Seattle: Week Three

That’s it. I’m past the half-way point of my time here on Bainbridge Island. It’s funny whenever you go somewhere for an extended period of time. Time behaves differently to when you’re just on a regular holiday. And because this trip is more about visiting Gem and Ky than a race to see every single touristy thing out there, time is passing rather like it does back home, only there’s an end to my stay here. It’s weird. I’d better get on with the photos instead of musing on the passing of time.

After saying that my stay here is more a family visit than a sight-seeing extravaganza, last week I did indulge in some rather touristy activities. After a day of grey clouds and rain, I awoke the next morning to the sun slicing through my blinds. Outside, the remnants of yesterday’s downpour were slowly turning into steam from the rooftops. Looked like a good day for getting out. So I walked down to the ferry terminal, and set my sights on downtown Seattle again.

I quite like history. I enjoyed it at school, studied it at college and it’s something I still like to read and hear about today. So when I saw that there were tours that took you underneath the streets of Seattle to show you the history of the city, I had to go and have a look. There are two tours that I found. I went with the Beneath the Streets tour and our guide, Chuck, was friendly, funny and knew his stuff when it came to the history of Seattle. The tour is only an hour long and there are only a handful of underground sites that you visit on the tour. Still, it’s cheap and interesting and is a good way to start exploring the area around Pioneer Square.

Last week I also went to the Seattle Center; home of the iconic Space Needle. It’s on the northern edge of downtown and is easy enough to get to by foot, especially if you’re like me and want to see as much of a place as you can. I wasn’t sure whether I’d bother paying to go to the top, but once I got there I figured that if I didn’t, I’d only wish I had done once I got back home. So I stumped up the entrance fee and joined the queue for the lift to the top deck. It’s a pretty speedy lift, so our tour guide for the short trip upwards only had a minute to machine-gun facts about the needle. None of which I can fully remember, sadly. Just something about them having a video phone in the 1950’s…and I’m not sure I even heard that right.

At the top, the views were great. As you’d expect. It was a clear, warm day and the skies above Seattle were clear. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get a view of Mount Rainier or the Olympic Range, though. Despite the blue skies, the mountains were hugged by low-lying cloud. After paying the fee to get up there, I wanted to get my money’s worth, but after walking around the circular walkway a couple of times, I’d take enough photos and seen all there was to see.

On my way back to the ferry, I took a detour to the Olympic Sculpture Park by the water front. The afternoon seemed to be getting warmer and the park was quiet and peaceful. I could see why so many people sought it out as a place to have a quiet read or to snooze for an hour under the shade of one of the larger pieces.

The walk to the ferry along Alaskan Way was, at one time, I pretty decent way to while away an hour of an evening as the sun dips behind the mountains. Sadly, because they’re doing some major roadworks along here, the whole area feels dark, noisy and a little unloved. Still, if you put the noise behind you and look out to the sea for long enough, you can almost imagine it’s not there. The noise, that is. Not the sea.

So that was last week. And to top it all off, we had homemade burgers every night over the weekend. Some of the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. My sis is quite the dab hand in the kitchen.

seattle underground tour guidePeople sitting chatting in a seattle squarestreet art in the alleys of seattleview of the space needle through the treesview of seattle from the space needletourists at the top of the space needleview of the space needle from the groundcouple lying down in seattle sculpture parkseattle sculpture parksilhouettes against the waterseattle skylinesilhouette of two gullsdockside at seattlebig wheel by the shore in seattledown by the waterfront in seattlesteam rising off roof tilesunderground tours of seattleblack and white photo of an alleydowntown seattle street corner