Seattle, USA

There’s a classic shot of the Seattle skyline I’m sure you’ve seen. The Space Needle is in the middle, Mount Ranier is just to the right. It’s the Seattle photo, and I was keen to give it a try when I visited. Back to that in a bit…

In my days in Seattle I stuck to the city, flying in on the short flight from Vancouver to avoid the silly timings of the Cascades train. It’s reasonably walkable, too.

After a trip to the aquarium and a walk around the excellent, and almost never ending, Pikes Market (complete with fish throwers) I stumbled upon Tap House Grill and its 160 (yes, 160) taps to finish off the day.

In terms of attractions to keep tourists occupied, Seattle offers quite a bit. I avoided the first Starbucks but it was heaving, and opted to go up the Smith Tower rather than the Space Needle. The old style building and Chinese room at the top are worth the small entry fee. The Experience Music Project is another very popular place, with a great selection of guitars (👍) and large sections understandably dedicated to Nirvana and Hendrix (👎). It’s not that the latter two sections were poor, they’re more for fans and I’m not a huge fan of either. Seeing, for example, the cardigan Cobain wore during the Unplugged set just doesn’t draw much excitement from me.

A highlight of the area around the Space Needle is the Chihuly exhibit. Dale Chihuly is a glass sculptor and the exhibition showcases a lot of his work, worth seeing during the day and lit up at night.

Back to the skyline… Some quick digging suggested Kerry Park is the perfect spot for the photo, and on my last day I walked out of town and up the delightfully steep 1st Ave N. Only to spot a basic mistake in not realising the sun was coming up over the city.

Returning a few hours later, including the 1st Ave N hill, again, there was a big group of people waiting for the same shot. Not having packed a proper tripod, I set up with a Gorillapod on a shaky railing. That’s a shaky railing that tourists were leaning on for photos every couple of minutes, and that a bus load of students en route to a prom were leaning on for pics for about 30 minutes.

Given my rookie errors, in the end I did get the Seattle skyline shot I wanted and had the pleasure of chatting to a few other enthusiastic amateurs for a couple of hours.

The walk back down the 1st Ave N hill was much easier.

Seattle skyline


The city


The Experience Music Project




Seattle aquarium


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