Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, Seattle Aquarium, Freemont Troll, Gas Works Park & Discovery Park
Seattle Travel Blog› entry 5 of 14 › view all entries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.