Monday, October 19, 2009

Seattle

Well it lived up to it's reputation, it rained most of the time. (As soon as I started writing this Frasier started on the TV!) It was also cold, but in a refreshing way. I can imagine winter is very cold here.

Yes there are Starbuck's everywhere. The original Starbucks is at the Pike Place market. It doesn't really look like a Starbucks that the world knows, just a small coffee shop. Pike Place market is where they throw the fish around, I missed that part, but the seafood did look very fresh.

...There are actually other coffee shops everywhere too.

Being the home of Boeing there is a lot of aviation related things to do. On the first day I visited the Museum of flight at Boeing Field about a 20 minute bus ride south of the city. If you are at all interested in aviation I highly reccommend the museum. There is also the Boeing Factory tour which I did the following day, also reccomended and detailed in another post.

Seattle actually has an interesting history, basically the whole reason for the founding of the city was to make easy money from timber. This latter expanded to ripping off miners on their way to the Klondike. This was revealed to me on the underground tour I did of the "old city". Basically the city burnt down one day and they decided for various reasons to build one level higher. not the least of which was the fact that anyone who flushed the toilet at high tide often found themselves with a geyser in their outhouse. The raising of the streets led to a labyrinth of tunnels under the sidewalks of the old part of the city. It is a really interesting part of the city's history.

In Seattle I also went up the Space Needle and rode the monorail. Both of which are leftovers from the World's Fair of 1962. The theme of the World's Fair that year was the 21st century.

Other than that there wasn't a lot to do in Seattle. The area I stayed in, Belltown, was quite cool though. There were lots of small cafes, restaurants and bars. I ate a a diner/bar called Hurricanes one night, and I've got to say the burger and fires were quite tasty. I also ate at a Thai restaurant which was quite good too.

Public transport in Seattle is very good too. The city buses are frequent. They have both trolley buses and conventional buses. Some of the conventional buses use alternative fuels and/or are hybrid electric powered. There is also the new light rail linking downtown to the airport, and there is a short streetcar line, which goes to Lake Union. Fares are a flat fare of $2.50 for 2 hours.

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