Over a year ago, (August 2014), my wife, Lynn, and other members of the family, departed Seattle on an Alaska cruise. That cruise is well documented in this blog. Select the category ‘Alaska’, or search for the term, and you can find the posts referencing each stop (except for Victoria, BC, Canada), which is also covered. Recently I came to the realization that I never finished the series. I left out our departure and destination city, Seattle, Washington. It was one of those “I thought I’d finished”, but when I checked recently, I noticed that I didn’t have a Washington state category. Looking further, I found I’d processed the photos and selected the ones I planned to use. I just never wrote the post. It is with much apologies to the city of Seattle that I gave them such disrespect. The image above features the Seattle skyline as viewed from our ship on departure. The city is most recognizable by the iconic Space Needle thrusting high above the city. Our schedule in the city before we left on the cruise was tight. We arrived late in the afternoon the night before our departure and left for the cruise terminal the next morning, so no sightseeing was in store for us before departing to Alaska.
This photo above is as close as we got to the Space Needle, taken on our cruise return date. There is always a large crowd at the Space Needle and we didn’t want to spend what little time we had in town waiting in line. Since we didn’t get off the cruise ship until almost noon, we really only had about a half-day to visit the city. My nephew, Larry, and his wife, Edwina accompanied us on the cruise. They live near Winlock, Washington so they became our de facto tour guides for the afternoon. Accompanied by my sister and her boyfriend along with a cousin of Edwina’s, we had quite an entourage. When our whirlwind day was over, Larry and Edwina dropped us off at a restaurant where we met with friends we knew from Fargo who relocated to the Seattle area some years prior. After dinner, they were kind enough to drop Lynn and me off at our hotel. Very early the next morning, we took the hotel shuttle to the airport and departed for Fargo and home.
The majority of our half-day of sightseeing we spent at the Public Market and around the pier area. The Public Market is a major tourist draw. It is comprised of a large indoor retail area containing all manner of retail shops and an outdoor area where vendors sell arts and craft items flea market style. Probably the most notable retailer in the complex is the Pike Place Fish Market. A crowd can always be found milling about the market waiting for one of the fish mongers to pick up a large King Salmon from one of the iced displays and toss it to another monger for weighing and preparation for packaging and sale. They make quite a show of the process.
You don’t have to purchase and carry-out, though you can if you wish. They will ship your purchase home so you don’t have to explain to TSA why you are carrying a large dead fish with you. Of course, they don’t just have salmon. As you will see in the accompanying gallery, they also have several varieties of crab and shellfish.
A large number of people waited in lines going well out the door of the local Starbucks. One might wonder what is the attraction. Well, it turns out this Starbucks in the Public Market is the first in the world. The chain opened their first store in the Pike Place Market in 1971. Due to the historic nature of the area, the store retains its original appearance. The gallery that follows contains images captured during our afternoon in Downtown Seattle. Click on an image to enlarge it and to scroll through the gallery.
I wish we had more time to explore the city. There is much more to do than visit Pike Place Market and stroll the waterfront area. We will have to save those adventures for another trip to the city that made Grunge Music famous.