを出るとすぐに山を一望することができた~!

ツアーガイドのリズはガイドとしてもいい仕事をしてくれたけど、それに加えてとっても楽しいグループになった。ツアー中、話が尽きることがほとんどなかった。また、やろっかな~、と最近考えていたアラスカクルーズに行って来たばっかりと言う家族が三組もいるではないか!

マウント・レーニアを表現するには一言、美しい!このツアーを予約したときには、5000ftの所まで行くということはまったく知らなかった。ツアーでは、山のさまざまな一面を見るためにいろんな違うところに止まってくれた。そしてその一つ一つが何とも美しかった。渓谷や川などいろんなところに止まったけど、そのおかげもあってカメラのシャッターを切りまくった(典型的な僕です、ハイ)。山の上の空気は本当に美味しくって、素晴らしい眺めを背景に外でピクニックで来たのが何とも最高。氷河が解けて流れてくる水は、カナダのアルバータ州で見たのとは違って白っぽく見えた。違って入るけど、美しいことには変わりありません!

ツアーの最中には、鹿、羊、そしてマーモットなどの動物も見れた!マーもっとは面白いいでたちをしてるけど、それがなかなっ可愛い。NY州に住んでるスピレルの息子の一人が見つけてくれたおかげで見ることができたけど、まともに写真を撮ることができたのは僕だけだった模様。

Seattle Toursのツアーに参加して大正解!結構足元のスペースが広々とした小さいバンで比較的こじんまりとしたグループ(16人)のツアーだったけどもとっても楽しかった。僕はこういう小さいツアーが好きなので、もっと大きいバスで大きいグループ向けのGraylineのツアーと比べて20ドル高かったけども、このツアーにして本当に大成功!

パイク・プレイス・マーケット近くにある明らかに中国人がやってるレストランでごく平均的な寿司を食べた後、バスに乗ってケリー・パークに行くことに。ケリー・パークからはシアトルダウンタウンとウォーターフロントの景色が一望できる。ちょっと遅くなってしまったものの、マウント・レーニアをバックにしたシアトルダウンタウンの夜景が見ることができた~!

こんないい一日は何にも代えられない!!










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