Seafood, Brews, and an Underground Adventure in the Emerald City

Jetlag with a ten hour time difference = waking up without an alarm at six am after only three hours of sleep. That just meant a whole long day of exploring Seattle, beginning with coffee and a hefty breakfast of biscuits, grits, eggs, and gravy at Biscuit Bitch.

Now that’s a proper breakfast

It happened to be Memorial Day and the weather was playing along beautifully, with clear blue skies and temperatures well above 20 degrees. Great for walking around and seeing the sights, starting with the flowers and fish of Pike Place Market.

Fish and flowers of Pike Place Market

Then on up to Capitol Hill for a look at a statue of Jimi Hendrix, oddly situated on the sidewalk in front of an art supply store. Then on down to the foot of the Space Needle in Seattle Center where the Northwest Folklife festival had filled the park with food vendors, arts and crafts, and all kinds of folk music performers, all of which attracted a large crowd on such a beautiful day.

Just hanging out with Jimi on the curb

The Space Needle and the singing flowers of Sonic Bloom by Dan Corson reaching for the sky in Seattle Center

After a walk around Olympic Sculpture Park, some refreshments were in order. The bar of Belltown Brewing was a nice and calm place to cool off with a couple pints before heading back to the Belltown Inn for an afternoon nap. Then on up Capitol Hill again to dinner at the Pine Box, a funeral home turned craft beer pub. Boiling hot mac’n’cheese and a tasty burger washed down with local craft brews, nice!

Boiling hot mac ‘n’ cheese…the broccoli almost makes it healthy, right?

Over 20 km of walking up and down the surprisingly steep streets of Seattle was quite a workout. That combined with catching a few bands (including Behexen from Finland) at the Highline late in the evening ensured that falling asleep was not a problem.

The weather on the following day was not quite as pleasant, with grey skies and occasional showers. A combined breakfast and lunch was enjoyed at Pike Place Chowder, serving up award-winning chowders to a continuous flow of customers forming a line over 50 meters long (the line moved along quickly though, since chowders aren’t naturally made-to-order). Almost as good as in Monterrey

New England Clam Chowder and Seared Scallop Chowder at Pike Place Chowder

Since the weather wasn’t playing along, it made sense to head to Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. A fun and fact-filled tour of a few of the tunnels left under the Pioneer Square area after the rebuilding of the city in the late 19th century after the great fire. Highly recommended! Brought the old buried alleys of Edinburgh to mind.

Exploring the underground of old Seattle

Afternoon coffee at the Cherry Street Coffee House was followed by a walk around the Pioneer Square area before heading to Pike Brewing, a local family-owned craft beer brewery with an interestingly decorated large brewpub. Ceilings covered with beer trays and walls plastered full of posters and photos, and a few bicycles hanging from the ceiling, naturally. Quite decently priced samplers of beer as well.

The interesting interior of The Pike Brewery

Exiting the Pike taproom to Post Alley landed the travellers right at the beginning of the Gum Wall, an odd and quite gross sight where the brick walls of the alley are covered in used chewing gums of all colors. The walls were apparently completely cleaned in 2015, but it appears that the gum has come back with a vengeance.

The somewhat gross tourist attraction, the gum wall of Seattle

To continue the days seafood-themed eating, an early dinner of dungeness crab cakes and fish tacos was enjoyed at Lowell’s in Pike Place Market. Then on to the Old Stove Brewery taproom for some more beer tasting before heading to the hotel for a relaxed evening before turning in early. Next day it would be time to head out on the road!

The Space Needle viewed from Olympic Sculpture Park

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