Seattle and Bellingham

Trip Start Oct 08, 2005
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Trip End Oct 06, 2006


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Flag of United States  , Washington
Sunday, July 16, 2006

So, a five hour bus ride over the border from Vancouver took me to the coffee capital of the US, Seattle. And what a lovely city it is too (and I don't even like coffee). The hostel I stayed in was right downtown, and provided tons of information about the local area so I took their advice on a few things and did some exploring of the more interesting local neighbourhoods. All on foot of course, cos thats what I do now. Pike Place Market is a pretty famous local market, selling freshly caught fish, flowers, fruit and curios, and I spent quite a lot of time just browsing round there, then took a walk through the grungy bits of downtown to the Seattle Centre (Americans obviously spell it a bit different, ie wrongly) where the Space Needle, Opera House and a few major museums are, including the Music Museum. I was too tight to go in the main bit of it, but in the entrance they have some cool music related costumes including Michael Jackson's white glove and the Red Indian feathers from the Village People (my personal favourite). Then I took a loooong walk uphill to Queen Anne for spectacular views over downtown - I think this is where Frasier must live as those are definitely the views from his living room. I was gutted cos in the evening The Foo Fighters were playing a gig but of course the tickets were sold out - one recommendation for travelling is look ahead at if your favourite bands might be touring and playing where you have a chance of being - I have now missed Oasis, Snow Patrol, Franz Ferdinand and the Foos by about one day just because of not looking ahead! Ah well.

After spending a morning (and a lot of money) in the shops downtown, I got the bus about 90km north to Bellingham, almost back on the Canadian border, to stay with my friends Joe and Kathy. You will remember them from my trip in India - they were in my tour group. Anyway, they very kindly put me up for 3 nights in their lovely home, unfortunately Kathy had to work but Joe acted as my tour guide for a couple of days, and took me to the amazing places around their home. First day we went out to the San Juan Islands - a group of islands between the Washington mainland and Vancouver Island, owned by the US. We spent the day on San Juan Island itself, which is really beautiful, and I got to see (huge) wild rabbits, foxes, a bald eagle and Orca whales - all in one spot! (Obviously not in exactly the same spot though...) The following day Joe took me up to Mount Baker, a volcanic mountain where a lot of skiing takes place in the winter. There was still a ton of snow about, we managed to get half way up to the viewing platform on the road, then had to walk on snow for another couple of miles to the top for incredible views of the valley below, the Cascade Mountains and Mount Shucksan. Unfortunately it was too cloudy to see Mount Baker, but it was impressive all the same. Describing it to you is pretty difficult, you'll have to take a look at the pictures!

All in all it was a fabulous couple of days, so thank you very much Joe and Kathy for your wonderful hospitality. I can definitely see why you love living in Bellingham so much!
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