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Published: June 16th 2018
We all agree that Seward is a picturesque village, well worth a few days stay on your Alaskan tour. We were lucky to see two consecutive days of blue skies. The first was spent on a train from Anchorage, passing the turn again arm, glaciers and lakes. This was the third of our Alaskan Railroad train rides and, as we had been told, it was the best of the three. We left Anchorage early after arriving late the night before. So, we saw none of Anchorage, which was a bit of a shame. Ray stayed in Anchorage for 4 nights instead of seeing Seward with us. He’ll have to fill us in when we catch up with him tomorrow. All that we noticed was the bike path that went next to the coast and looked inviting for a jog or ride and also airplanes in people’s back yards as the train headed south. There didn’t appear to be a safe landing strip between the houses and train tracks. We can only assume that they are sea planes that take off from the other side of the houses and then people park the plane behind their home. I guess roads are not
all passable in winter and air travel might be a good option.
Seward sits on one side of a fjord, with high mountains either side of the water. It is on the only piece of flat land in the valley and the views from everywhere in this town are spectacular. The pictures explain what I am talking about. After our train arrived at 11 AM we spent the afternoon hiking in the sun to the Exit Glacier and half way up to the Harding Icefield. You don’t get bored of seeing glaciers. Their size and age and the sounds they can make are inspiring and yet their fragility reminds us of the precarious position in which we have placed our world. As we walked the path to the glacier we passed signs for its position at different years. It seems to have retreated kilometres since the industrial revolution.
The second day in Seward was special for Craig and I. We did our day long tour to Aialik glacier. On the way we stopped three times to watch whales. There were Humpbacks and Orcas, which we saw from a distance. We also saw sea otters, seals and a variety
One of the glaciers
We went past three glaciers on this train ride.
of birds including puffins. Then we got to a rock beach just a few kms from the glacier. Aialik is a tide water glacier so we got in kayaks and paddled up close to it. We passed through small ice bergs that had calved from the toe of the glacier and saw heaps of seals enjoying the sun as they floated on the ice. Once a bald eagle flew over us too. We then rafted up to eat lunch as we watched and listened to the glacier for a while. The seals got very interested in us and a few came close to watch what we were doing. After lunch we did the journey in reverse and saw more wildlife including a humpback that was tail lobbing. That means it had its tail out of the water and banged it over and over again making noise and splashes. No one knows why they do it. Later we stopped to see a pod of about 6 orcas and the largest one came to look at the boat from a distance of only 10 metres. It had its eye above the water to see the people on the bow. This was an
amazing day for Craig and I, but something that we didn’t take Nathan to do with us. So, Leanne and he had a good morning on a tour of the bay looking at whales, birds and other marine life followed by a visit to the dog sled place where he rode one (wheels in summer, not the winter sleds) and played with some of the puppies.
After two great days in Seward our luck ran out and today was a Laundry day followed by a visit to the sea life centre with seals, fish etc whilst liquid sunshine continued to fall from the sky all day. We then had another visit to our favourite bar here and a good meal. Now the food in Alaska! We love seafood chowder. As all portion sizes are usually enormous, we often get the appetizer for our dinner. But there are plenty of salmon and halibut dishes to choose from too. In Seward I can recommend Cookery as a very nice restaurant. Jackalof oysters are superb with the special tomato sauce and horse radish garnish works well with natural oysters. They also cook salmon just right and we demolished a couple of scrumptious
desserts too. We also liked a bar called Thorne’s, which has chesterfield décor, good beer and grub including the bucket of butt (halibut). Tomorrow we will on the cruise. So, there won’t be a shortage of food there either. All you can eat buffets, here we come.
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