Totally lost in Seattle day 1
I tried to buy a tourist guide to prepare for my Seattle trip – it wasn’t available in Slovakia, neither in Switzerland or Bellevue. Here I am, standing next to Public Market on my very first day in the city, feeling that this is the worst place I have ever seen…It that why nobody wants to write about it?
At the end of a day, I returned to my hotel in Bellevue, throwing myself on the bed and closing my eyes immediately. Such an overwhelming day. I don’t like Seattle. I didn’t prepare for my trip very well, so It took me a million hours to get oriented. My hotel is literally 45 minutes by bus from the city center (book the Airbnb in the Seattle), my Master card is not working in most of the places (you need a credit card) and the city seems to be confusing and scary.
Deep inside I am scared of all the big American cities.
They are very different than European cities, and it takes some time for me to feel confident around people who in Europe are hidden in very specific suburbs. Here you meet them directly in the city center: very poor, very sick, crazy, and drug addicts. They are lying on the sidewalks with all their belonging or they are walking and doing scary things…I feel really sorry for them and at the same time I don’t really understand how the locals can be so comfortable walking around those people everyday without any emotions. Ok I didn’t want to only complain right from the beginning, but it was also heavily raining all day long. Here are my first impressions:
So, this is the very first time I experienced the bus driving through a subway tunnel! Yes, I mean literally a subway tunnel, which is shared by buses and trams. 1 ride will cost you $2.75 and you pay directly to the driver. You don’t have exactly $2.75? Too bad, the machine inside of the bus will not give you any change back so pray that your smallest bill isn’t a $20 as it happened to me. Part of the town called “Seattle Center” is not really a city center. I am sitting on a bus, waiting for the transport announcement voice saying “Downtown”? This will never happen, and because the buses in the underground, there is no way to recognize that you have arrived at your destination. I am staying in the bus until the very last stop, still waiting for “Downtown” announcement from the speakers.
How typical for me to not even research the name of the correct stop and then feeling too proud to ask the others.
When I get out, I needed to involuntarily use my internet data to learn that the most convenient bus stop is Westlake Center. It is my main orientation point from now. Charming, small urban park and surprise-surprise you are surrounded by Nordstrom (did you know that this brand was born in Seattle?), Macy’s, and Saks Off Fifth😉
Bubble-gum wall and stuff
I am heading down from Westlake Center through Pike street to the famous market. If there was one thing I really wanted to see, then it was the Bubble-gum Wall. It is something fun, colourful, unusual, and freaky. I love it. Place your bubble-gum here and spread your genetic material and all the diseases :D It is much cooler than placing stupid lockers on the European bridges.
I found this wall under the famous Pikes Market. This is an old, authentic market where you find incredible hidden gems. Don't forget to watch this video to quickly learn about the best hidden spots in this market.
Another must-see in this area is the first Starbucks. Did you know that the Starbucks story started in Seattle? Ugly building, dodgy suburb, combined with good coffee and a big dream. How romantic! You can only order a take away, and it is frankly nothing special. Tourists are constantly queuing here, ready to buy a nice experience. It is also favourite place for buskers which makes your 30 min wait for a single coffee somehow bearable. I would hate to work here. Poor people.
I am heading to Pier 57 and Seattle Aquarium. “Hm, not as nice as in San Francisco,” I am thinking and immediately feeling ashamed how judgmental and horrible I am. Seattle’s Great Wheel is at this place too. You might think that it is the same, boring tourist trap as everywhere but this one gives you a really nice view. It's worth it.
Then I head up to University street to the Seattle Art Museum. The day is over, and I can’t wait for a drink in Bellevue. I finally managed to buy a travel guide book. Wine is not very cheap in USA but whatever! I will have some Californian red wine and try to read a book and prepare for tomorrow a bit better. I am ready to wake up and fall in love with Seattle tomorrow.