My dad is visiting Seattle this week and today we went on a scenic tour of Seattle via a seaplane! It was neat! I watch seaplanes take off and land on Lake Union from our living room window all day long and now I can say that I’ve taken off and landed on Lake Union too.
The international airport we departed from/arrived at was located on the southwestern side of Lake Union. It was tiny and reminded me of the Safarilink terminal at Wilson airport in Nairobi.
Our seaplane was built in 1957 and seated 11 people including the very friendly pilot who was casually dressed in a fleece jacket, khaki trousers, and hiking boots. How Pacific Northwest of him.
My dad and I sat in the last row of the plane which was the exit row and were “really good seats” as the pilot noted.
The take-off was smooth but it felt like the plane was pushing against a retaining wall to get enough speed to lift off the water.
Our flight path took us over the U district of Seattle where the University of Washington (aka “U Dubb”) is located. I fancy everything about the University of Washington. Their font. Their colors. Their campus. It’s all super great. If I did university all over again, I’d go to the University of Washington.
After flying over the U district, we flew over Lake Washington and marveled at the mega-mansions and yachts. There were too many mansions and yachts to count.
This was one of the many marinas.
We then swung by Bellevue and I was astonished by how big Bellevue looked. Apparently, Bellevue has more to offer than car dealerships!
We then flew back over Lake Washington where I took the below photo of Mount Rainier. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do when taking a photo through a window with the sun glaring in. He’s a really big guy!
One very important lesson I learned from our aerial tour is that Seattle and its corresponding suburbs are almost completely surrounded by mountains. Seattle and Bellevue are sitting in the middle of a bowl. Now that I know that Seattle is surrounded by mountains, I understand why there are “air stagnation” warnings all the time.
Our final aerial sight was downtown Seattle. The Seattle skyline is really pretty in the day but I think it’s most pretty at night. Seattle from the surface is a pretty city that is surrounded by evergreen trees, water, and mountains which is lovely but dig a little deeper and the city is quite grungy and full of social problems (i.e. Homelessness, opioid addiction, etc.).
Here’s the reverse angle of the western section of downtown Seattle from our master bedroom. This view will never get old.
About 25 minutes after take-off, we touched down in Lake Union. The landing was smooth and it was surprising how quickly our plane came to a stop. We water-taxied to the airport and said our goodbyes to the friendly staff.