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Seattle, Olympic & Amtrak 24 September – 4 October 2015Back

At the end of September, I took advantage of my remaining vacation days in Saarbrücken and Thorsten's presence in Redmond due to an internship at Microsoft research for a visit to Seattle, some hiking in Olympic National Park together with Thorsten, and finally a grand three-day coast-to-coast cruise on Amtrak's Empire Builder and Lake Shore Limited to New York.

Seattle & Olympic National Park

After my Thursday afternoon arrival, I first visited the University of Washington on Friday to deliver the printout of a re-exam that one of our exchange students from Saarbrücken would take remotely a week later, simultaneously to her fellow students back home. On Friday evening, Thorsten and I went via Aberdeen to Quinault for the Olympic National Park, where we spent a superbly sunny weekend mostly hiking. We even met two real live wild bears—fortunately, the Hoh River was between us and them. Thorsten also fell into a waterfall. Monday was allocated for the Seattle Center, then on Tuesday it was time to leave the city again—after an early afternoon harbour cruise, that is.

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Amtrak Seattle–New York

On Tuesday afternoon, I boarded Amtrak's Empire Builder to Chicago for a three-day cruise to the East Coast. The original plan was to continue from Chicago to Washington D.C. on the Capitol Limited and then on a regional train to New York the day after. Unfortunately, the Empire Builder's three-hour delay arriving into Chicago made this impossible, seeing that I had a 2 h 45 connection. Thanks to Chicago Union Station's industriuous passenger services lady "piecing together" sleeper reservations for me on the Lake Shore Limited, however, I still made it to New York on time so as not to miss Angela, Carol and Richard for lunch on Saturday and my flight home early that evening.

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