Friday, September 10, 2010

Being a tourist

Thursday (earlier today) I took the train from Seattle back to Vancouver. I rode business class which was about $10 more than economy and worth it because the seats were more comfortable and we got to board the train first and then we got free coffee. That was easily worth ten bucks.

Wednesday’s visit to the Museum of Flight was great. I am an aviation nut so I spent nearly five hours wandering through the place, which is huge. Nearby was one of the Boeing Aircraft plants. I don’t know what planes are being made in there because the entire place is surrounded by high fences and barbed wire.

Some of the highlights of the flight museum included a tour of Boeing 707 No.86970 which was Air Force One during the Jack Kennedy era.

I could only imagine the conversations that went on inside that plane. It felt cool to be standing next to JFK's chair. The museum also had a British Airways Concorde, the fastest airliner in the world which would make supersonic flights across the Atlantic. A lot of the flight museum is about speed.I sat in the cockpit of the SR71 spy plane, a plane so fast that it could out run a bullet or a missile. A high powered hunting rifle will shoot a bullet at 3,000 feet per second. The SR71 flew at 3,200 feet per secont. So fast in fact that the paint would burn off the plane in high altitude flight. I was also pleased to see the museum had a Canadian CF86 Sabre in RCAF colours, which made a unique contribution to aviation history. Iremember Sabres from when I was a child in many of the airbases I lived on. Enough about nerdy airplane stuff.

I spent the rest of the day in Pike's Place market, the place where the fish mongers throw salmon around like baseball practice. It was cool.The great thing about being on holiday is you don't have to stop for coffee or bottled water if you're thirsty. Just step into one of the dozens of boutique pubs for a fresh cold glass of draught beer. Coffee is very popular though in Seattle. Starbucks began in Seattle and Neil told me the very first Starbucks was the cafe at Pikes market.

Also, one of my rules about travel is to always get the nicest hotel possible. That way, if the day is boring, you have a bad meal, or the weather goes crappy, you can also go back to a nice room. I stayed at the Seattle Crowne Plaza. I had a nice luxury suite and amazing service. And because Labour Day marked the end of the summer tourist season, I was able to get a very nice rate.

No comments: