Tuesday, July 08, 2008

At Last, Alaska

Finally, I get around to writing about Alaska. Alaska was beautiful. Yes, it was cold and rainy, but I like cold and don't mind rainy so that was no problem. The scenery was awesome pretty much everywhere we went.

Our first port of call was Ketchikan. Not surprisingly, the downtown/port area is tailor made for cruisers. I'm sure tourism is a major chunk of income for these small port towns. I kinda like the look though. It's very cute and quaint-looking, despite the hordes of ship passengers milling around everywhere.
This is the, um, "stop light" in the port area. It was mostly foot traffic in that area, so I guess this solution is easier than putting in an actual light. Plus it's an ok summer job, if you don't mind standing in the wet.

It should be no surprise that things are a little different out on the edge of nowhere. It seems to take a lot more work, not to mention heavy machinery, to get stuff done. You could see the people/wilderness boundary easily from most places.

In Juneau, we went whale watching. We did see a few whales, or their tails at least, though from a distance, so the whale pics didn't come out so great. We had a much better view of the sea lions.

After a day at sea, we arrived at Glacier Bay to look at massive walls of ice.

Glacier ice is a sort of bright translucent blue, which is very pretty, even in cloudy gray weather. We saw some calving, where chunks break off the glacier. As an added bonus, we entered the bay just as the Infinity's sister ship, the Millennium, was leaving, so we had a nice view of her against the mountains and ice.
There was a lot of ice in the bay. Standing outside on deck 4, you could hear see and hear the ice thunking and popping against the hull. The onboard naturalist pointed out that though we didn't have an ice-breaking hull, we would be ok as long as we went slowly. I stayed close to these, just in case :)

After Alaska, we made a brief stop in Victoria, BC. The weather slowed us down so we didn't get into the port until late in afternoon. There was time for yarn shopping at the Beehive and then tea at the Empress:
I don't like tea at all, and now I know even fancy, properly prepared tea still tastes and smells like dirty boiled leaves. I know, I know...to each their own. I have a fondness for chicken gizzards, so I shouldn't judge. But I will anyway: tea = yuck! Anyway I drank very little. But the sandwiches and desserts were very yummy. After tea, it was back to the ship (or as Amy Singer kept calling it, "the big big boat"), but not before a quick drive by the Parliament building.
Fuzzy, but pretty - a great big blur like my vacation week.


Nicole said...

Looks like a good trip! And, if I'm not mistaken, this is where part of my scarf was knit... very cool.

Your S'Pal 12 said...

Very cool picks. I can't believe you got that close to a glacier! It looks so beautiful out there....Alaska is def on my list of places to see. Was it cold out there?

Jinann said...

Wow! Incredible photos! I definitely need to tour Alaska! It looks beautiful!