Aside from the constant cloud cover, Seattle holds an atmosphere of constant movement; the rumble of cars in the distance and pedestrians walking, each eager to reach their destinations, perpetuates in all directions. Buses are a constant and often necessary form of travel in the city, with many a biker taking advantage of the bike racks at the front of each bus to avoid going up the huge, steep hills from the downtown waterfront. Trams exist as a supplement to reach some of the further reaches of the sprawling city that engulfs most of the land and peninsulas within the Puget Sound, yet none of the city has a decent view of the actual Pacific Ocean. Instead, a giant peninsula, where the Olympic National Park is located, stands between Seattle and the enormity that is the Pacific. Ferries can be located at the many waterfront places, many of whom seem to berth near the Pike Market, where a bustling, multi-layered marketplace takes up entire streets for several blocks.
Inside, one can find a plethora of shops that range from produce sold by locals to tourist trinket shops to more eclectic tastes such as tea tasting, an in house brewery, and the infamous art installation: Gum wall.
Up the alley from the gum wall, we found an intersection of stairs; one set takes you down to the waterfront street and onwards to the large ferris wheel, while the other takes you back up into the market. Little art installations adorned the market and the grounds around it, and added an artistic flair to the entire establishment.
Instead of going to the waterfront, we headed back into a lower level of the market and came across geek central: The Golden Age Collectibles, where science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts could browse the trinkets, games, books, scripts of their favorite TV, movie, and comic book series. Overall, the entire Pike Market establishment works jointly as a tourist trap and a proper marketplace for locals, seeking fresh produce or more unusual purchases.
Another feature of the downtown is the hundreds of wires above the roads, arranged in straight lines for the buses to crank up metal bars and attach to power their vehicles and save on fuel. Up the hill from the Pike market, the convention center, often home to large conferences of various varieties and other entertaining shows, had a huge glass dome over the roadway, which thankfully, offered a place to rest from the intermittent rain that Seattle is famous for as we waited for those buses.
Parks with various sports facilities exist in all parts of the city, one being quite close to where I was staying. A lot of music, dance classes, martial arts, libraries, parks, museums, and other cultural activities exist in nearly all areas of the city, the venues often brick buildings with ornate gables above the windows along side more modern glass, concrete, and steel buildings and skyscrapers.
Future exploration this week will hopefully include a musuem, parks, and a tour of the chocolate factory. In the meantime, further pictures of Seattle will undoubtedly be forth-coming as this author continues her expedition into the heart of Seattle!