Page 4 of zofka Travel Blog Posts

The crowd is roaring as the two teams are presented; Blowfish and the Shookers. The teams get into position. Straw in hand. Head bent. Fish cup on the go. One, two, three, go. And the goldfish race has begun. It is East Glacier Park Montana. It is Blackfoot country. And I am at the only saloon in town. The Trailhead Saloon. The place is jam-packed as one of the most exciting events is taking place. The goldfish race has gathered more than 20 teams which all compete to blow their goldfish over the finish line first in a long run of elimination matches. If the goldfish doesn't win, you eat it. - That night a lot of goldfish ended their days in the stomachs of hungry contestants. East Glacier Park is a small four block wide ... read more
Me at Lake McDonald
Me at Lake Josephine

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland August 7th 2011

Portland is not only about establishing a green image (see ). With a young and vibrant population and with roots in the West coast 70's, Portland has its share of wacky and weird. Something which the city unlike many other places does much to preserve. Therefore, one of the most famous slogans is 'Keep Portland Weird'. In this blog, I'll write a bit about the 'weirdness' in Portland and about some of the quirky things that I've seen. 'Keep Portland Weird' means that Portland already is weird. Historically speaking, Portland can boast with a history similar to that of Seattle and Vancouver. It started as a settlement in 1843 where Asa Lovejoy and William Overton bought a piece of land that later became downtown Portland. Records show that they purchased the area for 25 cent. And ... read more
Street sign

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland August 7th 2011

Sitting in the train that will take me away from the West coast and inland to Montana, I have ample opportunity to write a bit about a city that has gone directly to my heart. Portland, ladies and gentlemen, is by far a beautiful and relaxed city, where green energy and the love of nature surpasses consumerism and advertisement. That is except from the fact that Portland, as a city in the state of Oregon, has no sales taxes, wherefore many come to the city to shop cheaply. But except from the occasional shopper, Portland has a certain free spirited vibe about it. I suspect the development of this down to earth West coast city has something to do with the beautiful and lush nature of the region, not unlike Seattle and Vancouver. Portland which is ... read more
The Eagle
newspaper stands

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle August 3rd 2011

Days in the company of Lee, Hendrix, Cobain and President Roslin Though I spent an entire blog on Seattle's early history, it was not really what drew me to the city. In truth, I never really imagined to go here nor had any visual idea of where in the US, it was. However, I have always known Seattle to exist; not because of Starbucks, McDreamy or that rather bad movie with Hanks and Ryan. No, I cam to know Seattle as many others of my generation by the central role that Seattle's music scene played in the late 1980's and early 1990's. I knew the city because of Kurt Cobain singing and sipping tea on New York Unplugged and the beauty of Chris Cornell's voice on Superunknown. - Music I grew up with and music I ... read more
Seattle skyline
my first American diner experience
Music in Seattle

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle August 3rd 2011

I have arrived in the US and though my first meeting with Americans was the unpleasantness of the land border crossing from Vancouver to Seattle, my general impression is that Americans share the hospitality of their Northern neighbours. Seattle is most commonly known to be the home of McDreamy, Starbucks (463 in greater Seattle metropolitan area) and a celebrated 90's chick-flick starring Ryan and Hanks. But it is also home to 1700 homeless people on any given night. Downtown Seattle which in the daytime is jam-packed with American and Asian tourists becomes a ghost town by night time, where the corners fills with homeless men and women. A truck stops. On the side it reads 'Seattle's Union Gospel Mission – Men's Shelter – Search and Rescue Van'. Two people get out and turns to the elderly ... read more
waiting for the train that never comes
The Old Saloon
Let's tango

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver July 31st 2011

In the evening Vancouver's Granville St lights up with neon signs. There are many but apparently not as many as there used to be. Before neon lights were considered to represent brothels, bars and bad neighbourhoods, Vancouver could boast as the city with the most neon lights in the world, except from Shanghai - 19.000 in total in the mid 1950's. But as neon signs went out of favour, more and more businesses tore them down and in the 1960's a Vancouver bylaw made it illegal to put up any new neon lights. This bylaw was in force until 2003 when Vancouver was awarded the 2010 Winter Olympics. At this point in time Granville Street among others had gone from being the pulse of the city to a wasteland of dodgy shops, bars and clubs. For ... read more
colourful Vancouver
Welcome to the land of neon
Faces of the Pride

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver July 29th 2011

Welcome to Vancouver This city can boast of 120 Starbucks, reaching 300 within the entire metropolitan area. According to trustworthy sources there are only 2 Second Cups. Instead of Second Cup Vancouver's Canadian competition here is Blenz. And then off course there are the unavoidable and ever popular Tim Hortons. Also, as a little piece of useless information, the Starbucks at Waterfront Station was the first Starbucks outside of the US. source: Jessica from It seems that once again I have come to a city that is wholly and completely different from what I imagined. I had an idea that Vancouver was just a downtown of tall glass skyscrapers. And well it is. But it is so much more. With only 120 years worth of history, Vancouver has a surprisingly rich and quirky history ... read more
Food vendor at Granville St
Gassy Jack
Gastown houses

North America » Canada » Alberta » Edmonton July 25th 2011

It is my last day in Edmonton before I head out on a one month trip from Vancouver, cross the US, to Toronto. But before I leave the capital of Alberta, I will write one last blog about some of the many things that Edmonton has to offer. Edmonton is not a beautiful city. It is way too spread out and unless you have a car, living here would be a hell. However, in between the more or less disastrous skyscrapers and thousands of dog-trucks, Edmonton has a certain charm. Most of this comes from the people living here. As I have said before, people in Edmonton, Alberta and Canada seem so welcoming, chit-chatting and easy-going. Half the experience of Canada, I would argue would be in meeting the hospitality of the Canadians. But there are ... read more
Farmer's Market
local piece of art
Rainbow Edmonton

North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary July 9th 2011

Thanks to long running soaps such as Dynasty and Dallas, I hold quite strong prejudices against the idea of a Western 'getting-rich-quickly' oil city. I never thought that I would take a liking to a place which is all about cattle and oil and intimidating skyscrapers. In my imagination, all that happens in such places are continuous dialogues between rich people who like to cheat and scam each other while they fumble around in intrigues about their weird family relations and discussing who-is-betraying-who. So imagine my surprise when we arrived at Calgary, Alberta in the midst of the most important event of the year; the Calgary Stampede. Though the city is full of intimidating skyscrapers and cowboys and oil-dynasties, it has a friendly feel to it with lots of different areas to explore. Unlike Edmonton, downtown ... read more
My new Coboy hat

North America » Canada » Alberta » Bragg Creek July 8th 2011

Ever since arriving in Alberta, I have wanted to get a feel of the wild West. I dreamed of meeting the small town prairie feeling. I found it today! We began the day saying goodbye to our pretty little campsite at Bow Valley before heading South into cattle country. Our plan was to visit Bar-U Ranch, which is a Canadian historical site displaying the life of actual cowboys. But having a bit of a drive ahead of us, we began the day driving towards Bragg Creek. Bragg Creek I can't say much about this town, since we only stopped at the shopping centre. However, I really liked what I saw. The place was build with a very Western touch and has escaped the building boom thus far. There were no warehouse buildings and no cheap fast ... read more
I love Alberta Beef
At Bar U Ranch
Bar U Ranch horse

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