You probably know by now that Ballard is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Seattle. It used to be a neighborhood known for senior citizens and Scandinavian families. Many families from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland settled in this area in the early 1900’s to work at boatyards or as fishermen. The neighborhood has changed dramatically the past 5-10 years. Many young families and professionals have moved into the area because of its close proximity to downtown. The main street- Market Street- is now lined with modern apartments.
The Ballard Farmers Market is one of the year round farmers markets in Seattle. March is still a bit early for produce but the market always has an interesting mixture of farmers, food vendors, cheese and other stands to make for an entertaining day. It happens on Sundays.
The day was bright but windy. The stalls were mostly filled with greens (kale, mustards) but I found a few things of interest – bunches of lovely spring leeks for $2, a crotin of goat cheese, and lots of tempting sweets.
We also checked out the restaurants. Bastille is always popular for breakfast but the menu at Volterra has us planning a return trip soon.
Next stop was the Ballard Locks. We wanted to check out the gardens and the birds. The gardens were not as impressive as in the past. We wondered if the federal cutbacks were always affecting the upkeep. One of the locks was closed and we watched them cleaning and painting the interior. Along the side were an entertaining flock of goldeneye ducks. They were swimming in formation and diving down to eat the algae along the sides. We walked to the south side to see the nesting herons and watched the cormorants perch on the tops of the branches.
We headed off for a walk at Greenlake stopping first at Sunset Hill overlook. Gorgeous views of Shilshole Marina and the shipping lanes of Puget Sound.