Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Pike Place Market, Space Needle and Jimi Hendrix!
Covered a lot of ground in the last day and a half. Luckily most of the sites of Seattle are within easy walking distance of each other. Pike Place Market was a run down area which was going to be completely demolished, but now it's a popular tourist destination and a thriving market. Fishmongers throw enormous fish across their stalls and catch them in one hand, bunches of brightly coloured flowers are stuffed into pumpkins ready for Halloween, fruit stalls have fantastic displays (anyone know what tomatillos are?), and there are numerous arts and craft stalls. I could have spent all day there, and spent a fortune, but I'm not sure that the fruit and fish would have travelled well.
The Space Needle is a famous landmark, and was built for the 1962 World Fair (see picture above). We had to go up, despite my fear of heights, and more specifically, lifts that allow you to see the ground disappearing beneath you! I gritted my teeth and closed my eyes (apparently someone has a photo..), and was rewarded by excellent views on a lovely sunny but cold day. Seattle is built on a bay and you can see across it to snow topped mountains.
The Museum of Science Fiction and the Experience Music Project were next, and the two highlights had to be the Power Suit Sigourney Weaver wore in Aliens, and Jimi Hendrix's Fender Stratocaster. Jimi was born in Seattle, and there was a lot of memorabilia of his in the museum.
Completed the day with a walking tour of the buried sidewalks and basements created when the streets by the waterfront were raised by about 30feet after whole blocks were destroyed by fire in the early twentieth century. Very spooky!