The Emerald City
Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
89Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Our day began with an epic journey to JFK Airport in order for us to catch our flight to Seattle, Washington. Backpacks on, we walked, subway-ed, bus-ed, air train-ed, had our patience tried in the airport queues and made our 2:06pm flight by the skin of our teeth. Well worth the effort though, for a lovely flight across the states on a clear sunny day and with amazing views of the Rocky Mountains. Next time we see these views it will be from the car window.
The journey continued on the brand new Seattle Light Link Rail which took us the 13 miles from Tacoma Airport to downtown Seattle and our new home at the Green Tortoise Hostel, Pike Street. After a 6 hour budget a.k.a. 'nil by mouth' flight, we followed our stomachs to the first place they found which happened to be a Vietnamese restaurant right next door to our hostel
11th April 2010
Never ones to turn down a free breakfast, we filled up in the hostel and went out exploring... Despite our best efforts, we seemed to be unable to find a bus heading north to Fremont so we opted instead for the Monorail to the Seattle Centre and decided to embrace clear blue skies with a trip up the Space Needle. What a good decision, as the views from the top were panoramic. A super-fast elevator ride took us to the observation platform at the 520 foot level for a spectacular view of the city, Puget Sound, the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, as well as Mount Rainier, 60 miles to the southeast.
Back on firm ground, we walked through the sculpture park and along the waterfront to Pike Place Market which opened in 1907 and still houses the world famous Pike Place Fish Market. We hung around at the fish market for ages as the fishmongers lobbed the fish around to each other right over the heads of all the customers. It's such a pretty market selling fruit, vegetables and flowers of every colour imaginable. Also underneath the market are loads of quirky shops... old posters, comics, models and second hand books galore.
The first ever Starbucks is also across the street; established here in 1971, there are now over 16,000 Starbucks coffee shops in 49 countries across the world! This particular branch also provides the ideal backdrop for live music and we stood watching a country band called Slimpickins who were really good
12th April 2010
We started the day with a walk uptown to Capitol Hill; had a stroll through Volunteer park, admired the neighbourhood and had a super strong coffee. At 5pm we joined the Seattle underground tour. Despite Lou thinking this was going to be insanely boring it was actually really interesting and funny. The tide flats Seattle are located on used to flood twice daily and the original city was built entirely from wood. In 1889 it was accidentally burnt to the ground, resulting in the new buildings being made from brick and stone and the street level raised an entire storey. This created a series of underground alleys and subterranean shopfronts almost forgotten by today's inhabitants. Our tour guide Jim was an animated character who brought it all to life.
We grabbed a pizza and a beer on the way home and began packing ready for the morning... collection of our Windstar and the start of our road trip to Canada!