Blogs from Alaska, United States, North America


North America » United States » Alaska » Anchorage September 25th 2015

And so, it arrived at last; our final day in Alaska. Today was spent in and around Anchorage as we had to return the car in the afetrnoon and we woke up pretty late. It was cloudy, there was heavy traffic and the GPS signal kept dropping from Daisy's phone, meaning that half the time she was navigating blind (we'd already cleared the maps out of the car). Despite this, we managed to have a productive day, shopping for any final gifts, and stopping in a little cafe for coffee and donut Friday. We had dinner at Olive Garden before dropping off the car. The guy from Enterprise kindly dropped us back at our hotel, informing us that we had chosen the roughest street in town for our final night in Anchorage. We'd already guessed this ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Whittier September 24th 2015

Our penultimate day in Alaska gifted us with yet more briliant sunshine, clear blue skies and nary a cloud to be seen. This last week has truly been the Alaska of the travel brochures, all clear days, glistening mountain tops, sparkling rivers (their unnatural blueness comes from a build up of glacial silt in the water) and any number of glaciers. It's a different world to the Alaska that greeted us the week before, with its constant low cloud and threat of snow. While the snow was fun for a while, it's amazing what a difference a bit of sunshine can make. The plan today was to head back to Anchorage, taking in any sights that tempted us along the way. Before setting off, we went for a final walk around Seward's Small Boat Harbor. The ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska September 23rd 2015

Six days and seven nights on Carnival Legend, cruise to Alaska. - excitement hearing that lunch is served as soon as we embarked. That started our culinary adventure on board. - Prabha was nominated and elected as food director. Found out what desserts would be served, discovered 'tea time' with scones and macaroons. She was also the most knowledgeable about 'cruise protocol.' - Dining at 7:45 in the Truffles Restaurant. At the first dinner Nagen and Muktha presented us all with T-Shirts 'Cruising Cousins' with nice appropriate and close to reality pictures of plane, cruise ship and a white van on them. We wore them the next day and on our River Adventure day in Skagway. -Day At Sea: got our bearings of the ship, found our different favorite food stations. At the end of the ... read more
Mendenhall glacier
Chilkat river adventure
Carnival Legend at night in Victoria

North America » United States » Alaska » Homer September 23rd 2015

Homer is a tiny little fishing port at the far south of the Kenai peninsular. To get there from Seward takes a good three hours, longer if the roads are being re-paved as they are at the moment. The road follows the Kenai river, which is the most ridicuous shade of blue when the sun shines, and was busy with fishermen and boats even this late in the season. It then hugs the coast of the Cook Inlet as it travels through Soldotna, Clam Gulch and Ninilchik, all of which are pretty small towns that mostly close during the winter season. The sun was high in the sky and the scenery was magnificent. At one point we could see four active volcanoes - Redoubt, Iliamna, Augustine and Spurr - which make up part of the Pacific ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Seward September 22nd 2015

The Kenai Fjords Glacier Tour was one of the first - and one of the most expensive - excursions that we had arranged for this trip, and it was easily one of the best. We were only minutes into the six hour tour of Seward's coves and islands when the captain announced that we had found our first whale. We headed to the deck just in time to see a Pacific humpback whale breach the surface just off the bow, only a few feet from where we were stood. There were two other humpbacks in the harbour and we spent at least half an hour watching them flash their tails and blow plumes of spray up into the air before heading out into the water. It was a bright, sunny day and everything was crystal clear, ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Talkeetna September 21st 2015

Today we continued our road trip South and completed our drive to the sea town of Seward. It was another beautiful day and although we were sad to leave the lovely Wasilla so soon, we were excited to be heading somewhere new. Before we did leave though, Daisy got to experience the wonder that is Target (boutique). Laura wondered why the UK doesn't have the shop if Australa manages to have them, but Daisy quickly pointed out that they would put all other shops would swiftly go out of business. On the drive we stopped at yet more scenic stop areas and it's become clear that although you're planning on only drive a 100 miles or so, you should plan to take all day to get there because you can't help but be caught up in ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Wasilla September 20th 2015

Today was the longest drive of the entire trip, as we made our way from Fairbanks to Wasilla. To break the trip up, we stopped at various points along the way, including the Alaska Veterans' Memorial was a really beautiful place where I'm sure many found peace and tranquility. Today also saw a repeat visit to Talkeetna, as our first time there had been rather rushed. The weather was completely different to before, with high blue skies and bright sunshine. Coming back was a great idea, as not only did we get to see inside Nagley's General Store with its charming display of bear traps and animal skins, but we also came face to face with Talkeetna's mayor, the one and only Stubbs. We also took a look at some other of the locally owned shops ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » North Pole September 19th 2015

After a breakfast of biscuits and gravy (er...) we set off to the North Pole. Well, to North Pole, Alaska, where Christmas is celebrated 365 days a year. Santa was sadly on his Fall vacation, but we still got to send post cards from the town and arranged for him to send some letters to loved ones nearer to Christmas. The whole town was decorated, even the McDonalds, whose golden arches stood tall above a 30 foot candy cane. After lunch in the northern most Dennys in America, we headed to the Chena Hot Springs Resort. First stop was to the Ice Museum to see award winning ice sculptures, see the ice bedrooms and drink the world's strongest appletini, served in an ice glass. We were bundled up into Parkers on top of our coats and ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska September 18th 2015

Today we headed on the most touristy excursion of the entire trip, but it also proved to be one of the best. Gold Dredge #8 ran as a working gold dredge until 1959, but is now open for tours. We stopped on the way to walk up to the trans-Alaska oil pipeline. The pipeline runs underground, but travels overground in areas with permafrost or prone to seismic activity and you can walk right up it in places where it runs alongside the road. The gold dredge tour starts by an exposed stretch of pipe as well, and we were treated to an interesting talk about the building and maintance of the pipeline. By this point three coaches of tourists had joined us, and we climbed aboard a jaunty yellow train that would take us to the ... read more

North America » United States » Alaska » Fairbanks September 17th 2015

After two days (or nights) of driving long distances in the dark, rain and snow, we made the decision to push on from Denali towards Fairbanks rather than returning to the park. Our first objective was to find somewhere for a hot breakfast, as surviving on cold food in the snow was beginning to lose its appeal. We sped past Healy and made our way to the railway town of Nenana. The whole town seems geared towards tourism, but as we were there out of season, almost everything was closed, from the wood cabin tourist office to almost every diner and restaurant bar one. The Rough Wood Inn was open and serving breakfast, so we headed in out of the cold. There we were treated to the uniquely American experience of listening to the locals deride ... read more

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