We slept with our hotel balcony door slightly ajar, the softly rushing sound of Snoqualmie Falls providing a soothing backdrop to our travel weary dreams. The smell of our own private fireplace was a rich and spicy quilt to our city senses, and the thick carpet of our Salish Lodge King Room was plush beneath our toes.
That building on the top left-hand side? That was our hotel – the Salish Lodge and Spa – perched on the edge of Snoqualmie Falls, a 268-foot (82 m) waterfall in the northwest United States.
To say that our afternoon trip over to Bainbridge Island was spontaneous is an understatement. We spent a morning mooching our way around a few of the Seattle stores (Mr Kiwi bought a watch, I bought a Frappucino at the Starbucks next to Pike Place Market – thereby hopping the hour plus queues) and then I google searched ‘what to do in Seattle’. That’s how much planning we did.
Jumping aboard one of their commuter ferries was highly recommended (much like our day trip to the Gothenburg archipelago) and we handily timed a sandwich stop (thanks to the ferry timetables handily being available in the Googlemaps public transport route planner!) and before we knew it, we left the Seattle city skyline behind and enjoyed the brisk wind on our faces.
In the shadow of the Seattle Space Needle, almost alien crystalline forms wrap their deft tendrils through the Chihuly Garden and Glass.
Every single petal, bowl, stem and branch of cascading glass has been handblown under the guidance of Washington State native Dale Chihuly (in fact he grew up in nearby Tacoma), and we couldn’t quite believe our eyes.
We flew in and out of SeaTac Airport, staying in Seattle for a few days, before hopping on the train up to Vancouver for a wedding. Sadly, the Pacific NorthWest was battling pervasive smoke from destructive wildfires raging over British Columbia for much of our visit.
Seattle is quite an industrial city with incredible natural surroundings and interesting places to visit as a tourist, but we didn’t quite get under the heartbeat of the city – and I think the mistake was visiting without a car.