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Full Circle

Day 236: Seattle to Vancouver

Everett Boeing Plant, Washington 
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The Boeing Plant at Everett, so big it makes 747s look like toys.
Michael Palin - Full CircleI think I do pretty well. I follow instructions, hold course and speed and, with eyes glued to the instrument panel, bring us gently down to earth. When I look round for some acknowledgement of my prowess all I can see is a white-faced and gibbering camera crew. Apparently I had missed the runway, clipped the corner of the control tower and landed in a crowded car park. Well, nobody's perfect.

It's early evening by the time we reach the forty-ninth parallel and our eighteenth national frontier. A portrait of the Queen hangs on the wall of the immigration shed and ahead of us lies British Columbia, Canada's most westerly province. Vancouver, its largest city, has a population of a million and a half, swollen by a recent influx of Hong Kong Chinese who have chosen Canadian rather than Chinese rule after June 1997. A cosmopolitan, multi-racial crowd is making its way down Robson Street towards the waterfront for the last night of an international fireworks competition. There is a palpable mood of national rejoicing. Canada has beaten the USA in the Olympic 4 x 400 metres relay. I think we got out of America just in time.
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  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 236
  • Country/sea: Canada
  • Place: Vancouver - BC
  • Book page no: 309

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