We woke to a dry day, no rain today which is a first for our stay in Seattle. Breakfast was at the wonderful Ralph’s Grocery and Deli on 4th. Mr L happy as more substantial than his doughnut of yesterday!
With blues skies, sun shining and warm we headed down to Columbia Tower and took the lift swiftly up to the 73rd floor for panoramic views of Seattle. Seniors tickets offered for all those aged 55+ which pleased Mr L but was greeted with disbelief by the man at the till who disputed the accuracy of this fact pertinent to me with the comment of ‘I find that hard to believe, but if you say so’ – every cloud has a silver lining I thought! Great views of Seattle – Elliott Bay, Puget Sound, Lake Union, Lake Washington, baseball and football stadiums, Interstate 5 (which we will be taking in the morning), Highway 99. The Olympic Mountain range out to the west still obscured by cloud so no mountains to see.
Those with a knowledge of Fifty Shades will be aware of the relevance to Seattle. The Escala is just around the corner from our hotel on 4th and next block down. I had hoped to stop by the Heathman, a hotel of significance but this was not to be as the Heathman, disappointingly, is in Portland, Oregon and not in Washington!
Next stop after Columbia Tower was to head over to Pioneer Square which is the oldest part of town and where the first settlers established a permanent base and from which the city grew. The area was totally destroyed in the great fire of 1889 but rebuilt in brick and survives to today. Lots of arty stores alongside many of Seattle’s homeless population who seem to mainly locate themselves on Alaskan Way and around 1st and 2nd Avenues. Apparently Seattle has approximately 8,000 homeless with roughly 6,000 having access to shelters and 2,000 sleeping rough each night. A depressing statistic but I suspect Seattle can probably count better than London!
Too early for lunch so next stop was the other end of town! We wearily stepped forth and followed Alaskan Way north to Myrtle Edwards Park and her Olympic sculptures. A big stylish red sculpture looked like an elephant to me but apparently represents an eagle – whatever!! Mr L then declared himself famished but with the only available hostelry an Irish pub he was made to last a little longer as he was informed that Mrs L had not come all this way to go to somewhere so unAmerican! His patience was rewarded and we had a great light lunch at the Tilikum Cafe. Hunger abated it was time to visit the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visitor centre. Fascinating, informative, interactive and well presented. The final display area required us to identify our ‘skill’ – Mr L’s was persuasion, mine was organisation – a fact greeted with a muttering from Mr L of ‘that’s no surprise’!
Dinner was at the excellent Palace Kitchen one block down from Hotel Five. We knew this was run by a local chef/entrepreneur called Tom Douglas (Seattle’s Jamie Oliver) with good reviews on UrbanSpoon and Trip Advisor but were surprised to find out from our waiter that Dahlia’s (Sunday brunch) is also hugs place.
So……it’s goodbye Seattle as we head off to Glacier National Park first thing in the morning.