Wednesday, 5 October 2016

SEATTLE


The last part of our journey was four nights in Seattle.  We travelled from Vancouver Island on the Victoria Clipper which takes approx 3 hours.  It is a really efficient service which handles the border crossing and saw us disembark in Seattle with ease.  We were staying at the Hotel 1000 which was brilliantly central for the attractions we were looking forward to visiting.

Top on our list was a visit to the SEATTLE CENTRAL LIBRARY on 4th Avenue.  Lizzy's boyfriend Harry is studying Architecture and was raving about how amazing this building is, and he was not wrong.  The 11 storey structure is made of steel and glass and was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Josua Prince-Ramus (such cool names) and it is an incredible place to visit.


You can look down onto the library floor from various levels, although I was not brave enough to go to the highest.  Even the views of the city through the steel and glass honeycomb is pretty awe inspiring.


Top on my list was PIKE PLACE MARKET and this was the first place we headed to after checking into the hotel.  One of the oldest operating markets in the U.S. there is an incredible array of fresh produce and flowers and the hustle and bustle of the place just adds to the atmosphere.



Make sure to stop by the Pike Place fish throwers - yep, we were a little shocked when salmon started being chucked through the air!  I wouldn't have wanted to buy that one for sure but would have had no hesitation in sampling some of the fish on offer - just look at the size of the scampi and scallops!.  This area is also the home of the original Starbucks, but there are lots of other coffee shops here too and restaurants, bars, a record shop, book sellers .... the list is endless.


Pike Place Market

BELLTOWN was another favourite as it is a vibrant neighbourhood with a real arty air and some fabulous restaurants and cafes to choose from.  It is a great walk from Pike Market through Belltown to the Space Needle, stopping for coffee or drinks on the way.


We didn't make it to the top of the Needle but did tour round the EMP Museum which is next door and really loved everything there - from the world of science fiction to the Star Trek expo, the music rooms to the gaming areas.  It was a really immersive and enjoyable experience and well worth the visit.



We took the monorail from Seattle Centre, next to the Needle and EMP Museum, back along 5th Avenue to downtown and the shopping area which completed a varied day of sightseeing and shopping.  Never a bad combination.



The following evening we opted for some culture and headed towards the Seattle Art Museum which was only a couple of blocks from our hotel.  But  our cultural vein deserted us and we only made it as far as the shop before heading for dinner.  So bad.



We just loved the Hammering Man outside the museum, which was created by Johnathan Borofsky to honour working class men and women.  Measuring 48 feet he clips his hammer two and a half times per minute with a rhythmic swing that is quite mesmerizing.



On our final morning in the city we ventured to Pioneer Square and enjoyed the ambiance of this pretty, historic, area of the city.  We wish we had longer to see more and all felt on leaving the city that we had really only seen a small amount of what was on offer. 



To just touch on some of our favourite places to eat is a must and top amongst those was Roxy's in Freemont where we had the most fantastic brunch.



We also visited El Borracho, which is at Pike Market, on two occasions.  Their Margaritas were the best ever and we all enjoyed their Tacos and Burritos.  A must to visit if you are in the city it has a really relaxed atmosphere and great food.



Seattle is a beautiful city, but we did not feel it beat Vancouver.  I think the size was the main disadvantage, which left us with a feeling that we were missing something.  We were also struck by the number of homeless and their encampments, plus indigents at most street corners downtown.  A sad problem in most large cities but particularly marked here.  


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