Going, going, gone!

Sailing into Ketchikan it was intriguing to see the homes and boats in their various state of disrepair. Some were so very much-loved whilst others, well, not so much.

Going, going, gone!

What interruption occurred to change the path that the owners of these buildings and vessels were taking? Was it simply a change of heart or was it a broken heart?

Will things ever change for them, and if so… “mum, how much longer?”

 

Beautiful Backgrounds

Looking at the background to this photograph it’s possible to think the background was staged but it wasn’t.

This was simply one of those freak shots where everything was as is!

Springtime Webs

As to what this background was I so wish I could remember. I was standing in line for the wash room when this plant caught my eye.

Perhaps it was the paintwork of the building, could have been. As to the possibility of me remembering… “mum, how much longer?”

Sitka Sound

The beauty of doing holiday albums is that you get to relive your holiday as you sort through the many photographs taken, trying to decide on those to choose.

This is Sitka Sound, Alaska on the morning we sailed in on our Alaskan Cruise.

Arriving in Sitka - simply glorious!

That cruise was absolutely FABULOUS and I’d do it again in a heart-beat but in reality…  “mum, how much longer?”

Our day at Juneau!

Our last sea day, the perfect time to sit back reflecting on yet another wonderful holiday filled with incredible experiences and places. One of these places was Juneau – we saw and did so VERY much – it was brilliant!

For now I’ll limit myself to the unique opportunity Hubby and I had of spending a morning with a local photographer touring Mendenhall Glacier and whale watching. How gorgeous is this, looking through the trees at Mendenhall Glacier with the reflection in the water?

Mendallhall Glacier through the trees for something "artistic", lol!

Following this, we then headed out into the bay in search of whales where we passed sea lions jostling for position to sun themselves on a buoy!

Sea Lions of Juneau unite!

Not much further along we spotted our first whale, oh my! Fortunately we were only a small group of eight so we could all go where we wanted when we wanted. This helped us all ENORMOUSLY in getting THE shot, especially when they were THIS close!

Humpback Whale up REAL close!

We spent an hour with eight of these huge majestic beasts of the ocean. When even the boat’s captain gets excited you know you’re onto something special!

Humpback Whale Tail - yea baby!!!

Following a late lunch back on the ship with the children we then took them ashore for a look around. Master Twelve and I had a hoot up at the Juneau Raptor Center but more on that another day otherwise there’ll be much… “mum, how much longer?!”

Sitka… simply breathtaking!

Yesterday I bet money on the fact today was a sea day – I lost big time! Well, it was only the bet I lost as Sitka was such a beautiful port of call.

Sitka - how gorgeous is this?!

Like us, many of our fellow passengers, we opted NOT to do any shore excursions, preferring to walk around the small town, exploring it for ourselves.

Sitka Totem Square!

One great find was The Back Door Cafe. We literally entered via the back-door having walked around the streets admiring the architecture of the various buildings. This eclectic cafe had our heads darting in all directions admiring the various collections.

Back door Cafe - a quick favorite of ours!

We sat enjoying the sun and scenery, sipping hot coffee on our balcony when leaving port. That was until the ship turned and once out of the sanctuary of the bay, the icy Alaskan winds hit us. We attempted “toughing it out” but we soon turned to each other with a look that said… “mum, how much longer?”

Skagway – must be Monday then!

Port of call today is Skagway – Alaska. A town that has been restored to its former glory of the Klondike Gold Rush period at the turn of last century. A town with a population of only 900 (give or take) but receives up to ¾ million tourists annually!

Downtown Sayway - what a glorious day!

With an entire day in Skagway we boarded a train for a trip on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad to the border to experience the Yukon Suspension Bridge. What a hoot!

Yukon Suspension Bridge!

Train travel would have to be one of my favorite modes of travel. Trains have taken me through Scandinavia to Norway; through the Transylvanian Alps of Romania; and even down through Egypt. Today’s journey was no less inspiring.

White-Rail Train Tunnel and scenery!

Back in the late 1800’s very few thought this railway was even possible yet 10 million dollars and two years later in 1901 the project was completed and to this day, still considered a major engineering feat up there with the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty and Panama Canal! Check out this bridge…

White-Rail Bridge Construction

At first glance this may seem like any old bridge but a hundred plus years ago this was the tallest cantilever bridge ever. It’s hard to understand why it’s no longer in use!

White-Rail Bridge Construction of Yesteryear!

Returning to Skagway we passed through some extraordinarily desolate landscape. Imagine coming from California in the late 1800’s in search of gold, dragging a horse and the mandatory tonne of food behind you to be greeted with this.

Desolate Plains of Klondike Gold Rush!

It would take a VERY strong man not to ask the question… “mum, how much longer?”

Ketchikan – first port of call!

First port of call on our Alaskan cruise was Ketchikan, Alaska’s first city. Everything about it was just delightful, even the weather which was gloriously sunny!

Ketchikan Houses

We spent an absolutely FANTASTIC half-day crabbing on Aleutian Ballad, a vessel made famous on “Deadliest Catch”, a television show highlighting life on the Bering Sea crabbing. A close encounter with a 60’ rogue wave now has the Aleutian Ballard giving the likes of we mere mortals the opportunity to share this experience, albeit in much more subdued surroundings, lol!

On the waters of Ketchikan

 But hey, we saw how they bait-up and drop lines for fishing, we saw them haul up a number of various crab pots, all containing a various assortment of crabs but it was the Alaskan King Crab we were eager to see up close and personal. Fortunately a few were put into clear tanks for us to appreciate without having to experience their thorny shells!

Up Close and Gorgeous

And of course no sea adventure would be complete without a Bald Eagle or two. Almost makes my two at home seem a tad inconsequential… almost, lol! 🙂

The Eagle Clan - how cool is this?!

Tomorrow is Juneau. If it’s only half as good as today it will still be fabulous. Put it this way, today was such an amazing day both on the water and on land that not once did we hear… “mum, how much longer?”