This has long been one of Seattle's secret places that we hoped no one would discover. Alas, if it's in the Virtual Tourist list, it is now out in that dreaded public domain. No matter, if it has been outed, you might as well go there if you are visiting Seattle and have a chuckle. Beware: parking is hard to find; you'll need no more than 30 minutes on site; and inconsiderate bozos who should know better think it's ok to tag the troll. Look past all of that and enjoy the Troll.
I'm all about public art and so when I read about the Fremont Troll, I had to go check it out for myself. Designed by local Seattleites for the Fremont Arts Council, this creepy 18 foot sculpture can be found hidden beneath the Aurora Bridge in the funky neighborhood of Fremont. With one shiny eye glaring at you and its left hand holding an actual VW bug, the Fremont Troll is really a cool piece of art. Great for photos!
If taking public transportation, which I did, take the #26 bus from 3rd and Pine in downtown. Get off on the first stop after the bridge (it was a numbered street, 39th or something). This is where it gets tricky, so when you get off, you may want to ask around. Anyway, I crossed the street, walked under a bridge, and made my way to 36th St. where I made a left and walked up the hill. At the top of the hill is the Aurora Bridge and underneath it to your left is the troll.
Give yourself some time in Fremont for exploration because just a few blocks away from the troll is the largest statue of Lenin in the U.S. and other pieces of public art. Funny thing, but on leaving Fremont, I bumped into a couple from my hostel who basically had the same Fremont itinerary as me, i.e., troll, Lenin, Blue C Sushi. What a kawinky dink! Together, we ended up taking a different bus back to our hostel in downtown. It was a fun day all around.
Having seen the movie "10 Things I Hate About You" which was set in Seattle, one of the scenes showed two characters having a conversation under a bridge and there was this troll. So naturally when I visited my friends in Seattle, I had to go see it. It's a bit difficult to find. We actually missed a turn and had to cross the bridge and then make a U-Turn to get back to it.
It's a pretty impressive place. We went when it was a bit dark so the pictures didn't turn out so great, also my camera's flash isn't really effective beyond 6feet in low light conditions. You kind of feel like a kid when you are here because you want to climb all over it, especially the top of the troll. Be careful though, there's a lot of loose sand all over the statue and you don't want to fall off the top, it's pretty high.
It's not a must visit... but if you've seen the movie and enjoyed it, then it's something you should see. Other than that, I think it's worth the effort to go and see it. It's part of the Seattle experience.
It's in a residential area so just park in the neighborhood. We arrived when most people were home so there wasn't any space... so we just double-parked, took pics for a few minutes and took off.
Okay, so when I would hear about this famous troll I kept picturing in my head a small statue like troll about the size of a man. I thought he might be more like a statue of sasquatch than anything.
I had worked in downtown Seattle for almost three years by the time I finally went with a friend to see the troll. I laughed when I saw it because it was NOT what I had thought. The eye of the troll is kind of scary, but the whole thing is just great. So creative to make it right under the bridge! I also love the VW bug he has in his left hand.
Freemont Troll - Under the Freemont Bridge. This cement troll was created by local artisans, who used a VW bug to put under the troll's hand. He has huge glass eyes and a single tear coming down his cheek. You can imagine how big this is. Freemont is THE place to live if you're young, hip, and wealthy.
Pikes Market - This 3 story marketplace can be done quickly, or slowly depending on your love of crowds. Do see the famous fishthrowers at the seafood market. You can miss the cheesy vendors selling jewelry and trinkets. Rub the brass pig outside. If you're fond of cooking, there is a place called Sur Le Table for chefs, right outside the market. Also check out the little French bakery near the flower vendors and the very first Starbucks EVER. Woo hoo. People sell fresh herbs out there and beautiful...plants.
Seattle is known for its glassmaking, especially the work of Dale Chihuly. Any art gallery you go into will have tons of gorgeous glassware. I'd say Seattle has more tiny, family-owned specialty boutiques than most places. Cute jewelry, greeting cards, lamps & furniture. shop shop shop.
A tattoo parlour called Johnny Ink is great. I'm purposely un-touched by the needle, but my friend has a pretty nice one.
I don't really know what to say....except...have you ever seen anything like the Fremont Troll? I have no ideas what it's history is or where it came from. But I think it's the funniest thing!
You will never believe it until you see it, the bug under his arm is a real bug covered in concrete, that might give you an idea of the size of this piece of art.