Take the Ferry to Seattle
Seattle is America’s 15th largest city and it’s built right on the Puget Sound. The city is surrounded by water, mountains and forests, which is our kind of place! and it’s home to tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon and of course it has the iconic Space Needle.
Native Americans have lived here for at least 4,000 years before Europeans arrived and the name “Seattle” is in honour of Chief Si’ahl from the local tribe. Seattle is home to Greys Anatomy and House and Sleepless in Seattle but it’s also home to Frasier (and Niles and Daphne). When I first met Gerry he introduced me to the show and at the end of every episode there’s an animated clip of the Seattle skyline; every week something different appears to fly over the Space Needle. With Gerry’s love of the show, it was inevitable that we would pay Seattle a visit whilst in Washington.
We had wanted to avoid driving into the city, thinking it would be traffic chaos but with hindsight it would have been ok and city traffic seemed quite calm. However, we opted to drive to Bremerton and we took the Washington State Ferry across the Puget Sound. I cannot recommend these Ferries enough! It’s an inexpensive and fabulous way to travel and see the sights from onboard the ship and much cheaper than some of the boat trips!
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is a bit of an institution in Seattle, on the website is says that they are open 363 days a year. Where Seattle Eats, Meets, Shops & Rejuvenates! I had seen the market recommended on so many websites that we felt it would be wrong not to visit.
I was expecting a large fruit and veg market, a little like those in Spain of France but this place is huge, I mean really huge! and home to many, many different curiosity shops as well as the food market. There are restaurants, with long queues for a table, flowers, seafood, books and brooms; whatever you need you can buy here. We would have stayed for much longer but we had limited time. We only had one day in Seattle but if you’re staying for longer then allow enough time to wander and soak up the atmosphere!
Chihuly Garden and Glass
We took the Seattle Monorail out to the Space Needle; such an easy way to travel across town! I had thought about buying our tickets online for the Space Needle as it can get very busy in summer and the lines can be long BUT you have to pick a time slot and we didn’t know in advance when, so we took a chance and bought the ticket at the booth when we arrived. It worked out for us as it’s not peak season but I wouldn’t do this in summer.
We had the choice of buying a joint ticket for the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum and honestly prior to arriving we really weren’t that fussed about visiting there, but wow! It’s a must! Such incredibly beautiful blown glass art installations and they are enormous. The colours are simply stunning and I am so glad that we decided to see them. Put this on your to-do-list!
Seattle’s Space Needle
After our visit, which took longer than we anticipated because it was so fabulous, we took our place in the queue for the Space Needle and the lift that travels at 45 miles an hour up to the Observation Tower; the glass exhibition and the Needle are side by side and we had time to grab a coffee between visits (there is a food and drink hall on the site, near the Monorail stop). I should stress again that it was very quiet when we visited and whilst we were 10 minute early for our time slot we were allowed to go right through; in busy times the queue can be long and the wait likewise… but it’s still worth it!
Neither Gerry or I have a head for heights and for that reason we almost didn’t come but because of Frasier we had to. In the end the height really didn’t worry either of us and we were fine; we posed leaning back against the glass walls and hopped on the moving glass floor that loops around the tower for a 360o view of the City. If the height is a worry for you I would say that if you really want to go up, then take a chance and go up!
A Mile of Clams
Gerry had read about ‘a mile of clams’ along the waterfront in Seattle; he had his heart set on clams. We followed Google Maps taking us down to the waterfront and just soaked up the atmosphere. You can find the Seattle Aquarium here but that wasn’t for us today; instead we simple walked and watched and window shopped and we stopped at Ivar’s Acres of Clams at Pier 54 and we ate and we people watched and we just loved being in Seattle.
It was hard to pull ourselves away but we had a ferry to catch. You could easily spend a few days in Seattle and I’m sure we could have visited more in the time we had. However, we didn’t want to rush, we wanted to savour our time and we feel our day was just about perfect!
We returned to Bremerton the same way that we arrived, on the Washington State Ferry; an absolute bargain of a voyage where for almost an hour each way we cruised through the islands and open waters of Puget Sound. All for less than 10$ each return.