15-18/7/2014: Beautiful Hipster

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So yes, here we are in Seattle!

After a rather uneventful journey that was only lengthened by one short hour we finally arrived in Seattle, the pearl of the Pacific North-West!  Picking us up at the station was Sarah, marine biologist, gardener and cat lover! She helped us load all our stuff into her tiny little car and drove us all the way to her place, situated in a beautiful residential area not far from the university. This is where we spent five days taking it easy in the sun and having the most fun we had on our entire trip!

If you’ve never been to Seattle before let me tell you something: Seattle is freaking sweet! It’s a rather large town but the greatest thing is that its neighborhoods are as attractive as its city center if not more. Everything there is rather human-sized and people are generally courteous and easy-going.

One thing we usually don’t do but indulged in Seattle was cycling. Living in Tromsø, we generally don’t get that many opportunities to bike, most obviously because it’s wet and icy more than half the year. In Seattle though, the queen of hipster cities, biking was almost a mandatory experience.

A giant "Dalahäst" in the Nordic Heritage Museum.

A giant “Dalahäst” in the Nordic Heritage Museum.

The crazy wackiness that is Archie Mcphee.

The crazy wackiness that is Archie Mcphee.

I have to admit I was a bit scared at the beginning given that I have so little experience with wheels but it actually went awesomely well! We visited Ballard, Greenlake and the U District, all on bike! Ballard was probably the coolest of all: despite the scorching heat, we soldiered on to get all the way to the top of a really steep hill in order to enjoy the great sights of the local Nordic Heritage Museum which was a real blast. After that we went downhill to sample some local brews and check out a real nice record shop. On our two-wheeled adventure we also enjoyed a ride all the way to the Salmon Ladder down by the sound, a really great alternative/goth store as well as, of course, the glorious Archie McPhee! I had been warned numerous times by Linnea about the absolute nonsense of the place but I have to admit that I was very early on defeated when I discovered that you could actually buy Yodeling Pickles. Don’t ask, it’s the policy of the house I was told. Except about bacon, you’ll always get something with a Bacon theme at Archie McPhee. (Linnea’s editors note: Archie Mcphee’s invented the infamous Horse Head mask)

Golden Gardens beach, where people had obviously chosen to spend the day and evening since the weather was so nice.

Golden Gardens beach, where people had obviously chosen to spend the day and evening since the weather was so nice.

Another great thing we did was go to the beach. Again, living in the Arctic, blah blah, being cold blah blah, not going to the beach blah blah. The trip we took (again, always cycling) to the Golden Gardens beach cannot be described with blah blahs though. The place, which is situated just by the train tracks we crossed entering the town is just magical: a long sandy beach stretching for hundreds of feet in every direction. The place was really calm too (which is not the case for French beaches I can tell you) and everyone had a great time, including us. We took turns dipping in the sound which wasn’t as cold as feared actually and just relaxed eating organic cherries.

Seafood is plentiful and of high quality in Seattle, especially in Pike Place Market.

Seafood is plentiful and of high quality in Seattle, especially in Pike Place Market.

Because yes, Seattle is a great place to be a tourist and enjoy sights and such but the one thing that maybe impressed me the most was the food scene. Everywhere you went you could not stop from finding Vegan restaurants, organic grocery stores, local-markets etc…Everything from Alaskan Wild salmon (shame on your greasy and flaccid farmed Salmon, Norway!) to vegan tapas, from heritage goat cheese to sourdough bread. EVERYTHING was delicious! It was also a great experience making food ourselves for Sarah and ourselves because of the incredible freshness of the ingredients.  If it wasn’t so terribly warm I could almost imagine myself living there, just because of the great food!

Just one of the tasty meals we ate while in Seattle, this is a stir-fry Mongolian grill style!

Just one of the tasty meals we ate while in Seattle, this is a stir-fry Mongolian grill style!

Talking about food, we had the opportunity to eat out quite a lot during our stay in Seattle. It’s incredible how eating out means a whole different thing in America. Places propose cheap, delicious and varied foodstuffs at every street corner. If I recall correctly we had the opportunity to eat Mexican, Italian, Mongolian, Vegan (from the kingdom of Vegania) and Irish in just a couple days. And I haven’t even mentioned the awesome Fish’n Chips we had just before hitting the beach. At the Irish joint we even had the opportunity to see a live broadcast of a soccer (?!!!) game that had filled the stadium. Seattle is definitely a crazy place.

Besides those interesting endeavors, we also visited Penti and Anna-Liisa, Linnea’s Godparents who yessed my bid at their god-daughter’s hand and had a great Finish dinner complete with freshly baked pie and a creamy Salmon Soup! We also enjoyed a visit to the (VERY) crowded waterfront Pike Place Market where we visited, among other things, a store solely dedicated to animal cuteness (that’s where Linnea got her new bag) and positively avoided the original Starbucks Café.

The charming Guild 45th Cinema.

The charming Guild 45th Cinema.

In our last day we also enjoyed a nice little romantic-positivist movie called Wish I was There at a rather Old-School theater from 1919. Seeing an American movie in an American movie-theater eating popcorn is something you have to do at least once if you ever get there! On the way back though, the door of yet another comic book-store was (unexplainably) open and Linnea caught sight of some books she had always wanted to read.  The salesman was even able to hook her on yet another book so she left the place with four volumes while I had to pawn my liver to pay for all this.

So yes we did have lots of fun, but wait just a bit, our next post will be about our last day in Seattle and our visit of the absolutely epic EMP Museum. Stay tuned!


Text by Lyonel Perabo | | Photos by Linnea Nordström

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