Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, Seattle Aquarium, Freemont Troll, Gas Works Park & Discovery Park

Seattle Travel Blog

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Pike Place Market

Good morning Seattle.......I'm up to early this morning. I'm still on eastcoast time.  Looking forward to the day. I have a McDonalds across the street from the hotel.

After a quick breakfast I was ready to hit the town. It was still dark outside, overcast, and windy. I headed down Viginia street towards Pike Place Market. The market was still closed and daylight comes up around 8:00am. Took some good pictures here. The street was still wet and with the reflections of the neon lights from the Market sign it was beautiful. Next I headed  up north and crossed over the Alaskan Way Viaduct and down to Pier 66 on the Harborfront of Elliott Bay. The views from here were awesome.

The first Starbucks
I wanted to visit the aquarium but they did not open until 9:30am. So I headed North  to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Along the way the rain began to fall harder. Ugh!! I was prepared and kept on walking towards the park. Along the way I got to see the Amtrak Cascade heading out!! Very cool!! The park was not what I expected. I took some pics of the different art work and sculptures.

This was a far North as I walked along the harborfront. I headed back south towards the city. It was still to early for the aquarium so I walked down to Pioneer Square. I made a stop at Starbucks for some coffee and oatmeal to warm myself up. The rain was still coming down and it was getting harder. The sqaure was very beautiful, full of trees and old buildings. Lot's of character here.

Olympic Sculpture Park
Took some great photos here of the totem pole and the changing of the leaves. Took some pictures of the King Street Station and Safeco FIeld. By this time the rain and wind were off the chain. I was getting soaked even with my rain gear on. I got a taxi and I went back to the aquarium. It was a little after nine, so I waited for the aquarium to open at 9:30.

The Seattle Aquarium is located on the harborfront at pier 59. $16.00 to get in. When you walk in the first thing you see is the Window on Washington Waters.  Filled with lots a fish and a scuba diver cleaning the windows. Next is the Life On the Edge with it's tidal pools, moon jellies, giant pacific octopus(really cool to see), and pacific coral reef. The colors of the starfish and sea anemones were beautiful with lots of reds and oranges.

Pioneer Square
Next you head over to the building next door to the Shore Birds and Marine Mammals. I enjoyed the harbor seals, sea and river otters, and the lower level under water viewing.  You walk into a huge domed room full of windows and fish swimming all around you. Very nice!! Over all the aquarium was really nice and I would recommend it. Would I do it again, no.

I was tired, hungry, cold, and wet. The rain was still coming down in buckets, so I got another taxi and headed back to the hotel. It felt good to sit back and enjoy the short ride back. When I got back I downloaded my photos, changed clothes, and went to the hotel restaurant for some lunch. I had a turkey sandwcih with lettuce, tomato, swiss cheese, and bacon and a cup of chicken and dumpling soup.

Pioneer Square
No coffee or soda just water to drink. I had enough of the other for the day. After lunch I went back to the room and took about a hour nap. Still getting over the time between Tampa and Seattle. When I wook up the rain had gone and the skies were blue...woo hoo!! It was time to jump into the car and visit the Freemont Troll, Gas Works Park, and Discovery Park.

I knew the general area of the Freemont Troll(under the Aurora bridge) but had to do a little driving around to get to it. The piece was the winner of a competition sponsored by the Fremont Arts Council in 1990, in part with the goal of rehabilitating the area under the bridge which was becoming a dumping ground and haven for drug dealers. It was built later that same year. The Troll was sculpted by four local artists: Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter, and Ross Whitehead.

Seattle Aquarium
He is interactive"visitors are encouraged to clamber on him or try to poke out his one good eye (a hubcap). The Troll is 5.5 m high, weighs two tons (1814 kg), and is made of steel rebar, wire, and concrete. The artists have chosen to exercise their copyright to control commercial use of Troll images, however, postcards, beer, and other products approved by the artists are commercially available and use is free to non-profit organizations.

Next was Gas Works Park. Located not to far from the Freemont Troll on Lake Union. With great views of Seattle. The park is a 19.1 acre public park on the site of the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant, located on the north shore of Lake Union at the south end of the Wallingford neighborhood.

