Rebels By Bus

Slow Travel With Low Carbon Footprint

Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill

0121mtrainiercloudsThis ghostly view of THE mountain was taken from the Highway 512 Park and Ride, as we waited for our bus to take us to Seattle and Queen Anne Hill. Thirteen enthusiastic Rebels by Bus exited the bus in Seattle at 4th and Pike, directly across the street from the Westlake Mall.  We went directly to the top (3rd) floor on the Mall in order to catch the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair remnant:  the monorail.  This short ride shows a great deal of new construction in the area.  We pass through a tunnel created by Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project, and glide into the Seattle Center.  Straight ahead is the Center House (aka The Food Circus from World’s Fair days).  We scattered to find something for lunch.  Many of us settled on The Skillet Diner, with their award-winning bacon jam on burger.  Yum.

Next stop was across 5th Avenue to the Gates Foundation Visitor Center.  The Gates family passion for community and global philanthropy is very evident in this excellent (free) exhibit.  Everyone seemed very impressed and inspired by this brief visit.

After visiting the center we caught Metro Bus 3 one-half block from the Gates Center.  We exited by bus at Boston and Queen Anne Avenue, in the heart of the Queen AnneTowne-sign-and-puppy-1024x682 shopping district.  After a brief orientation to the neighborhood, we scattered to explore the area.  This cute pup and ball (by Georgia Gerber, the same artist that made the bronze pig at the Pike Place Market) sits guard at the new Towne Center, located on Queen Anne Avenue.  The anchor store here is the new location for Trader Joes.

0141churchmosaicThe mosaic to the left depicts the Bethel Presbyterian Church of Queen Anne Hill, a long-standing integral part of the neighborhood.  There are seven beautiful mosaics in this courtyard, each depicting a well-loved Queen Anne landmark.

One of my favorite spots on the Avenue is the Queen Anne Book store, a small but well stocked independent book seller.  They sell the fun hand-drawn map depicting the 253 staircases of Queen Anne Hill.   La Reve’ French bakery is always busy, for good reason!

My next stop on Queen Anne is to check out Kerry Park, which is located on Highland Drive,  located a few blocks downhill from Queen Anne and Galer.  Take a right off Queen Anne on Highland Drive, walk just a couple blocks… and there is Kerry Park.  The park is really just a widening of the sidewalk with several benches to admire the amazing vast view of Seattle, Mt. Rainier (which, unfortunately did not show today), and Elliott Bay.  Keep on walking down Highland Drive past huge, old mansions and lovely gardens to Marshall Park and the Betty Bowen gardens.  From here, Elliott Bay, Alki Point, and the Olympics are the key views.  The Olympics were barely visible; you had to know what you were looking for to identify the shadows as mountains.  Across Highland Drive from this viewpoint is a shaded garden which invites a meandering stroll.  A few perennials were still blooming in this well maintained oasis.

The group met back at Galer and Queen Anne to catch our bus, transferring at 4th and Lenora for our journey home.

Another fun filled day comes to a close…

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