** This post has been imported from Raga’s old travel blog.
Seattle…. The moment you hear this city’s name, you will think of the shiny space needle with the downtown behind it. There is something else that I got to know when I was in Seattle…. Tulips… yes, the bright yellow flower you see in Microsoft XP’s desktop background!
I was in Seattle from April 30th through May 3rd. I went to visit a close friend of mine who moved to Seattle couple of years back and even though most of his friends are in the Bay area, he refuses to move. Tight ties with Seattle…. Indeed, I would move to Seattle if the rain God guarantees not-so-fickling weather conditions in Seattle.
It rains most of the time in Seattle. However, I was lucky enough to be spared by the rain God. I got to see the sunny side of Seattle and it was beautiful. Believe me, it’s a carnival in Seattle when it doesn’t rain. People leave their work early, hang out with their friends and family and just enjoy the infrequent sunshine.
My first stop on such a nice day (May 1st) was in a town called Mt. Vernon on the way to Vancouver, BC. I got lucky here again, I got to see the bright shiny tulips festival which supposedly ends on April 30th. It was like a huge blanket with contrasting colors. The various barns in the field added a rustic look to the scene. It was such a treat to the eyes. By sun down, we were at a huge bridge called deception pass. I still do not understand why such a name was chosen but the view was spectacular. This bridge reminded me of the royal gorge bridge in Colorado. However, the river underneath together with the bridge and the sunset made the scene look perfect, for the day to end.
Next morning, my morning started with awesome kuzha puttu and paniyaram made by my friend. A perfect start indeed. We went to the infamous Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. The market was so fresh, lively and happening. There were numerous small shops selling fresh fruits, vegetables and pastries from lot of countries. We tried Swedish, French and Russian pastries by the ocean front. It was not sunny but the light drizzle added a good ambience to the market. There were street performers, performers at the fish store (yes, they sing a song while passing the fishes for packing) and with so many people at the market made the place very lively. Then we headed towards the Pioneer Square in the downtown and got to know some little history about Seattle. The day ended with a dinner at a friend’s place.
The last day was sunny again! People might be envying me here… We decided to explore some nature and headed towards Snowqualmie falls. The water was pouring down with a huge roar and the view from the top was beautiful. Half a mile hike down the hill gave us a better view of the falls. It was very relaxing to feel the mist from the downpour. Then we headed directly to the downtown to capture the city at night. To get a better view, we went to a park from where you can see the downtown and also the space needle. The view looked ordinary until the sunset. Once the sun crossed the horizon, it was such a splendid view. Not to forget, it was getting really cold. But, the cold breeze, the tall buildings, the space needle with a lighted backdrop and the reflection of the city on the lake still lingers in my mind.