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Seattle 2006

My visit to Seattle, home of Starbucks and Microsoft, was another work trip but thankfully the hectic schedule did allow a bit of time for getting out and seeing some of the sights.

Seattle has many of my favourite features in a city. Not too far from open space, surrounded by water -- ocean on one side, lakes on the other, and of course good food and shopping.

After making myself stay awake in a vain attempt to ward off the effects of jet lag, I spent the first evening exploring the delights of the Capitol Hill area stopping off for a drink in the Wild Rose Women's bar.

However, despite the nice atmosphere, friendly bar staff and wicked vodka gimlets my bed was calling me by about 10.30 so I headed back to my hotel. Needless to say, by the time I'd got to the end of my 30-40 minute walk back I was wide awake and lively again ...

Next day got up late and headed down to Pier 52 for an afternoon wandering around Bainbridge Island. Despite Seattle's reputation for being damp and grey, it was a beautiful sunny day so I was itching to make the most of it while it lasted.

Woke up to another gorgeous day the next day, so took the opportunity to head out to Discovery Park, about a 40 min bus ride away from downtown.

Whilst in the park I made the slight detour down to the beautiful beach and lighthouse at West Point.

A fun part of the work bit of the trip was a party organised in Seattle's Space Needle, down by the Science Fiction Museum. We were treated to a great live band and fantastic night time city views from the observation deck.

The whole area round the Space Needle and Sci Fi Museum is definitely worth a look even if you don't go in. Weird and wonderfully shaped futuristic buildings constructed in sheets of coloured metal shimmering in the sunlight.

For the remainder of the trip, work kicked in, so there wasn't time to do half day trips. However there was time in the early mornings and evenings to take in the joys of the Public Market at Pike Place, and wander along the waterfront.

As the shops were open late evenings there was plenty of time to get those essential items that cost so much more here in the UK.

After a initially having a couple of dodgy experiences managed to hit a rich vein of excellent eating including cheap and cheerful Chinese in the International district, Wild Ginger on 3rd and Union, and the Pan African Market on 1st Avenue near Pike Place Market.

My first trip to Pan African Market I arrived after they'd closed up for the day (opening hours were in a state of flux and very changeable at the time). However, 10 out of 10 for customer delight, they locked me in and cooked up something delicious for me anyway! Needless to say I returned ... several times, for the delicious food, friendly service and great vibe.

There were lots of other things I would have liked to have done, had there been enough time. Including trips out to one of the other Islands, visit to Alki Beach, visit to Mt Rainier National Park. Given Seattle's proximity to Canada, a couple of days across the border would also have been nice.

Ah well, maybe next time ...



Click on a picture to enlarge it and get a short description of the place

Bainbridge Island, Seattle
Bainbridge Island


Discovery Park, Seattle
Discovery Park


West Point lighthouse, Discovery Park, Seattle
West Point


Fish stall, Pike Place Market, Seattle
Public Market


Downtown Seattle

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