Now, when I left you last oh best beloved, I had brought you up to speed with Portland’s shopping strengths. This time we shall delve deeper into the most touristy highlights for the interested visitor.
A really good way to get ones bearings and see the best of Portland, as with any city is to take a good walking tour, in this case the Portland Walking Tours Best of Portland tour, an excellent 2 hour odd walking tour that takes you through much of the highlights of downtown Portland along with a good deal of local history and such. There’s about twenty people to a tour, but two guides and they divide the tour into two smaller groups to keep it on a personal level.
As the above picture shows in part, one of Portland’s strengths is the amound of public art on display, as new buildings have to include this in their building plans.
This is maybe my favourite sculpture on the tour, named ‘The Quest’ it was designed by Count Alexander von Svoboda in 1970, and is nicknamed ‘three groins in the fountain.’
The main centre-point of Portland though is Pioneer Square, slap in the middle of downtown, with public transport links a plenty, this is a great first port of call for the curious traveller, and in the middle of the photo you can see the walkway down into the tourist information center. Around the edges of the square are food carts, including one offering cheesesteaks, and a branch of Starbucks, should you be sad enough to turn down the better indie-er offerings not 2 minutes walk away.
This is the little very touristy bit on the edge of the square, the collection of signs giving distances to to various cities across the globe except for one which just gives the city name : Tipperary, because of course, that’s just a long way. Also there are cool fountains.
Portland also has much to tempt the sportier amongst you dear readers, with the NBA’s Portland Traiblazers in town, along with the MLS Portland Timbers soccer team, whose stadium, JELD-WEN is very easy to reach, again on the red line train.
The stadium is open to a limited extent of a weekday so you can pop into the team store and pick up some souveirs, such as a bottle opener, shirt or whatever your fancy takes. The stadium also plays host to home games for the Portland State Vikings American college football team.
Though I didn’t get to see them, the Portland Rose Garden which gives the city its sobriquet of ‘The Rose City’ is apparently worth a visit as is the Japanese Garden.
This then wraps up my touristy section – for more information and tips, I’d heartily recommend checking out the Travel Portland website, next though is the part I suspect several of you are waiting for, the beer bit.