Hi everyone! I have arrived safely in Seattle, it is now 4th of July and since I am taking a slow and relaxing day today, I finally have time to write a bit about what I have been doing the last couple of days, i.e. my Seattle adventures.
Way to Seattle
I started my journey on Thursday after an incredibly busy week at the Munich Filmfest where I have been watching films back to back. My flight was pretty much uneventful. The safety measures in airports are understandably long and extensive. I had a bit of a scare in Munich when the very grumpy KLM lady at check-in asked for my printed ESTA slip and I had actually forgotten to print that. It took me a good 30 minutes to find proof that I had it and she was not helpful at all. I found out later that you are not required to print anything since ESTA is linked to your passport, so I don’t know why she decided to be such a bully. Everything else went fine, I didn’t miss my flight which I was scared of most.
During landing in Seattle we had to wait for clearance, so the plane circled the mountains and since it was a very clear day, I was able to take a few nice shots out of one window.
I’m really bad at geography so I have no idea what I took a picture of. But it was great seeing so much from above. From the airport it is pretty easy to get to downtown Seattle or Belltown where I am staying. 35 minutes on a train and a 10 minutes walk later I reached the City Hostel where I had reserved a bed in a female-only 4 bed en suite dorm. The hostel is conveniently located, very clean with very nice and helpful staff. They are very strict about who they let into the hostel and there are some rules which I appreciate because I feel much safer knowing that not everyone can walk in and that for example smoking inside is forbidden.
Since smoking pot is legal in Washington state, that is a big issue here. Seattle has a big homeless population (although I am told it is even worse where I am going) and many of them smoke pot and/or suffer from mental illness. It took me a while to get used to the fact that many places and people smell like pot and to ignore those who wander the streets shaking and talking to themselves. It puts the whole legalize cannabis issue in Germany into perspective.
Arrival in Seattle
On my first day in Seattle, I couldn’t do much. After I had checked in, I met my two roommates at that time with whom I had dinner that night. After that I passed out pretty early. I have been battling jet lag ever since. It’s a 9 hour time difference to Munich which is 3 hours more than Ohio/East Coast where I have been before. Thus I planned to have a relaxing first full day (and ended up doing most of the sights). And by relaxing I mean going to a museum, in that case the Seattle Art Museum.
Seattle Art Museum
The Seattle Art Museum is pretty nice, they have a nice collection and I spent almost 3 hours wandering around, reading books and taking pictures:
They had that nice exhibition of Graphic Masters with Dürer and Goya. I especially liked that they actually told you to take pictures and post about the exhibition. It is really straight forward because often you are technically allowed to take photos but you can’t be sure.
Space Needle + EMP
After a short visit to the hostel, I went to visit the Space Needle although I decided not to go up. A fellow traveller told me that it was cheaper to go up another tower in Seattle with a better view.
Right next to the Space Needle there is a museum for pop culture called EMP (Experience Music Project). Everyone at the hostel had been talking about that so I decided to go in as well. It is a lot of fun, you learn a lot about music (grunge, Jimi Hendrix etc.) and they had a nice horror film exhibition. Everything is very interactive which always takes me some time to get used to. As I went on a Friday of a long weekend it was unfortunately very busy with many families. I also enjoyed the Seattle Seahawks exhibition there (currently I am wearing my new Seahawks shirt).
On Saturday I met up with a Robin who I had gotten in contact with through that a nice group on Facebook called HPL (Her Packing List). She had offered to show me around Capitol Hill, her favorite neighborhood, and I had gladly accepted her offer. It is always much more fun to be shown around by a local! Capitol Hill is/ used to be the gay neighborhood but people there struggle a lot from gentrification (reminded me a lot of Munich). Fancy apartment buildings are being built and the rents go up, so that all freelancers and creative people hardly can afford to live there anymore. Still, the vibe there is unique and different to Belltown or downtown. I was listening so intensely that I hardly took any pictures, but sometimes it is more important to stop seeing things through the lens of a camera.
Above you also see the Starbucks Roastery which is located there. It’s very touristy and crowded but I went back on Sunday and had a scone there. They sell amazing (and expensive) pastry and I enjoyed people watching there so much. In the morning I had been to Pike Place Market for the first time where it had also rained for the first time. Very uncomfortable and crowded so I was glad to move on really quick.
Frye Art Museum
I also visited the Frye Art Museum on 1st Hill which was quite a bus ride away (you gladly take buses in Seattle if something is located in a neighborhood with “Hill” in its name). The Frye Art Museum certainly is a nice place if all rooms are open. Unfortunately, I chose a time when they were assembling the new Hammershoi exhibition so almost everything was closed except for one room where they restaged the hanging of the original salon with works of the Munich Secession and the Munich Künstlergenossenschaft.
I took a very long nap that afternoon and only walked for an hour that evening. Roughly I had been walking between 10 and 15km everyday on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I am a bit exhausted right now so I will probably spend today just relaxing and watching Netflix. They’ll have a barbecue later here at the hostel which I want to attend.
Tomorrow I’ll probably take a ferry to Bainbridge Island just for the sake of the ferry ride (I love boats!!) and for seeing something different. I’ll keep you posted!
PS: Totally hooked on Netflix shows: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Baby Daddy and Gilmore Girls are my favorite currently.