Seattle: On & Off the Tourist Path

“Seattle is such a cool city”,that’s what I kept telling myself as I’m wondering the streets and neighbourhoods of this beautiful city for the second time.

The first time I visited Seattle was back in March 2016 for the Women Who Code Connect conference. This time, I’m also here for a conference,Β Microsoft BuildΒ ,with a few extra days to explore the city.

I know that many of the 6000 Build attendees are either first time visitors and/or only here for a short time. So I thought I write down few suggestions on what people might want to do and see in Seattle. I hope you like my suggestions πŸ™‚

The tourist path

I like to think about myself as a traveller not a tourist but as a first time visitor, we all tend to follow the tourist path. That’s what I exactly did during my first visit to Seattle.

In no particular order, if you are visiting Seattle for the first time you may want to check:

Pike Place Market

I don’t know about you but I love a good old farmers market especially one with plenty of food options to choose from. My favourite restaurant in the Pike Place Market is the Athenian because seafood πŸ˜‰

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Space Needle

Am I right in saying this is THE icon of Seattle? There are really some cool facts about the Space Needle and you get to have an amazing view of Seattle and Mount Rainier.

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Chihuly Garden & Glass

I didn’t really know what to expect when I visited Chihuly Garden but I loved it. I highly recommend that you visit this exhibition.

I’m a much better photographer now πŸ˜‰

museum of Pop culture

Back in 2016 when I visited, this was called EMP museum-music+ sci-fi + pop culture. Needless to say anymore.

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I couldn’t even get the whole installation in the frame
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This should convince you to go check the museum

Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room/Starbucks Pike Place

Alright, I’d usually highly advise against drinking Starbucks coffee especially that there are too many great coffee shops in Seattle but I’m going to make this one little exception. I did not go to the Reserve Roastry myself but I went to the Starbucks store located outside Pike Place Market also known as Original Starbucks because it’s the first Starbucks store established in 1971.

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I wonder if Micah is still there?
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Original Starbucks!

 

Off beaten path

There are so many beautiful neighbourhoods in Seattle to explore like a local, away from the hassle of downtown.

Before leaving Pike Place Market, you may want to check :

The Gum wall

People do miss this brick wall because it’s in an alley under Pike Place Market and it’s actually as the name suggests : a wall of gum! Cool? Grim? that’s up to you πŸ™‚

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Fremont

Thank God for the local friends who suggest cool things to do and thank you Glenn for suggesting I visit Fremont.

Fremont is funky. The first thing you see when arriving there is a sign saying “Welcome to Fremont, center of the universe”. How cool is that! It’s a laid-back neighbourhood with a funky vibe along Lake Union, you get to walk along the lake, visit all the vintage and records shops and see some cool art.

Capitol Hill

Gay clubs, hip bars, indie stores and awesome coffee shops, that’s some of the things to expect in Capitol Hill. It’s a wonderful place for a brunch and a wonder, which what I exactly did there. I can highly recomment the Oddfellows cafe .

Oh if you happen to be in the area, make sure to check out Elliott Bay bookstore.

 

Hopefully this would give you some ideas on what to do in Seattle. Make sure you enjoy the good coffee while in town and have fun!

Culinary Adventures in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is the first ever far east Asian country I’ve visited. I’ve never been to that part of the world before.

I’ve said it over and over in in this space, when I travel, I like to embrace the local culture and eat locally.

Sri Lanka definitely treated me to some good food : Fresh fruit, amazing curries, yummy rottis and the best ginger biscuits I ever had.

Tea

Chances are if you’re visiting Sri Lanka, you are going to visit Hill Country, the land of tea plantations and scenic views.

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Glenloch, one of the many tea plantations in Hill Country

In the tea factories, you get to witness the process of making tea then you’ll be treated to a tasting to try the different flavours( Black, green, white, etc.) .

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Tea tasting

Fresh fruit

If you like fruit then you are in for a treat in Sri Lanka. You’ll probably try some fruit you never had or even heard about before.

This may be surprising for some of you, it definitely was for me but Jackfruit is often cooked in curries. The Jackfruit curry tastes amazing, the fruit has almost a meaty texture.

Fresh papaya, pineapples and bananas are often served for breakfast.

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There are plenty of stalls on the side of the road selling fresh fruit, especially coconut. We stopped to get some red bananas as I never had them before. I remember the gaze of the toddler looking at this stranger buying bananas from his mum πŸ™‚Β 
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Red Banans
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This photo was taken in my last evening in Sri Lanka. It was pouring rain, I sat in the terrace of the guesthouse drinking coconut & reading a book

 

Coconut pancakes-Pani Pol

This is a favourite of mine.

Technically they are crepes stuffed with sweet coconut filling. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if they’re pancakes or crepes, they are still delicious. I actually want some right now!

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I had these every single morning for breakfast

 

Kottu Rotti

This is the local Sri Lankan street food ladies & Gents.

It’s shopped Rotti bread mixed with vegetables, egg and meat.

Make sure to watch them making your Rotti but be aware chopping all the ingredients is noisy.

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Kottu Rotti in KandyΒ 
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My Rotti being chopped πŸ˜‰Β 

 

Curries

Expect to eat curries for breakfast, lunch and dinner .

Not that I’m complaining, it was amazing.

Typically, you’d be served rice, a main dish of meat of fish and 6 other curries of vegetables and fruit ( remember that Jackfruit curry I was talking about).

If you do visit Sigiriya and you should, make sure to visit Gamagedara Village food.

It’s a small family run restaurant that serves an amazing selection of curries. There’s no menu really, it’s more like a buffet where you help yourself to food.

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I call this : a lunch with a view

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Breakfasts

Breakfasts are typically fresh fruit, coconut pancakes, hoppers and a selection of curries and dhaal.

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Did I like the food in Sri Lanka ? Oh yeah.

Also, don’t be intimidated by the spices, the food is fairly spicy but not unbearably hot.

 

So I Went On My First Ever But Not Last Solo Trip

My first ever solo trip dates back to March 2015, I’ve been to another 5 trips after that one ( 6 as I’m writing while waiting for a flight to Istanbul then Tunis), which may explain why I didn’t find time to write about it along with the fact I’m a lazy blogger (I’m so lazy that it’s been a month now since I started writing this post but yet it’s not ready and my 7th trip of the year is booked! Yay! ).

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