We disembarked at 7:30 from the Norwegian Pearl and grabbed a cab to the Marriott Renaissance Hotel where we literally dropped our bags at the bell station and ran up the hill to St. James Cathedral for the 8:00 Mass.
It was strange to bring our day pack with coats, sweaters, cameras and misc junk to Church. But there were a number of bag people at Mass so nobody noticed.
After another inspiring liturgy we headed out to explore Seattle.
We bought day passes for the double-decker tour bus and got a narrated tour of the city and its history.
The Public Market was very entertaining, yes, they really do toss fish across the market to fill orders! Pike Place Market is a public market that opened in 1907, and is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers' markets in the United States. It started in response to the wholesalers taking advantage of the farmers and so the city designated this area as a market where the producers could deal directly with the consumers. It has become a place of business for many small farmers, crafters and merchants. Named after the central street, Pike Place which is where the very first Starbucks opened.
One part of the market is the "Sanitary Market" which means that horses are not allowed in that part of the market! The sanitary market houses the restaurants and bakeries.
The actual market stretches for blocks and it would be easy to get lost among the different stalls...
There was a piano player on one corner, playing for donations and selling his CD's. He was actually good, but nonetheless a street musician, not a concert pianist.
Pike Place Market's unofficial mascot, Rachel, a bronze cast piggy bank that weighs 550 pounds has been located since 1986 at the corner of Pike Place under the "Public Market Center" sign. Rachel was designed by local artist Georgia Gerber and modeled after a pig (also named Rachel) that lived on Whidbey Island and was the 1977 Island County prize-winner. Rachel receives roughly $6,000–$9,000 annually in just about every type of world currency, which is collected by the Market Foundation to fund the Market's social services.
We found one of the small family owned restaurants in the Sanitary Market for our lunch and then made our way back to the hotel to claim our bags and head for the airport.
Now we are exhausted and ready for the marathon flight back home from the Northwest coast.....
Link to our photos: