The train ride was the last leg of our journey.. unless you count the plane ride from Anchorage back to Texas!
There were 2 choices for this train ride.. either coach which would have been about $85.00 per person. With this we would have ridden in a car further back and it would not have had the glass dome top. You can however, rotate in and out of one dome top area and incidentally.. $85.00 pp is the cheapest way to get from Seward to Anchorage!
We opted to buy the Gold dome tickets though. They cost $130.00 each. With this, we had seat assignments in a car that was very forward in the train and was a dome top car, so the entire trip we experienced the full view! Well worth the extra money in my opinion!
The total ride was 4 hours long. There was a bar tender in our car and beneath us was a dining car, just for the Gold Star Dome passengers.
After we boarded and got settled, one of the cabin stewards told us that the train conductor realized that this was a scenic train ride and would slow the train when we approached a scenic area so we could take pictures.
.. but if anyone spotted any wildlife, we should shout it out, so that everyone could get a chance to see it too.
We were told to look for bears, moose, eagles and Dahl mountain sheep!
We did see a bear, but he was so quick, I did not get a picture of him!
We also saw eagles and Dahl sheep... but no moose.
Here we are in the dining car. The food was excellent.. not just your normal sandwich and fries.. but really nice cuisine!
I loved the art in the dining car as well.
As we were traveling, I realized that I had never heard anyone make a comment if one side of the train was more scenic than the other..
.and while there were beautiful views from both.. I do believe if you are going the route from Seward to Anchorage, the right side of the train is a bit nicer.
If I got up and walked to the back of our car, there was an area outside where we could take pictures without worry of glare from the windows.
I enjoyed going out there.. but had to rotate inside and out..
..because it was quite windy!
As our journey continued, I was able to strike up conversations with some of the other travelers. I mostly talked to the woman seated directly behind us. We were both so amazed by the beauty we were blessed to see!
.. as our train ride came to an end.. we started to get closer and closer to Anchorage. The closer we got, we began to see more and more houses. At one point there were houses in a row, with the back yards facing the train tracks. Lots of people were waving at us. I noticed that a lot of the homes had second story porches and that even though it was after 10PM, many of the homeowners were relaxing on their porches-
I sat lazily looking out the window when all of a sudden I could not believe what I thought I saw... I blinked (HARD) and looked again... stunned to silence, I quickly looked over the back of my seat to my newest friend to see if she saw what I was looking at. Our eyes met and she had the exact same look of disbelief as I. We both were bewildered...A RATHER LARGE STARK NAKED MAN was walking across his balcony... Not close to the house, not trying to hide himself in any way ... but wide out in the open. I was not sure what to do... so in following the cabin stewart's instructions to point out wild life, I stated rather loudly.... "WHALE!"