Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

SEATTLE

Seattle.  What an attractive and beautiful city.  It was lovely and sunny.  I was staying in the Queen Anne district which is northwest of the city and only about a block from the Space Needle.  The Queen Anne district was very pleasant area to stay in and explore. Lots of good things about this city – aesthetically pleasing to the eye, great attractions to see, free wi-fi in public places etc.  The area around the Space Needle has plenty to offer and I went to the Experience Music Project on the first day.  However, I was a little underwhelmed by the music museum.  It was one of the main reasons I went to Seattle.  I think I just wanted it to be bigger and more of it.  What they had there was good but I went through it and wondered if there was any more to see.  Today the Experience Music Project is called the Museum of Pop Culture.  The name change occurred in 2016.  They have had dozens of exhibitions, 17 of which have toured internationally.  I did love the guitar sculpture which dominates the foyer.  The distinctive building was created by famous architect Frank Gehry.

The Pop Culture Museum
The Pop Culture Museum. Architecture by Frank Gehry. 

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Acoma Pueblo & Albuquerque, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

While in New Mexico travelling to Albuquerque I decided to visit Acoma Pueblo on someone’s recommendation.  This turned out to be a very good recommendation.  It was about an hour’s drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque and then another hour to Acoma Pueblo which is west from Albuquerque along the I-40.  I am so glad I took the trip – it was fascinating to see the way the Native Americans live and their traditional dwellings.  It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the U.S.A.  No electricity (although some have generators), no running water (they bring in water from one of the three villages) and no sewerage (I noticed they had portaloos).  The Pueblo was atop a hill (a sandstone mesa to be precise) and the scenery was magnificent.  Wide sweeping vistas reminiscent of any of the old westerns I saw as a kid.  It was very hot up at the Pueblo and luckily I had brought an umbrella with me so I was shaded from the sun bearing down on me.  The language of Acoma is Keresan which was an oral language only.  Recently they have taken to writing it down phonetically using the English alphabet (modern Latin alphabet) so that their language may survive.  Many of the inhabitants are artisans and had their wares for sale outside their houses.  There was a cemetery and mission church called San Esteban del Rey.  Out of respect we were asked to not take photos of these areas.

Continue reading “Acoma Pueblo & Albuquerque, New Mexico and Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.”

Dallas to Amarillo, Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.

It was nice to leave overcast Dallas and get out on the road.  I got lost on the Dallas freeways several times again.  The GPS kept turning itself off.  But eventually I found the correct freeway and then the highway north toward Amarillo.  The weather turned out to be beautiful the further north I got.  I guess Dallas was getting some of the rain from Hurricane Alex which hit northern Mexico that night.  
The highway went through several rural cities and towns – some with populations as low as the 300s.  It kind of felt I was going through the real Texas.  Places such as Decatur, Rhome, Bowie, Clarendon, Quanah, Memphis (not the Tennesse one!), Childress and Claude.  In one place I asked a girl in a restaurant for some ‘take away’ food and she seemed completely perplexed.  After explaining I wanted to take the food with me she said ‘oh you mean “to go”‘ and had a little giggle at me.  About three quarters of the way there I needed to get petrol so I pulled into a ‘gas station’.  When I looked at the pump I couldn’t work out how to use it.  So I asked a lady on the other side of the pump and she admitted she didn’t usually come to this station and she didn’t know either.  Together we worked it out with a queue of cars forming behind us.  The lady asked where I was from and said we had cute accents!   Continue reading “Dallas to Amarillo, Texas to Santa Fe, New Mexico, U.S.A.”

Texas, U.S.A.

