Archive | February, 2012
February 20, 2012

Space Needle!

Contrary to popular belief, winters in Seattle aren’t a constant stream of depressing rain and clouds (although having grown up a desert rat, I quite enjoy the rain). The sun does occasionally make an appearance during the winter, as occurred a few weeks ago when we had nearly an entire week of incredible blue skies and sunshine.

Earlier this winter we purchased the Seattle CityPass, which lets you visit a bunch of touristy things for a ridiculously low price. With the appearance of blue skies, we seized the opportunity to use our ticket for the Space Needle.

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle quickly became the symbol of Seattle. At a height of 605 feet, the Space Needle offers amazing views of the Seattle city skyline, Elliott Bay, Mount Rainier, and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. One trip to the top and you’ll quickly agree that this is the most beautiful city in the United States.

Downtown Seattle

Ships in Elliott Bay

Lake Union

Mount Rainier in the distance

The rest of the photos are here.

February 19, 2012

Travel Wishlist: Menorca

Though my travels usually take place in Eastern Europe, I have been increasingly fascinated by the Mediterranean region since visiting Croatia and Montenegro. The beautiful scenery, extremely hospitable people, and delicious food I experienced there are just some of the reasons that I wish to return to that area. In particular, I’d like to visit some of the many islands that dot the Mediterranean, such as Menorca. Unfortunately, Menorca isn’t the easiest island for me to get to, requiring multiple flights and at least two days of travel. Once you’ve reached the island, though finding car hire in Menorca is relatively easy, so you will be able to explore the island at your own leisurely place rather than rely on public transportation.

Considered the most peaceful and undeveloped of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Menorca has miles of unspoiled beaches with far fewer visitors than neighboring Ibiza and Mallorca. In October 1993, UNESCO designated the island a biosphere reserve in an effort to protect Menorca’s unique wetlands and archaeological sites. The island is well-known for its stone monuments that date back to the Bronze Age, and the island was once invaded and occupied by the Roman empire (and, subsequently, the Moors and British).

In addition to its beaches and historical sights, Menorca offers its visitors plenty of outdoor activities, including scuba diving and horseback riding. And, what better way to end your day than by enjoying a sumptuous feast of caldereta de llagosta (lobster stew) and paella, with a few tall glasses of Gin Xoriguer?

February 9, 2012

Hiking the PNW: Deception Pass

After a particularly long stretch of foul weather, including a week of snow and ice storms, we were coming down with a slight case of cabin fever. So, despite the cold and rain (this is the Pacific Northwest, after all) we decided to head over to Whidbey Island for a short hike at Deception Pass State Park. We hiked from West Beach to Goose Rock, and this has definitely been one of my favorite hikes so far (I just wish it were a little longer). The scenery is absolutely stunning – a combination of driftwood-choked beaches, small offshore islands, and old growth forests.

The rest of the photos are here.