The Space Needle!
So, we are now in Vancouver
Let me first recap what we spent the last few days doing in Seattle.
So, the day after my migraine we decided to go to the Science Fiction museum which has joined forces with the Experience Music Project and is housed in interconnecting buildings. The Sci Fi museum building is made to look like a new age space ship, built with reflective bronze looking metal that twists and bends into a rough 'ship' like body. We entered and gave our tickets to the guy sitting looking bored at the entrance. He then stamped our hand with a little ink thing so we could come and go as we pleased as well as get in the music part next door.
The Science Fiction Museum
The next thing he did was tell us that no photos were allowed *crosses arms and sulks* why the hell not? Its not like there is super secret items on show, its all been seen countless times on tv!?! Anyhoo, we went in and explored. The first room was dedicated to the early history of sci fi, explaining how it evolved from comic books for kids to main stream entertainment, reflecting changes in the world and though never accurately predicting new waves of technology, at the least prepping us for seeming out of the world gizmos and gadgets. The downstairs bit was more to do with actual shows and housed props, costumes & various memorabilia. I saw a scale model from the original Land of the Giants show and tried to sneakily take a picture but the guy from the entrance had clearly pegged me for a rule breaker because he suddenly materialized behind us and caught me red handed! I thought for a moment he was going to kick us out but he just gave me a slap on the wrists and told me not to do it again then proceeded to talk to us about tattoo's, it seems that having mine on display meant an invitation to discuss them and relieve his boredom.
The museum was a lot smaller than I'd hoped and didn't have nearly as much memorabilia as I would of liked but it was cool that it had a museum at all. The Experience Music Project was quite different, it had a section dedicated to Jimi Hendrix (Who is buried in Seattle) and a piece on the origins of the guitar. There is also a section on the areas history of music, moving from Jazz to R&B then the emergence of Grunge. Apparently Kurt Cobain grew up in a little town near Seattle and this quiet little city had quite the Grunge scene in the late 80's & early 90's.
On Weds we decided to visit Bainbridge Island, one of the small islands that is a half hour ferry ride from Downtown Seattle. The weather was quite overcast but we decided to go anyway as we had lost a day due to my migraine and didnt have many days left.
Rachel enjoying the view
Turns out it was a very wise move as once we go onto the ferry and started out to the island we could see the sun shining down on the mountains which reside behind the town. Once we arrived on shore we walked up a very steep slope and wandered down what looked like the main street to find the tourist information centre. Once we got there and found a map we realised that we had pretty much just walked through half of the town! Its VERY small. We strolled along the streets, gazing at the quaint shops which were almost untouched by commercialism, I say almost because we did find one Subway shop, they get everywhere! thought it is one of the healthier options so its not too bad I suppose. We made our way down to the water front and spent some time sitting by the harbour front, marveling at the lack of noise.
Larking about in a tree
It was so quiet that it was a little strange for a born and bred London gal like myself, the silence was almost too loud if that makes sense?! We had lunch at the Harbour Inn, a nice little pub set near the jetty with a lovely view of the water. Afterwards we took a walk down to a little stretch of park with an inlet and watched the birds frolicking on the waters surface. It was a really nice chilled day, the weather was beautiful and we even got to have our first ice creams of the season!
Our last day was a good one. In the morning we got up early and caught the bus up to Volunteer Park, a lovely park housed in the south area which has an Asian art museum and a conservatory as well as pretty great views of downtown but we didnt go to see any of these.
The resting place of legends
We went to visit the place next door, which we had trouble finding as we didnt have a map of the area and ended up asking for directions from the lady in the conservatory! The place we were headed for was Lake View Cemetery and is the final resting place for Bruce and Brandon Lee. I had no idea that they were buried in Seattle but when I found out I knew I had to go and pay my respects. I'm sure everyone agrees (except Rachel as she didnt know anything about him) that Bruce Lee is a martial arts legend and is world renown. Brandon is also a great actor, I love The Crow and to not visit their graves would of just been wrong, which is why we were traipsing through a fine rain up the crest of the hill in the cemetery, trying to spot their patch of earth. We eventually found it, a very discreet double plot, almost encircled by waist high shrubs.
The bench dedicated to Bruce & Brandon Lee
A marble bench with an inscription from Linda & Shannon faces the two tombstones. We stood in the drizzle,gazing at a legends resting place. I was very humbled and felt almost bad taking a photo. I finally decided that I would, that taking it was remembering them and that cant be wrong.
In th afternoon we went along with a couple of other people from the hostel to Bill Speidels Underground Tour. Bill himself is no longer in charge of the tour, having passed away a good few years ago but in his place are tour guides that are well versed in the history. The tour started with a history of Seattle, how one man decided he wanted to build a town of a piece of land, mudflats in fact, that got flooded twice a day! It seems Seattle's motto is never give up on a bad idea.
The town had various idiotic ideas, coming mainly from the Mayor who spent his career suing the town (yep, the mayor suing his own town!) and then settling with himself out of court and getting rich! The underground town came about after the whole place got burned down in 1889. The council wanted to raise the level of the town to get it above sea level (and stop it flooding all the time), now this would of taken about 12 years and obviously the towns people weren't happy about this. They wanted to rebuild as soon as possible so that they could start earning money again. The council decided to go ahead with raising the levels anyways and built sidewalks around the shops the towns people were rebuilding, thus shops ended up with their ground floor being anywhere between 8 & 40 foot below street level! After many years of accidents and injuries the whole of the underground was abandoned and a new town was built above.
An early crapper!
Our tour included a walk below, seeing the foundations of the town and we got an idea of what the place was like. It was definitely worth going to and anyone going to Seattle should go along.