Almost 28 hours after I left my house I finally arrived in Dallas, Texas.
The day got off to a slow start when United Airlines decided to delay the flight by an hour and forty minutes.  Liberace was flying the plane (ok it only sounded like him) and I had a pleasant surprise when I ran into an ex student on the Melbourne to Sydney leg.  David was on his way to New York to teach and take some dance classes.
The Sydney to Los Angeles sector ended up leaving 2 hours late but arrived only one hour late.  Oh my God this flight seemed to take forever.  I sat next to a lovely young man who was a Phd student on his way to Canada to present his paper on conservation.  I ended up watching 3 movies with sound and one without.  I just couldn’t sleep even though I was exhausted.  The first movie was Valentine’s Day (a lot of dribble).  The second was Ghost Writer (a Roman Polanski film), the third was Invictus.  The fourth I never caught the title but it had Brendan Fraser and Harrison Ford.  Without the dialogue I got that Brendan Fraser had some sick children and Harrison Ford was trying to find a cure.
On the Los Angeles to Dallas leg again I was seated next to a lovely young man with dive in eyes. There is a God in Air Travel Heaven.  This flight was about 3 hours but went fairly quickly.
Ok so I’m here now.  Things that I have observed so far, are the Texans have really nice manners and they like big road signs.  Oh and they like big buildings with huge mirror type windows.  The people are also very friendly and genuinely interested in talking to an Australian.
I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer so went to bed and looked forward to exploring the next day.  Night night…

Waiting at Melbourne Airport
Waiting at Melbourne Airport
Map of Texas
Map of Texas

Continue reading “Texas, U.S.A.”

I love Seattle!

Seattle at night
Seattle at night

What an attractive and beautiful city.  It was lovely and sunny.  I was staying inthe Queen Anne district which is on the north side of the city and only about a block from the Space Needle.  Lots of good things about this city – aesthetically pleasing to the eye, great attractions to see, free wi-fi in public places

Pike Place Market, Seattle
Pike Place Market, Seattle

etc.  The area around near the Space Needle has plenty to offer and I went to the Experience Music Project on the first day.  However, I was a little underwhelmed by the music museum.  It was one of the main reasons I went to Seattle.  I think I just wanted it to be bigger and more of it.  What they had there was good but I went through it and wondered if there was any more to see.

One of the highlights of my stay in Seattle was dinner at the top of the Space Needle.  I was able to walk there and home again in the evening without feeling any danger.  The view from the top at night was spectacular.  One of the best views I have ever seen.  The restaurant revolves and takes about an hour to do a full revolution.

Fish sellers, Pike Place Market, Seattle
Fish sellers, Pike Place Market, Seattle

Another gem of Seattle is Pike Place Market – you can spend quite a few hours there.  It is down beside the water and a really pleasant way to spend a few hours.  Oh by the way the first Starbucks is here.  I took a tour of Seattle to get a feel for the place and this was really good too.  I got to see the Troll under the bridge, Frasiers apartment building from the show, great views of the city skyline and a place where fish go through a lock.  Also worth doing was the ferry ride over to one of the islands.  I only had to pay one way and I think it was around $5-6.

The first Starbucks was in Seattle
The first Starbucks was in Seattle
Fresh vegetables at Pike Place Market
Fresh vegetables at Pike Place Market

Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico, United States of America

Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico
Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico

On a whim I decided to visit Acoma Pueblo on someone’s recommendation.  This turned out to be a very good recommendation.  It was about an hour’s drive from Santa Fe to Albuquerque and then another hour to Acoma Pueblo which is west from Albuquerque along the I-40.  I am so glad I took the trip – it was fascinating to see the way the Native Americans live and their traditional dwellings.

Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico
Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico

It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the U.S.A.  No electricity (although some have generators), no running water (they bring in water from one of the three villages) and no sewerage (I noticed they had portaloos).  The Pueblo was atop a hill (a sandstone mesa to be precise) and the scenery was magnificent.  Wide sweeping vistas reminiscent of any of the old westerns I

Sweeping views from the mesa
Sweeping views from the mesa

saw as a kid.  It was very hot up at the Pueblo and luckily I had brought an umbrella with me so I was shaded from the sun bearing down on me.  The language of Acoma is Keresan which was an oral language only.  Recently they have taken to writing it down phonetically using the English alphabet (modern Latin alphabet) so that their language may survive.  Many of the inhabitants are artisans and had their wares for sale outside their houses.

Adobe building in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico
Adobe building in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico

There was a cemetery and mission church called San Esteban del Rey.  Out of respect we were asked to not take photos of these areas.
Late afternoon I returned to Albuquerque and checked into my hotel before grabbing some dinner and watching the 4th July fireworks that seemed to be happening in many various places around the city.

On the road back to Albuquerque
On the road back to Albuquerque