Our Seattle City Break - sun and sights!

Trip Start Nov 08, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, May 12, 2013

Our last blog was written during our last few days in Banff and after last goodbyes (for now) and a final deep breath of fresh Banff air we boarded a (rather late) Greyhound overnight bus to Vancouver. We knew it wouldn't be a great 24 hours when Nick got a migraine only an hour into the journey and the smell of the onboard toilet began to waft our way. The drive took all night and with numerous stops, lunatic coach drivers and twirling, mountain roads our sleep wasn't great. We then had to kill 7 hours at Vancouver station before boarding another Greyhound to Seattle which took 4-5 hours due to boarder crossing and downtown Seattle rush hour traffic. American boarder control was even more grueling than I remembered and trying to smile and answer questions whilst lugging heavy bags along the queue was quite an exhausting task after only a few hours sleep! I'd forgotten I had some apples in my hand luggage bag and after the security officer inspected them closely and looked at me like I was a criminal for not having 'declared' them, he discovered that they were from America and I was allowed to bring them with me anyway... thank the Lord..! Although we knew we were tired at the time, it was only after looking back at pictures of us on the bus that we realised just how worn out we were. Those pictures have been deleted as we didn't see much point in keeping them - no good scenery there! We arrived in Seattle and had a fairly stress free walk and bus ride to our hotel, although we were greeted with 4 flights of stairs and no lifts to put our bags in. After checking out our room we grabbed some quick food from a nearby deli and were fast asleep by 8pm.

We felt much better in the morning after a good nights sleep and a free breakfast and spent the first day walking the 3 mile walk into downtown where we visited the famous Pike Place Market with entertaining fishmongers, the original Starbucks, international food stalls and lots of tourists. We walked along the seafront and decided to take advantage of the CityPass available to buy at the aquarium - $74 each for 6 attractions around the city which included the aquarium, two visits to the top of the Space Needle, various museums and a harbour cruise. We quickly noticed, whilst walking around, that whilst most of the people we came across seemed friendly there were certainly some areas and back roads that might be best avoided around the city! We didn't help ourselves by Googling Seattle crime rates and places to avoid later back at the hotel. I'm sure they're no worse than any other big city but it certainly reminded us that we were no longer in our Banff bubble and whilst we were hopefully free of the dangers of cougars, bears and wolf packs it might be wise to split our money up and keep an eye on our bags and pockets

The rest of our time in Seattle was great and felt like a real holiday due to us now having no work for a few months and the sun coming out. Most days we were in shorts and t-shirts and temperatures were around 26 degrees, not bad for what is apparently known as the 'rainy city'! We spent our days using our city passes, going around the various attractions with our favourites being the EMP museum (Experience Music Project) and the Space Needle. We also thoroughly enjoyed the harbour cruise where we got great views of the skyline and saw Californian sea lions. Perhaps some of the nicest days though were spent in the nearby university grounds eating picnics and reading our new kindles (a little early 25th birthday present to ourselves!)

The next chapter of our adventure will bring New Zealand where we will both be driving again and exploring on a tight budget. Perhaps the strangest aspect though will be that we will be heading back into winter after our recent taster of sunshine! We'll keep you posted on how all of that goes once we're on the other side of the Pacific... 
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