Classes are officially finished at UBC and we are in the thick of finals season. To celebrate the end of classes I decided to go to Seattle for a few days before heading back to Vancouver to do finals. I went with a fellow Aucklander on exchange, Abby.
We decided the best way to get there would be to take the train. Not only is it a lot cheaper than flying, it is a lot more cost effective and you get to experience the most beautiful sunrises over the coast as you make your way towards Seattle. The only negative was having to get up at 4.30am in order to make it to the train station in time for the 6am train. Once in seattle, we stayed in a hostel in Chinatown, which was in a really good location – only taking two stops on the light rail to reach city center.
Whilst in Seattle, there were some things we had to see, in particular the Pike Place Market. The Market was a really cool experience. As you walk towards the market it doesn’t seem like anything special, but as you cross the street you see the iconic market sign and the most picturesque view of Puget Sound. Inside the market there was a lot of fresh produce, and especially seafood. Right across from the market was the first Starbucks. It still had the original logos on all the signsand had some really cool Merchandise items (I was able to get my sister, who is a big Starbucks fan, a Pike Place mug for Christmas!). We stopped to grab some lunch and also stopped by the famous gum wall. I personally thought the gum wall was disgusting but am glad I got to see it and get a photo standing as far away from it as I could.
The next day we went to the space needle. To get there we took the monorail, which goes directly from the Seattle Center to the space needle. Me and Abby were kinda debating going up the Needle as it was $32 US (which converts to around $45 New Zealand dollars) per person, but the views from the top were definitely worth it! There was a really cool observatory deck surrounding the outside of the space needle where you had 360 degree views of the city, as well as a moving floor on a lower viewing deck inside of the needle. You also got a really great view of the city as you went up and down the elevator. Me and Abby are both big Grey’s Anatomy fans, and later on in the day, we went to go see where “Meredith Grey” lives, a really nice house just outside of the city. There was also a really nice viewpoint of the city at a nearby park that we went and had a look at.
On our final day we took a ferry out to Bainbridge island for the day. It was a short ferry ride from the city, only taking around 35 minutes (and only costing $8.50 for a return ticket!). The Island was pretty small but had a really nice art museum, some cute cafes and gift shops and a cute ice cream store with some of the best dulce de leche ice cream I’ve ever had! In the evening we went to see a production of Annie at the 5th avenue theatre. It was a really well done production and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Then we headed back to the hostel and got ready to get up early for our 7am train back to Vancouver.
It was great having a few days away after finals to get to see another part of the pacific north west! As of writing this I am in my last 10 days of my exchange and am getting ready for my time to come to an end. I have had some of the best experiences of my life and am going to miss Vancouver and UBC immensely.