Monday, July 11, 2011

Alaskan Cruise - Seward

Our ship arrived in Seward about 4am Friday morning. We disembarked by 9. We did not have any formal plans for we were waiting to see what was available to us. When we left the port, a free city bus was waiting for us. It was less than a mile to the train station... but with so much luggage in tow, we needed the ride. I give the train a 10+ for the way they organized the flow of passenger traffic. You see, we arrived at the train station at 9:20am and our train was not scheduled to depart until 6pm! They gladly took our checked bags right when we got off of the bus, and allowed us to check our carry on bags inside the depot. We were allowed to enjoy our day without worry of lugging anything around with us!

After a short walk through the city, we realized that it was too small to entertain us for the whole day. We went to the visitors bureau and learned about a movie that played daily at the town library about the town's historic earthquake, and flooding tsunami. We also learned that the salmon had just started to run!..

I wanted to rent bicycles.. but with salmon come bears.. so Don vetoed that idea. No problem - we can rent a car... and am I ever glad we did! It was over $150.00 for the one day though - OUCH!

We first drove to a place called (ironically) Bear Lake. We did indeed see the salmon running.. but I could not snap a picture quickly enough!

There were other places though where they were just hanging out in pools of water.

This is Bear Lake. It was beautiful.. and every homeowner had a sea plane. I have heard that over 50% of the population of Alaskan residents are pilots!

It was so beautiful, I could imagine living here... errr well - in the summer anyway!

After doing that, we headed back to Seward, ate lunch in a wonderful bakery and headed over to the library to see the movie. It was very interesting. After the movie, we were directed to a collection of pictures children who lived through it drew after the disaster. Some of them were very dark and sad.

Our next destination was to drive up to Exit Glacier.

The drive there was just breath taking. It was clear sunny and just warm enough to not need a jacket.

Once we arrived in the parking lot for the Glacier Park, we found out that there were trails that would take us right up to the glacier. It was only about 1.2 miles. The trails started out very well paved and easy.

..but the more we hiked..

..the steeper the trail got.

No matter.. we made it and it was more than worth it!

Lots of people were out hiking that day, so we did not worry much about bears.

When they said the trail would take us right up next to the glacier...

..they were not kidding! was right there, in front of us!!!

..this was the Exit Glacier Information center...and gift shop.. and BATHROOM!

On our way back to Seward to return the car.. we thought that our trip was coming to a close. We looked over to the side of the road and saw something...

We stopped the car and backed up... luckly no one was behind us..

..look what we got to see!

We spent the last 2 hours driving back to Seward and walking around the city.

I felt a touch of meloncholy.

I will miss Seward.. and Skagway.. and Juneau too..

I thought I was done shopping but found a very reasonable store selling Ulu knives. They are great for chopping vegetables and are unique to this region. The one I purchased was made with a handle of Elk antler. It was reasonably priced at $55.00 compared to so many others I had passed by in other cities for way over $100.00.

I also purchased a barrette hand painted in Russia. There were a lot of Russian made items in Alaska.. I suppose due to the heritage that Russia used to own Alaska.

I have heard people say that the minute you get back from an Alaskan Cruise, you start to plan the next one. I did not feel that way about the Caribbean, but I do about Alaska!

I hope you enjoyed my write up about our trip. I will do a few more posts.. the train ride and one on the things we purchased!

1 comment:

Ginger said...

Hi Julie:
it's been awhile since I visited your blog. I moved back to Las Vegas and I am liviing with my son, while going through a nasty divorce. I was catching up on your are always so busy and on the go.
Loved seeing your pics of the Alaska trip. Beautiful pictures.
My son and his wife have gone to Alaska twice and want to go again, they love it.