Day 39

Sunday 27th March

As it is Sunday our mission was to eat Sunday lunch again, having achieved this each weekend since departure. We decided to do this Downtown and so to get there we went by the 1962 Monorail which is an exciting 2 minute ride where, if you are lucky enough to get the front seat, you can sit next to the driver! We achieved 38mph during our elevated journey to the Westlake Centre in the city centre. The Monorail was designed by Alweg Rapid Transit Systems and each year carries around 1.5 million passengers. According to the driver there have been few changes to the system but plenty of maintenance.

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Upon alighting at Westlake one is surrounded by Art Deco buildings. One of them called the Seattle Tower was built in 1929 and is a combination of brick, multiple types of granite, steel and glass. The Art Deco decoration makes the 27 storeys look taller than they are. Nearby is the Smith Tower erected in 1914 and was the city’s first skyscraper. With 35 floors this must have been a challenging building to construct because steel frameworks for such buildings had only just started to be used. It is interesting that nearby is a copy of the Flatiron building of Manhattan in New York City. Further downtown is the Pioneer Building built in 1892 from red brick and terracotta tiles which during the Gold Rush of the mid 19th century had 48 mining companies with offices and equipment stores to support the prospectors.

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We called in at King Street railway station which is our point of departure tomorrow for our train journey to Chicago.

IMG_0813 IMG_0815 We ate lunch at the Pike Brewery and Restaurant which is close to Pike Place Market which was established in 1907 and is the country’s oldest continually operating Farmer’s Market. It was a wet morning but as the photographs show by the afternoon when we returned to the Space Needle station the sun finally emerged but it did not last! We have had heavy showers for the rest of the day and according to local TV nearly a foot of snow has fallen over the high road passes of the Cascade Mountains.

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