Today is my first full day in Seattle and I have managed to pack a bit into today. I had two tours booked, the first is a city tour, visiting the main sights and the second an underground tour. Unlike yesterday the camera got a real workout today and the results are below.
Photographing The Space Needle
One of the iconic structures in Seattle is the Space Needle. I had wanted to get a photo of the Space Needle from my hotel before departing on the tour this morning. However, as you can see below, there was heavy fog and at 1 block away you could not see much.
The tour started at 10am with a runtime of about 3 hours. The last stop is a lookout that overlooks the city and I was happy to find the fog had burned off. The Space Needle sits a little more prominently against the skyline of the city.
Seattle City Tour
Pioneer Square is the first stop on the tour and is the original business district of the city. There are a number of interesting features around this area. It is also where the city tour ends and the underground tour begins.
One is the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which I had a few minutes for a brief look. It is said that the Klondike Gold Rush is one of the reasons why Seattle grew as quickly as it did.
Finally, I took a look at the Firefighters Memorial in Occidental Park. The four bronze statues are inspired by four firefighters who lost their life fighting a fire in 1995. However, the memorial is a respectful tribute to all 31 firefights who have lost their life in Seattle since 1889.
There were only two official stops on the tour, so photos were a little more difficult. However, this is one of the gates in Chinatown as we passed the area.
Lake Union Locks & Flood Gates
The tour’s second stop was near the locks and floodgates that control access to Lake Union. The lake and shipping canal is maintained at a specific level, above that of the water in the bay. To maintain this level there are two locks (a small and large) to allow boats in and out. Additionally, there is a series of floodgates similar to what you may find on a dam. While these are used to control the lake level, they also help to maintain the separation of fresh and salt water.
Seattle Underground Tour
After the city sights tour it was onto The Seattle Underground Tour. This tour takes you through a series of area’s in the underground sidewalks in the Pioneer Square area of Seattle.
I would not want to spoil the experience for others so will only briefly cover the history here. In the early days of Seattle, due to the lay of the land and other factors the street level was risen. In many areas this was a whole level of a building off the existing ground. Today some of these areas have been maintained and subsequently result in the underground tour.
I did find this tour to be quite interesting, at least some of the history behind it. In some respects, though I think it was a little over the top. With much of the area just looking like a messy building site, with few exceptions. While interesting from a history point of view, I was a little disappointed in the visual component. Based on the tour description I did expect a little more from the 90-minute tour.
The first image is a restored frontage of a building. With the second image one of the underground passages.
Seattle Space Needle
Come the end of the day I was able to capture the picture I had been hoping for this morning. A close up photograph of the Space Needle.
I am quite excited for the tour which I have booked for tomorrow. I think that there will be some great spots to share with you so be sure to check back tomorrow.