Sizzling Seattle

Trip Start Nov 28, 2011
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Trip End Dec 18, 2012

Flag of United States  , Washington
Friday, August 3, 2012

After 2 buses and a further shuttle bus and 8 hours later we arrived to a very sunny Seattle.We were very worried about the location of our hotel we had read really bad reviews about the area being really rough, however we needn't have worried!!  The area had been cleaned up, there was a derelict hotel opposite but that was over 8 lanes of the freeway!  The hotel was ok and had good shops and eateries nearby, it was just on the edge of Fremont, which is a pretty hip area, I would go back to that area.  First things first I was straight in the shower, my first in a week phew yuk, and we ordered chinese as we were both tired and at that point still only had the guy on recption's word for the area being ok.  The bus we got to the hotel led us to believe that the area might be rough too so we weren't feeling fullity revitalised to start trecking the streets,

The first day we headed into town and mooched around Pike Market, headed along to Pioneer Square and then stopped for a Happy Hour drink and Appetiser at an acutal American Bar, these are difficult to find as they are all trying to be Irish or English pubs!!  From there we headed to Fremont to where the hip bars where with live music where supposed to be.  We started at a bar called The Ballroom which was more like a pool hall with a bar that sold pizza, from there we headed to a place that comes highly recommended and we knew had live music, but we were a little early so decided to have a wander and stop somewhere else before heading back to catch the live music.  We stumbled upon an open air cinema but due to them showing Mama Mia the musical George refused to go in!  So we headed to a BBQ joint and had a drink and shared nachos for dinner then headed back to the live music venue who it turned out had a band, we had heard them warm up earlier and sounded good, were playing 80's pop and there was a $10 cover charge, not really fancying the 80's pop we decided to save our money.  We did have the option of another bar with live music but it was rap music with wanna be Eminem rappers. 

The next day the plan was to head to Fremont Street market for lunch so we headed down and had a wander, the market was actually really arty and good, and for lunch we opted to share a nan bread which is served topped with dhal, chicken tikka, homemade mango chutney and pilau rice, it was super delicious but like most of the food in the US it could be a little spicier but it was really cool having your food served on the nan as a plate, we will definitely be doing this at home

From there we set off in search of the troll under the bridge, a piece of urban art, which we found but it was so difficult to photograph due to all the families who were clambering all over it to get their photos up on the troll.  Then we headed into town to Pioneer Square and booked on to the underground tour which takes you to the original city below ground level and where you are talked through the history of settlement and growth of Seattle which it would appear was bult on a bluff.  The Brits wanted the land so the American government gave the land away to the first ,from other American states, who got there for free.  Who then started logging and when the gold rush hit in Alaska, Seatle marketed itself to the rest of America as the gateway to Alaska so that all those in search of gold came to Seattle to stock up ready for their adventure.  Now if you look at the map you will see there is a great big country called Canada between Seattle and Alaska so there really wasn't the need to go via Seattle but the marketing worked.  As they had left via Seattle most men came back through Seattle, as it was familiar, where the city set themselves up to relieve them of their gold with the services they required whisky and women.  The city's businessmen actually went east and collected women to take to Seattle where they registered their tax returns as being seamstresses, apparantly at one point there was 2500 seamstresses in one area throughout a couple of blocks but not a needle and thread could be found!  There is lots more to this story but I shall leave you to find out more for yourselves if interested. 

In the evening we headed back to our hotel room for sandwiches and salad for dinner, from the local supermarket.

Monday:  I had booked onto a food tour called Seattle Bites, which was a walking tour of Pike Place Market where we were told the history of the market from the start to current day and where we met lots of vendors and got a tasty bite of their wares.  We tried clam chowder from the winner of the National chowder winner 3 years in a row, local smoked salmon, mexican tacos, tikka masala, local peaches, Seattles best coffee, local wine it was all very delicous and the tour was very informative and entertaining with no holds barred a frank representation of Seattle and it's wider government influence without the bias of portraying the city and government as whiter than white.

After my tour I had arranged to meet George who had ben across town to see Kurt Cobaine's old house and pay hommage, George was a big Nirvana fan so apparantly we couldn't come to Seattle without him paying his respects.  So he had also hired a car for the day to drive to Aberdeen, the birthplace and home of the aforementioned so off we headed to the airport to pick up our car and left Seattle about 3pm   We arrived in Aberdeen 2 1/2 hours later, erm Aberdeen is not a town I would recommend to anyone, well anyone I like, it is a hick hell hole, where despite us not even really getting out of the car still received abuse from a hick family in a car who couldn't drive!  We drove round then drove back to our hotel I did feel bad for George as I think he found it all very disappointing whereas I was just peeved at having wastd a whole afternoon and evening.

So when we arrived back we headed out to a burger place in Fremont which went a little way to cheering George up.

The next day was check out day so we packed and drove to the airport to drop off the hire car, checked in and stored our luggage and then headed back into town for our last afternoon in Seattle.  Where the weather wasn't very good, we had been lucky as it had been scortching up until the last day, it was unusally freakish hot weather we were told by several people.  So we headed a little further north in town to the main shopping area that we hadn't seen and had a wander, stopped for lunch beore heading to see the Seattle Public Library whic h was pretty outstanding 10 floors of very modern design with a viewing deck at the top.  We settled in for a couple of hours to stay out of the grey and catch up with e-mail and blogs using their internet before heading to catch the tram to the airport.  I did forget to mention that we got the tram out to collect our hire car yesterday the station is underground and doubles as a bus station too but it was really quite special and reminded us of Gotham City from Batman.

At the airport we checked our bags in, went through security with ease and speed and had a look round.  The airport had huge windows overlooking the runway with rocking chairs all the way along for viewing. 

Tonight the plane and tomorrow Atlanta.
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