Sorting through old photos on the computer recently, I came across some pictures of our Seattle trip back in August 2018 (see here and here for the previous posts about the rest of the trip in Canada and Alaska).
At the end of our travels in Alaska, we flew down to Seattle from Fairbanks (just below the Arctic Circle). You only have two options by air out of Fairbanks – one is to Minneapolis and the other to Seattle. No flights go back directly to Canada, from where we had started our trip up to Alaska, so we decided to break our journey back to Vancouver by spending a few nights in Seattle.
Unfortunately courtesy of a gentleman in front of us in the boarding queue who coughed and spluttered everywhere, I went down with the worst case of flu I’d had in a long time, which marred our 4-day Seattle sojourn. Monsieur was happily not affected but I think I took a hit for the team! Imagine if that had happened nowadays in the Covid era? I would have been stranded for a while, unable to fly anywhere.
Anyway I had about a day to enjoy Seattle (simply putting my growing headache and tiredness down to our busy schedule in the previous 3 weeks) before the onset of full-on flu symptoms. I was so sick – hence the Seattle holiday has become rather a blurred memory and curtailed most of our sight-seeing plans.
Nevertheless we did still manage to get out and about on the first couple of days before I was confined to bed in our Airbnb flat, unable to even watch TV. Monsieur went out in search of medications and immune-boosting supplements so by the last day I was just about able to walk around the block and have a small evening meal in Belltown (the locality in which we were staying).
That is the story of why I never posted about Seattle but given it’s a while ago and we’d actually taken some interesting photos I thought it would be cathartic to write about our trip there!
As I said before, we had chosen Belltown as our base. According to the Visit Seattle website (here), Belltown is “walkable and cool” and “has an artsy laid-back vibe”. We saw street markets, quaint cafes, larger bars and restaurants in the short time we were there but didn’t get to explore as fully as we hoped. One thing I do remember is how hilly it was – not great when you have the flu.
We did however get to one of Downtown Seattle’s main attractions, the Pike Place Market, about a 10 minute or so walk from our apartment in Belltown.
Down by the waterfront, Pike Place Market is truly an amazing place. With so many stalls, shops and little boutiques it is easy to get lost! You can easily find the fish market though by the aroma of freshly-caught seafood. The fish stall is particularly famous for the zealous fishmongers, or more accurately “fish throwers” who throw the slippery catch of the day around to the cheers of the onlooking crowd. I found an article here in National Geographic, which explains the origin of the tradition. Apparently on an icy cold day back in the 1980s, one of the customers ordered some clams and the employee had to to go from the counter to the stand where the fish was kept. Although it wasn’t too far it was so cold that he yelled out and threw the bag at another employee serving at the counter where the scales were kept. It proved to be more efficient so the tradition was started and continues to this day. It was rather like watching a theatrical perfomance hence we took quite a few photos there.
I should also add that when we visited (towards the end of August 2018) there had been a terrible wildfire season in the north west Pacific region. We had encountered wildfires and the consequent smoke during our trip to Canada, in particular in Banff and the Rockies. Now smoke from the Washington State fires had drifted down to the Seattle and Puget Sound area causing an unpleasant smog. In fact if we’d been arriving the day before, our flight would have been cancelled due to poor visibility. The airport was only reopened on the day of our arrival.
The smoke haze does affect the quality of some of the photos. In no particular order is a pictorial snapshot of the Bellown and Pike Place neighbourhood – the industrial look is quite typical of what we saw in downtown Seattle.
The pier area is interesting and the Seattle Aquarium is highly recommended though we didn’t visit ourselves.
There is a thriving pub and bar culture and I did struggle to find healthy food options but I think we often just settled on the first place we saw as I wasn’t feeling too great even on our first day there.
I didn’t like the idea of the chewing gum wall at all though. You can make your own minds up from the photos (if you can spot it, enough said)!
I’ve got a couple more posts to share about Seattle, which hopefully I can post up soon. I hadn’t realised I hadn’t posted since the end of April. All the family except myself and Monsieur have had Covid. We’ve escaped so far though I have had a heavy winter cold (non-Covid as I’ve done several tests). Back on track in time for the school holidays where we have some outings planned and currently enjoying crisp, clear Perth winter weather.
Ciao for now!
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