Large Pacific Octopus
Gas Works park contains remnants of the sole remaining coal gasification plant in the US. The plant operated from 1906 to 1956, and was bought by the City of Seattle for park purposes in 1962. The park opened to the public in 1975. The park was designed by Seattle landscape architect Richard Haag, who won the American Society of Landscape Architects Presidents Award of Design Excellence for this project. It was originally named Myrtle Edwards Park, after the city councilwoman who had spearheaded the drive to acquire the site and who died in a car crash in 1969. In 1972, the Edwards family requested that her name be taken off the park because the design called for the retention of much of the plant. In 1976, Elliott Bay Park was renamed Myrtle Edwards Park.
Underwater viewing dome, Seattle Aquarium

Gas Works Park incorporates numerous pieces of the old plant. Some stand as ruins, while others have been reconditioned, painted, and incorporated into a children's "play barn" structure, constructed in part from what was the plant's exhauster-compressor building. A Web site affiliated with The Seattle Times newspaper says, "Gas Works Park is easily the strangest park in Seattle, and may rank among the strangest in the world."

Gas Works Park also features an artificial kite-flying hill with an elaborately sculptured sundial built into its summit. The park was for many years the exclusive site of a summer series of "Peace Concerts." These concerts are now shared out among several Seattle parks. The park also has for many years hosted one of Seattle's two major Fourth of July fireworks events; in 2009 it was the sole such event.

Scuba diver cleaning the glass
The park is the traditional end point of the Solstice Cyclists and the start point for Seattle's World Naked Bike Ride.

The park originally constituted one end of the Burke-Gilman bicycle and foot trail, laid out along the abandoned right-of-way of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway. However, the trail has now been extended several kilometers northwest, past the Fremont neighborhood towards Ballard.

Because it is built on a former industrial site, the soil and groundwater on the site was contaminated. The 1971 Master Plan called for "cleaning and greening" the site through bio-phyto-remediation. Although the presence of organic pollutants had been substantially reduced by the mid 1980s, the US Environmental Protection Agency and Washington State Department of Ecology required additional measures, including removing and capping wastes, and air sparging in the Southeast portion of the site to try to remove benzene that was a theoretical source of pollutants reaching Lake Union via ground water.

River Otter
There are no known areas of surface soil contamination remaining on the site today, although tar occasionally still oozes from some locations within the site and is isolated and removed.

Next was another short drive to Discovery Park. Another amazing park within the city of Seattle. With great cliff views of Pugent Sound. The park is one of the best places in the city to view wildlife, especially birds and marine mammals. The Seattle Audubon Society has compiled a checklist of 270 species of birds seen in the park and nearby waters. Elliott and Shilshole Bays are home to harbor seals and California sea lions, while the wooded areas support Townsend's chipmunks. Most visitors enjoy hiking the Loop Trail, which forms a circuit through forest, meadow, and shrub habitats around the upland portion of the park, and provides excellent views of Puget Sound.

Me at the Freemont Troll
The shoreline is accessible by road or trail (the hike back up from the north beach is mildly strenuous), however, a permit is required prior to driving a vehicle to the beach. Free permits can be obtained at the Environmental Learning Center in the East Parking Lot and are designated for qualified individuals only (groups with children 7 and under, seniors 62+, and people with a physical disability). The south beach is on the windward side of the peninsula, Elliott Bay, and the north beach is on the leeward side and has views of Shilshole Bay. At the point between the north and south beaches is West Point and the West Point Lighthouse. Coniferous forest is mostly to be found in the north bluff region and can be accessed from the road that leads to the beach.
Me at Discovery Park
Deciduous woods surround the two parking lots and the visitor center. Overlooking the south bluff is a large meadow with small trees and shrubs. Douglas-fir, western redceder, red alder, and bigleaf maple make up a large percentage of the tree cover in the park. Invasive species such as Scotch broom and English ivy are present, requiring active on-going management to suppress. Himalayan blackberry brambles seem to be restricted to an area near the south parking lot.

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Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market
The first Starbucks
The first Starbucks
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
Large Pacific Octopus
Large Pacific Octopus
Underwater viewing dome, Seattle A…
Underwater viewing dome, Seattle …
Scuba diver cleaning the glass
Scuba diver cleaning the glass
River Otter
River Otter
Me at the Freemont Troll
Me at the Freemont Troll
Me at Discovery Park
Me at Discovery Park
The first Starbucks
The first Starbucks
Pier 66
Pier 66
Pier 70
Pier 70
Pier 70
Pier 70
Pier 70
Pier 70
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Olympic Sculpture Park
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Pioneer Square
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
Seattle Aquarium
Pacific Octopus
Pacific Octopus
Pacific Octopus
Pacific Octopus
Yellow Tang
Yellow Tang
Sixgill Shark
Sixgill Shark
Rockfish
Rockfish
Otter
Otter
Troll Avenue
Troll Avenue
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Me
Me
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Freemont Troll
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
View of Seattle from Gas Works Park
View of Seattle from Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Gas Works Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park, South Bluff
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Me
Me
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Discovery Park
Seattle
photo by: diisha392