After a short four hour flight from the sunny mile high city of Denver we arrived at the airport in Seattle. It was so nice to fly for only four hours instead of the bus journey which would have taken 36 hours!!! I have heard that the journey by road is nice to actually do due to the scenery, however the views out of the windows of the plane were fantastic. I think that 36 hours may have just been a bit too long and as we are nearing the end of our time in this part of the world we were both glad to have that extra time in Seattle.
At the airport we got a shuttle into downtown Seattle. On approach we could see lots of what appear to be really tall buildings. This view is deceiving as Seattle is built on several slopes so the buildings are not actually the height they first appear from a distance. The shuttle dropped us off a few blocks from our hostel, luckily we only had to walk four blocks down towards the harbour side, going the other way would have been a challenge with all of our bags! We managed
Waterfall on Mt Rainier
You can just about see the rainbow
to find the hostel and checked in ok. The hostel itself was ok however the area it was in was very well located for activities but it was not a nice location, there is a night club across the street and lots of homeless people. But the city is knocking the building down soon so the hostel is relocating. That evening we just chilled out and meet some people in the library (quiet areas of the hostel).
The following day we ventured a few blocks down to the Pike Market. This place is amazing, lots of fresh seafood, interesting café’s and lots of knick knacks and souvenirs being sold. The funniest thing is that tourist’s go to watch the men on the fish stalls throwing the fish around, however there are so many people just standing around in anticipation of such a view but it does not happen often. It is great to watch the people waiting though. We walked around a bit and brought some postcards. We then followed the harbour down towards the Space needle. This is Seattle’s answer to the tall view experience, it was good and we could see very far as the weather that
day was beautiful, and it was cheaper than most of the other tall buildings we have been up. Afterwards we walked back along the harbour front, taking in the views of the boats on the water. We went back inside the Market for lunch in the Athenian Seafood bar and grill, a scene from the famous Sleepless in Seattle was filmed there. That afternoon we went to the North Face shop to buy Thommo some proper shoes, his trainers are not the most comfortable thing to be walking around all day in. We then wondered down towards Pioneer Square (the old part of the city) and took part in the under ground tour. This was so funny, the guide was very comical and informative, neither of us knew much about the history of Seattle but we do now. Basically Seattle was originally built at sea level and was a logging town. Not surprisingly where there are so many men the women soon arrived to make some money from the lonely men, these were the two main industries for a long time. However, the streets would flood on a regular basis and people even died in the massive holes that would
Sleepless in Seattle
Where a scene was shot.
form They tried to fill in the land using sawdust, obviously this was not very successful. So in the end the city decided to build the streets up higher, most of them higher than the whole first level of many buildings. This led to underground shop fronts (dangerous!) until the owners moved the ground floor of the shops up. The underground (original shop fronts and street level) part still exists in certain places and makes a good tourist attraction. We also learnt a lot about the insufficient sewage system until Mr Krapper introduced the toilets with a system that flows to the sea far enough so that is didn’t flow back and flood the streets (which was a common problem in the early days of the city). Yuck! After the tour we went to find a place to grab a quick cold drink, on the way I realised that Thommo had left his new shoes at the tour!!! He ran back in a panic however the tour guide had just come out looking for Thommo. Thank goodness for his honesty, that would have been an expensive waste of money!
The next day we got up early and boarded the
A toilet they have on display at the underground tour.
tour bus in great anticipation of seeing another mountain. The trip to Mt Rainier was really nice, the views were amazing. Although we had seen the countryside in Denver it was so nice to get out in it again so soon. The bus held about 14 people and everyone was friendly and there was a large mix of ages and nationalities. Mt Rainier is over 14, 000ft however we only got to go about half way up. The roads are only built to roughly 7,000ft and if you want to go to the top you have to climb. Apparently hundreds of people do the climb every year, it is said to be the training ground for people taking on the massive task of Mt Everest. It is also a popular place for photography, not surprisingly the views are amazing!! When we got to the end of the road there was a museum and a lookout building. We had a stop for 30mins there and when we returned to the bus the guide offered us a proposal - we could do a 2mile trek down the mountain! We were so excited by this that we jumped at the offer! So a
few minutes later on the drive down the guide pulled over to show everyone a place where you can cross over the river from the melt water of the glaciers. We spoke to some park rangers about the mountain and then the guide showed us the path which we needed to start on for the trek. At this point we felt a bit awkward as all the other people we were with looked very confused and I think that some of them would have liked to have done it too. But the walk was great, we got to see some great views of the river and the forest, what was even greater was the fact that we were by ourselves! We meet up with the rest of the group while they were still busy having lunch. I really enjoyed this experience and would love to get fit enough to actually attempt to climb a mountain.
That evening we stayed in the Library room and had an intense conversation with a few others. Have noticed that while travelling you tend to get into really deep conversations about religion, politics and quite often foreign policies.
I really enjoyed Seattle and
am glad we decided to venture that far up the west cost of the States.
Oh and I got a new trolley to pull my bag along! And it was better than the original one I had, lets hope it lasts longer!
Onwards to Vancouver, back to Canada for the last time……..
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