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Monday, September 21, 2015

Back in Seattle...

Another post about our travels in North America. Our cruise ended with the ship docking in Seattle. The girls spent a lot of the day with us before heading off back to Vancouver.
We all went on what's known as the Underground Tour of Seattle. Friends of the girls had said it was well worth a look.
The tour starts at a cafe where a guide recounts the quite colourful history of Seattle. The woman who gave the preliminary talk before our tour did an excellent job of bringing that history to life. Once again we learned about those 'ladies of the night', but in early days Seattle they were referred to as 'seamstresses' in records. Just like in those Alaskan towns we visited, these women had achieved high status in historic Seattle.
Now the Underground City as it is referred to, is the subterranean passages that were once the main roads and ground floor storefronts of old Downtown Seattle. Yep! Old Seattle had drainage problems due to the lie of the land, so the early city fathers decided to fill in the dips etc and therefore raise the street level.

At first they used sawdust from the early sawmills but that didn't work too well. So then the plan was to lower the hill behind the town by blasting it with must have worked as the street level was raised to what it is today.
So here are the few photos we took on our Underground Tour...
After the talk inside the cafe, we moved outside to this area, where we were divided up into smaller groups, with a guide for each group.
 We walked along the street (above ground) and this hotel was pointed out...the 75c per night would have been the tariff in 'old Seattle'. Note the lovely detail on the building.

Then we went down the stairs to the Underground city...

Our guide gave us more history as we walked though this fetid underworld...

 We're not talking well maintained here are we?


An elevated indication I guess of the problems caused by being below sea level in old Seattle.

Listening to more 'stories'/history
 Like most places likely to be visited by tourists, we had the photo taken with the green screen behind us...this was one that I purchased though; I usually don't!

The girls seemed to enjoy this tour but DH and I thought it was just okay. The enthusiastic guides were the best part and those stories they told were quite entertaining. A link to the website is here and gives a bit more background to how Bill Speidel saved this historical area. 


Anthea said...

Wow Maria, I love all your travel pics... & you have such a good memory for what you're told when you do tours, I'm terrible & forget most of it!

Josie said...

Heavens! I visited Seattle a few years ago and took that very same tour! Seeing your photos brought back some great memories. Had a really fun time on the tour too..... learning about women of ill repute and dodgy drains. Glad I didn't visit way back then! lol xxx

Marit Johanne said...

I think I would have liked the Underground Tour of Seattle! I visited The Real Mary King's Close underground tour in Edinburgh, and found it very interesting. Nice picture of you all!