I’ve never been a fan of cold weather, probably not unlike most people. That’s why this autumn, we decided to leave cold Canada behind and head across the border in an attempt to chase that West Coast sunshine. Buses booked, accommodation sorted for the moment and bags overflowing, our first stop was Seattle.
Before visiting the first major city across the Canadian border, I didn’t really have very many expectations or perceptions apart from the famous skyline that appears in the opening credits of Grey’s Anatomy. I’m not going to lie, Seattle definitely is not my favourite place on the planet and I’m still on the fence as to whether I’d revisit.
Our autumnal adventure was most definitely being financed on a budget so flying was out of the question. We booked onto Bolt Bus from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver and made the three hour journey for €30. We found that Air BnB was actually the best way to stay on a budget so we had booked a bed in a living room of an apartment in Seattle’s residential area, Queen Anne. Now the whole living sitch was not as dodgy as it sounds. The apartment was basically empty all the time and the hosts were lovely so the lack of an actually room didn’t bother us too much and of course it was cheap as chips: €86 in total!
As far as sights and activities go, Seattle has a few little gems:
Pike Place Market
First ever Starbucks
However, let’s talk about why this place didn’t get a like from me. On arrival to America we were aware of their incredibly hard homeless problem, but we weren’t really prepared for just how bad that was going to be. Dragging heavy suitcases through the streets of downtown Seattle, we quickly became alerted to this problem. Our personal experience with it began twenty minutes into our stay whilst waiting for the bus to Queen Anne. Minding our own business we started to hear a loud rustle and abusive shouting behind us. Turning around we clocked the woman wearing two pairs of boxers, socks and hair sticking out at all angles closely resembling Dennis the Menace, emerging from the bush. Stepping on to the pavement she began removing her jacket and jumper, throwing them on the ground and beginning her harassment of a kind man that gave her the end of his cigarette. As the shouting got louder and more aggressive, I had never been so happy to see the bus coming around the corner! Ever since this episode we had an unshakeable uneasiness that would last for our time in the city as we didn’t feel as safe as we had done in Canada.
Despite this, we made the most of our time exploring. Getting around was easy enough as downtown was walkable from our accommodation and the buses were regular to get out to the Fremont area. Just be sure to bring comfy shoes as Seattle is one of the hilliest places I have ever been, no exaggeration! We also used the monorail that takes you from the Space Needle right to the centre of town.
After an interesting experience, we were quite ready to move on to our next destination. Two days in Seattle, crazy experiences aside, is probably enough as it isn’t really that big. Personally this city wasn’t for me but was a very intriguing welcome to the USA!