What better way to start our tour to Portland, Oregon than a visit to the International Rose Test Garden. This rose garden came highly recommended, so we made that our first stop today.
Our campground is several miles east of the city, but it is conveniently located on the bus line and near the light rail line. We parked the truck in the park and ride lot and purchased an all-day pass for mass transit. This pass, good for the entire day and the entire city, allowed us to hop on and off either the light rail, bus, or trolley. We could go anywhere around town for one low price and didn’t have to worry about finding our way, traffic, or parking. The train took us to the Washington Park area where we used our pass to board the Washington Park Shuttle which took us to the entrance to the Rose Garden.
The roses were in bloom (although peak is in June) and it was awesome to look out over this terraced garden at some 9,000 rose bushes. Over 550 varieties were being tested for color and fragrance among other things.
The rose garden is popular not only with tourists, but with locals as well. Even today with overcast skies there were several young families with their children having a picnic at the amphitheater today. I imagine it is a very popular place for weddings, also. And I was not the only one there with a camera.
From the highest terrace, you look down over the rose garden to the downtown business district of Portland and beyond to Mt. Hood. With the heavy cloud cover today, the mountain was not visible. However, they say this is the best view in the city.
After the rose garden, we walked across the street to the Portland Japanese Garden. I’m going to save that and the rest of today’s tour for another posting. It is too late today to sort through all the photos.
Tomorrow, if the weather clears a bit, we are planning a drive along the Columbia River Gorge.