Space Needle

I perused the Seattle Guide books while I was in my room each night and was amazed at the number of things to do in the area. But in my humble opinion the number 1 thing to do is visit the Space Needle and not just to see it. You need to experience it. Take the elevator up the side and explore the 360 degree observation deck.

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So here I was boarding the mono rail to check out the Space Needle. You can see it from all over Seattle. It looks like a big space ship landing on the high rises.

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The mono rail is pretty neat too. It was built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair to shuttle fair goers from the downtown to the fair grounds. After the fair ended the mono rail lived on.

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It takes less than 5 minutes to go from one station to the other! It took me 3 times that just to walk to the station from the hotel!

It’s in great shape. Clean and well maintained. If only our Boston subway cars looked as good. Today, the trains carry approximately two million passengers every year. The Monorail has become an important fixture in Seattle for locals, who use the trains during major festivals and sporting events. Seattle Center Monorail is one of the few fully self-sufficient public rail transit system in the nation yet a one way ticket is only $2.25. Someone is doing something right. Maybe we should ship the MBTA execs out for training.

The mono rail runs on an elevated track right down 5th avenue past my hotel. I spent some time sitting on a cement wall watching it go overhead.

Ticket in hand I grabbed a seat for the short ride. It wasn’t crowded and in a blink of an eye we were pulling into Seattle Center right at the base of the Space Needle.

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No mistaking me for anything but what I was, an awestruck tourist. As I stepped off the Mono rail platform I know my mouth was hanging open while I reached for my camera. The Space Needle is amazing up close. You can get a stiff neck looking up to the top.

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As I got my bearings I saw an unmistakable sight. A Chihuly Glass sculpture. I recognized it from the exhibit I’d seen at the MFA in Boston.

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Since it was early I headed toward the sculpture first. It was sitting behind locked gates and there was a big glass building behind it with another familiar glass exhibit.

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I followed the path around only to find out the Chihuly Garden was closed for the day. The Sign on the door said they would be open until 8pm the next day. I knew right then that I would be back.

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But now it was time to turn my attention to the Space Needle.

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