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Published: June 23rd 2019
This morning we got up reasonably early. We had breakfast in La Terrazza and tried to book a table for dinner but were disappointed to be told it was booked out and we’d be on a wait list. We had docked in Juneau so after breakfast we caught the shuttle up to the base station for the gondola ride up the mountain. It was very steep but the view was amazing. The weather was really clear when we ascended, but after viewing an introductory movie about the Tlingit natives we came out of the theatre and found we were surrounded by cloud. We were a little alarmed because it was getting windy as well, and we were booked on a float plane in a couple of hours. We didn’t want to be stuck up the mountain (they close the gondola in high winds) so we returned to the base station and got the shuttle bus back to the ship. Yashdeep brought us our clean clothes (very exciting! After all these years of doing the laundry thing on cruises).
We noticed the clouds were lifting, and our butler told us the weather outside of Juneau can be quite different. We went
ashore for our tour and found it was still running. They took us down to their dock where there were five planes waiting, each to carry 10 people.out plane took off right there in the harbour in downtown Juneau. The flight was spectacular. We flew over 5 glaciers and we had a running commentary on our headsets about the history of the area. Juneau and Vancouver were the names of early explorers. Seward is the name of the guy who brokered the purchase from the Russians (everyone thought he was mad but Alaska had the gold, the fur, the salmon, and now the tourists).
We eventually landed at a lodge now owned by a family from Juneau. The fed us salmon cooked over an alder wood fire (tradionally the best flavour) - and it was delicious. Almost as good as the salmon we had with the girls at Skagway 20 years ago. This salmon was accompanied by fresh coleslaw, and an apple and cinnamon salad that was beautiful, and a biscuit. Well, they called it a biscuit. I would call it a warm bread roll. The hosts regaled us with the story of the history of the Taku Lodge
which was quite long, but very interesting.
We then had time to wander around the grounds (being careful of black bears - they have regular ones they have names for). Our little bus driver had described black bears as “the corgis of the bear world” but I still wouldn’t go near it. Two of his teachers had survived attacks by grizzly bears.
Anyway, we checked out the gift shop and then sat and enjoyed the view for 15 minutes before our planes came back. The lodge is situated directly across the river from the end of a glacier which was really spectacular.
I have a little tour envy chatting to our fellow guests - people who chose to go rafting yesterday saw bears, and someone on another tour saw a moose with her baby!
Our planes returned, we boarded and took off on the river and returned to the dock in Juneau. As we got off the plane I noticed I was missing my Maui Jim sunglasses. I know I had them on the plane, but they were nowhere to be found. I was so so so disappointed. I loved my sunglasses - Tom bought them
for me three years ago on the Panama trip. He was not a happy man.
We had to return straight to the ship for we were sailing soon after, but on arrival in our suite we found that Yashdeep, our butler, had left us a caviar platter (he’d been wanting to do that but it had to fit in with our shore excursions) as well as our canapés with champagne. That cheered us up a little. And then we had a phone call from La Terrazza to say we could have dinner there. So after a quick nap we prepared for dinner and were delighted to find that not only did we have a table, but it was right next to a window! Dinner was superb - they do a very good Italian restaurant at night, for the shipping company is owned by an Italian family! After a sharing platter of antipasto, I had gnocchi followed by king prawns in a cognac sauce, and then tiramisu. Tom had a lasagna followed by fish of the day and a lemon infused cake with a side of gelato.
And the a glass of Baileys in our suite!
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