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USA – Sightseeing in Seattle – 25th August

If you were to read ‘things to do in Seattle in one day’ we would probably have ticked nearly all of the boxes! Today was our first day of proper sightseeing fitting in with the tourists so to speak. After spending some time photographing our quirky and retro-stylish new home for the next few days with Kirsten and Danny we set off by foot, saving a few pennies and keeping us fit up and down all those hills. So with trainers on and a backpack (we really did fit in with the sightseers!) we set off toward the International District. It’s not too far from our neighborhood and before long we reached Pioneer Square via the train station. It’s a lovely square with coffee shops, bars and small galleries, naming Davidson Galleries as a nice little space to start.

As it was still fairly early we thought we’d try to Seattle Underground Tour. They are located on 608 First Avenue and will more than likely have a large queue of people making their way inside. The tour starts with an introduction with a fairly humorous guide (called Dave) who gave us some history into how Seattle became as it is. When the tour started the big group was broken down into 3 and we went off with comic Dave for ours. We were guided through the basements of Seattle’s underground, which were once the pavements of New York one story down from street level. This was made possible after a large fire in the early 20th Century, which was a blessing in disguise as the city had originally been built at sea level and wasn’t very favourable for sewage disposal. The tour was made to be fairly amusing and allowed for a story-telling method, the underground itself kind of looks like the basement of buildings though. It was pretty good in all honesty and our wrist band meant we would be able to get a few discounts after wards for food and a trip up the Smith Tower.

Following on from touristy thing number 1 we went to The Seattle Art Museum, this we would recommend. It’s a good space with lots of contemporary and classical art, enough to occupy a whole day if you had the time. It was good to see some of the American contemporary painters such as David Salle and Jasper Johns on display. Along with some interesting installations. So from the art museum to the Pike Place Market, via the sea front. This market is worth seeing, yes it’s touristy but it has a good vibe and atmosphere to the area along with Starbuck’s first coffee shop, street performers, fresh flowers and produce. It is a little like stepping back in time with original signage, cobbled streets and various restaurants and ice-cream parlors.

From Pike Market we walked back along the streets to the Smith Tower, it was now nearly 4pm. Completed in 1914 it was at the time the 4th tallest building in the world and houses an observation deck at the top. We spent around half an hour at the top and the views out to sea, to the Olympic Peninsula and over to Mount Rainer were pretty impressive. We do like a good observational tower!

After perhaps our 7th mile of waking back to our abode we decided to chill out, ate leftovers from the previous night’s Vietnamese food and caught up on the blog.

Seattle Art Museum – Suggested entry fee $15 ($2 off each with a voucher)
Underground Tour – $16 each
Smith Tower – $6.50 (with a dollar off)

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)


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