Sleepless in Seattle

Trip Start Aug 26, 2011
Trip End Sep 13, 2011

Flag of United States  , Washington
Friday, August 26, 2011

After a long time on a bus, from Whistler to Vancouver, we arrived in Seattle. Coming into the city at night is pretty, with the space needle glowing above the skyline.

From the bus station it was a 5 minute walk to where we were staying, unfortunately we got lost and it turned into a 10 minute walk, a tantrum and a then a taxi ride to our doorstep. Our hostel, in the Chinatown area of Seattle was clean and cheap, so we dumped our stuff in the room and headed out for a quick bite.

We hit one of the busiest Chinese restaurants we could find (my theory is where there are lots of people, there is good food), and ordered two dishes. They arrived in a jiffy, my plate was the size of my head, piled high with chicken and broccoli - enough to feed us both, with spare. The portions were huge, we made a small dent and then headed back to the hostel, exhausted after the bus trip.

The next day we got up early and headed in the direction of Pike Place Markets, Simon was determined to have breaky at the original Starbucks. 15 minutes later, we arrived at said Starbucks, but after looking at the line (out the door and around the block), we settled on a busy french patisserie 'Le Panier' instead. After a delicious almond croissant, washed down with a soy latte, we headed out to explore the markets. There is so much to see at the markets, food, crafts, jewelery, funny t-shirts, fruit, veges - you could spend hours wandering around trying samples and chatting with the stall-holders. Since we only had one day in Seattle we did a quick tour of the markets and then headed for the space needle. We didn't have directions - but if you can see it, you can find it. So half an hour later we were at the bottom of the needle, after several happy snaps, we headed back to the market, to grab a smoothie for lunch and to enjoy the view from the small park area at the end of the markets.

On a nice day, Seattle is a great city to wander around, the day we were there was glorious, sunshine and not a cloud in sight. 18 months earlier I had visited Seattle on my way to Canada for the first time, and in the rainy/grey light it can be a much different city. The downside of Seattle, from my perspective, is the drug dependent people that wander the streets, shouting abuse at you, or following you. I know every city has their share of drug users, but in Seattle I found you were exposed to them, even in the tourist-geared areas like Pike Market. So just be aware of your belongings and your personal safety if you are traveling alone at night.

That night we went to The Pike Pub and Brewery, which is right near the markets, a neat little find. The place has a great atmosphere, good food and they make their own beer - which we would have sampled if we had bought our passports instead of our drivers' licenses - be aware, if you look under 30, and hold a foreign license, you will need your passport here.

The next day we rose early, and headed for the airport, it was time to go to San Francisco!

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