‘It rains nine months a year in Seattle.’*
We had one day to get out and about in Seattle city before heading towards the coast for the next part of our adventure. Our hosts – friends who had spent time in New Zealand, actually – drove us around, taking us to popular spots, and some hidden away corners only locals know about.
Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
First stop was the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks to the north of Seattle. One one side of the locks is lake, the other side is the Pacific Ocean. One side fresh, the other salty. The locks are there to maintain the difference, and also allow boats to pass from the ocean to the lakes with 2 different water levels. Usually there are salmon running the ladder, but on the day we were there, there weren’t any. We did spot a seal or two, though, so not all was lost. Read more about the locks (also called the Ballard Locks) on handy Wikipedia.
Pike Place Market
What a wonderful spot Pike Place Market is! After navigating the parking situation, we wander through the stalls of artists, fresh produce sellers and flowers, stopping every now and then to take a picture, chat to the stall owner, or wait for the men at the fish market to throw the sea-creatures between each other as they were rumoured to have done. Alas, no such luck.
I bought a pretty painting of the Seattle skyline, and we made sure we stopped by the original Starbucks. As expected, there was a line out there door, but I think seeing it was enough.
The Fremont Troll
The only thing I really wanted to do in Seattle was visit the Fremont Troll. If this is the first you’re hearing of it, then it’s pretty self explanatory: it’s a huge troll under the Fremont Bridge. Simple, but flippin’ awesome. What makes it even cooler for me is that it’s in one of my favourite movies, 10 Things I Hate About You. Remember it now?
The Space Needle
I really need to venture up Auckland‘s Sky Tower. I headed up both the Tokyo Tower and the Tokyo Sky Tree in our trip to Japan, and now I can tick the Space Needle off the list of ‘really tall buildings I’ve been to the top of’.
Because it was such a beautiful day, we could see the entire city stretching out below us, including the towering volcanoes Mt Rainier and Mt Baker. Definitely worth the trip up there if you’re in Seattle on a nice day.
As well as these three main things on our whirl wind itinerary, we also popped in the cathedral and the beautiful The Chapel of St. Ignatius at the Seattle University, and drove around one of the lakes to view the mountains.
We packed a lot into one day, but it was all worth the business of the trip. I loved spending time in Seattle, and would love to head back one day and explore the city and surrounding area more.
And yes, I did spend a lot of time thinking about Sleepless in Seattle, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Grey’s Anatomy.
Have you visited Seattle? What did you end up doing?