Married on the third day of December in our backyard, Canberra, Australia.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


After leaving Santa Monica I visited Seattle, Washington. Louise joined me for the last few days and we had a look around.

Seattle is a beautiful place. There is an abundance of trees and greenery. The city isn't packed with traffic or pedestrians. With the exception of the archaic method of payment they use at a lot of public parking, it is a great city to visit.

One of our first tourist stops was the Seattle Underground Tour. Between this and the Ride the Ducks tour we learnt a lot about the city.

On the Underground Tour, which actually does go under the sidewalk, we learnt about how the city is built on mud flats. After it burnt down in 1889 they decided to raise the ground level. This was to address the problems of living at sea level, such as tides causing sewers to flow back out through toilets and giant sink holes forming in the roads. The unusual thing about this is that the street level was raised after the city was rebuilt, so you actually enter on the second or third floor of most buildings. Also, because the side walk is owned by building owners the city council did not have it raised.

Eventually sidewalks were built between the streets and buildings. The Seattle Underground Tour shows you the original sidewalks that are like tunnels under the new sidewalks. It covers a lot of the early history of the city, such as the introduction of the Crapper.

Walking around town we saw a lot of unusual art. We saw a statue of Lenin that was rescued from Russia, a parade of pigs and a giant bridge troll.

A tour guide filled us in. One percent of the cost of non residential buildings in Seattle has to be used to buy art for public places. This "One Percent for Art" concept apparently started in Seattle in 1983 and has spread to 300 other cities. As a result, Seattle has both a lot of art and a lot of character.

We sought out the giant yeti and giant squid in Pike Place Market. While we were looking at a map, a passer by stopped and offered directions. That has never happened to us before!

There was a boat race on Lake Washington the weekend after we left. While we were there we missed an annual parade. Seattle also has the first drive through ATM that we have seen.

Washington borders Canada. You can actually hire a seaplane and fly up to Victoria in British Columbia.

We'll definately be visiting Washington again. Next time we will have to visit Mount Rainier.


DadB said...

Excellent post, I want to hear more!
BTW - does "hspace=4" in the IMG tag for the pics work? I've managed to slip stuff into the Blogger script occasionally!
Niggle, niggle...

Louise Burford said...

Your HTML foo is stronger than mine :) We just used the defaults. This post has difficult spacing, since right aligned pictures turn into staggered pictures at high enough resolution. I would love it if blogger let me say "align this image to the right, against the margin, leave some blank space on the left if necessary."

Jo said...

Seattle looks cool; I want to go there now!

About the person offering directions, I found Americans to be very helpful in that regard, especially in SFO where they offer help; in other places you tend to have to ask but they will help.

Sean Burford said...

I guess that we don't usually stand around looking at maps, so maybe that is why this is the first time someone offered us directions.