After my night of debauchery at the hostel, I had a few hours before I needed to be at the train station. Not wanting to miss at least seeing something of Portland before I left, I chose to go to the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.
I had some of Steve and Phillip's French bread and "dirty sock" cheese for breakfast, grabbed my camera and little map and set off.
The weather was with me again as it had been raining earlier but stopped on my walk to the garden. The area was "old downtownish"; one way streets, old brick buildings, Victorian style homes, and of course the odd homeless person.
I will copy the blurb from the AAA guide about the garden as it tells it in better detail than I can.
"Designed in the 15-Century Ming style, the urban garden was built by artisans
and craftspeople from Suzhou, China, Portland's sister city. The garden features
a bridged lake, open colonnades and stone paths that wind through courtyards and
nine pavilions where visitors can relax.
"The freestanding rocks framing the garden's waterfall are limestone (called Tai Hu rocks) mined from Lake Tai, a freshwater lake near Suzhou. Trees and shrubs, many indigenous to China include, maples, pines, dogwoods, wintersweet, plum, wisteria, hibiscus, bamboo, tree peonies, magnolias, camellias, orchids and water plants. A teahouse overlooks the gardens Lake Zither."
Next I came across a man teaching Tai Chi to some visitors and when I stopped to watch, invited me to join in. While I have been interested in learning Tai Chi for several years, doing so in an open courtyard with a hangover and little time to even see the garden, prevented me from joining in. It looks like it takes quite a bit of balance, something I am not known to have!
The rain stopped again as I made my way up the street (the street that had the traffic lights in my favor and which I used to ride to the station) the rain seemed to abate somewhat and so I was still fairly dry when I got home.