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.


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.