The Big Trip: Seattle

We travelled to Seattle via the Amtrak Cascades seen as how we couldn’t take our hire car there and the flight costs were more expensive.  Plus it meant we got to sample a new mode of transport.

We walked from our hotel in Vancouver to the nearest bus stop and got a bus to the nearest Sky Train station.  This then took is to Pacific Central Station.

As with flights you need to arrive some time in advance of boarding to allow time to go through border control.  There is no need to worry about liquids but you will have food confiscated from you.  We’d packed a couple of spare apples in our bag to eat on the journey but unfortunately these were taken at the border.  Shame really since they only got chucked in the bin.

Again, much like flights, you are allocated a seat and the train is boarded in seat order.  There are viewing and dining carriages though so you can easily get up and walk around should you not want to stay in your allocated seat.

We disembarked at Seattle Kings Street Station, hopped into a taxi outside and headed straight for our hotel.

The following day we walked down to sort out tickets for the Space Needle and the Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Before heading to either we stopped for a bite to eat at MOD Pizza.  The concept of the restaurant is great.  Basically you select your base, sauce, toppings and cheese and all the pizzas regardless of whether you have just cheese or every topping going are all the same price.  We were really happy that they also offered a vegan cheese option!

After walking off our tasty lunch we took a stroll around the surrounding gardens, even playing with some of the children’s exhibits before heading to the Space Needle for our allocated “lift off” slot.

At 520 feet, the observation deck of the Space Needle provides panoramic views of the city and surrounding countryside.  Sadly it was quite overcast on the day we visited so we couldn’t see very far out.  Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the structure isn’t the tallest in Seattle any more but it still attracts many tourists.

Chihuly Garden and Glass is an exhibit of Dale Chihuly‘s spectacular studio glass.  The exhibits are housed in a number of different rooms, each with it’s own theme and the artist’s original sketches proudly displayed on the walls.  The culmination of the exhibit is the large garden where beautiful sculptures are displayed amongst sculptural plants.  There is also a workshop outside where workers demonstrate to visitors how different glass pieces are made.  We had previously seen some of his work in the Bellagio in Las Vegas so it was wonderful to be able to see more.

We rounded off this day with a visit to the cinema to see Tarantino’s latest offering, The Hateful Eight.  We were fortunate enough to catch one of the limited 70mm showings, the film was shot on Panavision 70, and the experience was great.

The next day we visited Pike Place Market.  The market houses hundred of local farmers, craftsman and small businesses in a rabbit warren of unique stores and stalls.  We saw the original Starbucks café, which we did contemplate going to until we saw the length of the line, and marvelled at the sheer volume of gum on the Gum Wall on the Market Theater wall in Post Alley.

We spent the afternoon exploring the EMP Museum, an intriguing place dedicated to contemporary pop culture.  The exhibits ranged from science fiction and fantasy to horror for the film buffs, multiple music displays and even a Hello Kitty exhibit.  The venue also houses the Sky Church, a concert venue capable of holding 800 guests with 70-foot ceilings, an enormous HD LED screen and state-of-the-art sound and lighting.

That’s it for our time in Seattle.  Be sure to check out our two videos here and here.

Finally here are a few of our favourite photographs.

 photo Space_Needle_zpsjofl9e3x.jpg

 photo Seattle_1_zpsm5udnufx.jpg

 photo Chihuly_Glass_1_zpsqay73mkh.jpg

 photo Chihuly_Glass_2_zpsmyiebech.jpg

 photo Chihuly_Glass_3_zpsv58wllhp.jpg

 photo Chihuly_Glass_4_zpsgzf00rx2.jpg

 photo Seattle_2_zpsufgoykby.jpg

 photo Post_Alley_Gum_Wall_zpsf190bgw0.jpg

 photo EMP_Museum_zps89tzlkm9.jpg

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