14 long hours on the deck filled to the last seat by passengers. Around 1 pm., “slightly” tired, we leave the plane. Natural behavior would be having a nap, at least two-hour, to give a little rest to tired body. None of these things. For the first time in Seattle and 51 hours to use! The excitement took over.
Polish accents in the oldest market of USA
At the hotel, was already waiting Paulina – a colleague from the company, Polish as well (from Cracow), who came the day before. We walked to Pike Place Market, which is the longest continuously running market in the US (since 1907). Market as a market. You can buy flowers, food, handicraft and fish. But how these fish are packed is almost a spectacle that you can see in the video posted on fan page :) (www.facebook.com/FlyingPolackFP)
While leaving the market, we spotted hand-painted magnets. The owner of the stand, clearly intrigued by my t-shirt, is guessing that we’re from Poland. Bingo! I replied. Satisfied with his knowledge of flags, he asks what scene is presented on t-shirt (Homage of Russia paid to Poland in 1611). With the greatest pleasure I told him, how the Poles conquered Moscow in XVII century, and that on t-shirt he can see a copy of painting of bowing Emperor of Russia and his two brothers before the Polish King Sigismund III Vasa. The artist liked the story so much that decided to give me magnet for free as a gift :)
Also, at Pike Place Market is located in the very first coffee shop of the world’s largest coffee chain Starbucks. And of course, despite the fact that I’m not a fan of coffee and I drink it only with a lot of milk and sweetener, we waited 20 minutes to get inside and order a simple Americano. And there, again, a small Polish accent. The charming 60-year-old woman behind the counter, at the news that we are Polish, said she remembers exactly the moment when the Pole – Karol Wojtyła was elected for Pope :) Nevertheless, here the country of origin hasn’t helped and for the coffee I had to pay anyway.
Haunted city’s undergrounds
In the evening, tempted by the slogan Don’t watch “Ghost Hunters”, become the one!, we went on a tour of subterranean Seattle in search of… ghosts.
Seattle was built on wetlands. In time, when wood as the main building material was replaced by brick, buildings began to subside. During solidification of soil it found that new avenues to retain stability will need to be on the level of first floor. And at such height, people are walking today in Seattle Downtown.
Often in “basements” to this day you can see old shop-windows and standard rooms like bathrooms, living rooms and so on.
After the briefing, where the guides showed us a shortcut of one of the episodes of Ghost Hunters made in Seattle and equipped us with a voice recorders and detectors of paranormal phenomena, we went down to the undergrounds.
To add seriousness to the situation, already in the darkness we heard a few stories about XIX-century Seattle, who, whom, how and when was murdered. And so, in headphones over our ears, with the buzzing device in hand we were moving from corner to corner looking for ghosts…. From time to time some people were shouting excited when their counters, appeared worth more than 3, which meant that somewhere close was a ghost…
In the next room, the wall was covered by rays of red laser, in which we had to stare and capture their disappearance, which would mean that some creature just passed by shading them. Suddenly, the guide felt the presence of something not from this world and asked: Who are you? Are you woman or man? When did you die? Who did you kill? Apparently, only guide was blessed with the gift of communicating with spirits, because no one else had heard answers. Undeterred, I wanted to talk with the dead as well. So I spoke: for you chicken or beef? Judging by the laughter of my cabin crew colleagues, I guess I ruined the atmosphere…
Aircrafts, aircrafts, aircrafts and crabs
From Seattle comes the origin of the world’s biggest passenger aircraft manufacturer – Boeing, which is also the corporation producing war planes, rockets and satellites. Moreover, near Seattle, in Everett, is an assembly plant of Boeing’s aircrafts. And even though the headquarters were moved to Chicago (tax allowance), almost everything in this city revolves around the aircrafts.
After a farewell breakfast with Paulina in a typical American restaurant
together with Adisty from Indonesia, Nicole from India, Eduardo from Spain and first officer Martin – a Turk from Germany, we went to the world’s largest private aviation museum.
Inside we traced the history of aviation, rockets and equipment used during NASA training, stepped into the first jet Air Force One, in which traveled the US presidents from Kennedy to Nixon and also we checked from inside the fastest passenger plane in aviation history – Concorde (record from London to New York: 2 hours 52 minutes and 59 seconds).
Of course, the most of the exhibition was devoted to Boeing, from which factory left i.e. B-29 bomber Superfortress, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. Also, as part of Boeing was established one of the oldest US airlines – United Airlines (today a separate company).
Although Boeing remains a leader in the production of aircrafts, today the company faces several challenges. In markets where until recently remained a monopolist in the sale of aircrafts, displaced by competition from European Airbus. In the defense sector, Boeing has been accused by a competitive Lockheed Martin, for industrial espionage. As a result, the US government has canceled contracts worth billions dollars.
After nearly a full day in the museum, we went for well deserved supper mainly consisting of crabs and other seafood. Indeed, the crab meat was delicious, but how much you need to work with a hammer to extract the meat is another matter. Nevertheless, it was worth en effort :)
Flights to the US are long and tough, but layovers there are definitely worth it! Even though I just came back I’m already looking forward to next flight. As from September 1, the company opens a connection to Orlando, maybe next month… I’ll visit Florida? :)