Posted by: gatheringwater | 2009/01/20



a Washington State ferry returns to Bremerton from Seattle

One of the things I particularly like about living on the Olympic Penninsula is how, despite the fact I live in a town of less than 10,000 people, I’m within easy distance of a major urban center. Well, fairly easy. Bridge closures, cut-backs in the number of ferries, and the occasional cancellation due to low tides or bad weather do sometimes interfere, especially for daily commuters, but I’ve rarely been inconvienienced on my occasional trips. A trip to Seattle is a treat already, and then I get a scenic cruise on top of that!

I usually take the ferry from Bainbridge Island, but friends Mena and Cheron planned a daytrip to Seattle by way of Bremerton that was even more scenic, if possible. Here are some pictures to prove it.

a Washington State ferry returns to Bremerton from Seattle

The short distance between mountains and sea makes for dramatic scenery on the Olympic Peninsula.

We saw lots of waterfowl, an otter, moon jellyfish, and a strange fish that turned out to be a kind of duck swimming underwater. I think the proximity of wildlife, water, and mountains make a dramatic contrast to the urban towers of Seattle. As we drove off the ferry and into the city, we saw thousands of people gathered to celebrate this year’s very special MLK day. Later, as we returned home after a visit to the Seattle Art Museum, we met one of the marchers,  a young African-American woman still carring her placard with pictures of King and Obama. She looked radient and we smiled and congratulated her. I couldn’t help but feel hopeful about our shared future.


the approach to Seattle from the Bremerton ferry

After sampling dim sum in the International district, we walked to a district of warehouses to find Big John’s Pacific Food Imports. I’ve chosen to learn about Lebanon’s history, geography, and culture this year and I was looking for ingredients to try some Lebanese dishes. I found sumac (not entirely poisonous, apparently), giant cous-cous, zahtar, and everything else I came to find. I also found a dire warning to shoplifters.

Shoplifters are eaten by gargoyles at Big John's.

Shoplifters are eaten by gargoyles at Big John's.

I don’t know why anyone would shoplift; the folks at Big John’s were generous with samples. With more than a hundred cheeses on display, it was hard at first to choose until I realized I’d probably like everything. (I did.) Meanwhile, Cheron entertained herself by inhaling  a larger quantity of cinnamon than she had heretofore encountered. We all agreed this was someplace to visit again when next in Seattle.

As the return ferry slipped past islands and peninsulas, we marveled at the lights from houses twinkling in the hills and the water. We didn’t run into any serious traffic on the drive home and we were back in the early evening. It was a good daytrip.



  1. Wow – lovely pix and they look so familiar. A good thing to remember about parking a vehicle in one of the big city’s parking garages is to keep track of the little ticket stub they provide as you enter. It’s costly to misplace it!
    I, too, enjoy traveling to Seattle and the trip is made more enjoyable by intelligent friends with inquiring minds.

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