Featured Destination: Alaska
Alaska is one of nature’s last frontiers and full of amazing experiences. It is the one place where you should go expecting the unexpected from a rainforest to the sight of a whale’s tail teasingly breaking through the ocean. I was awestruck and smitten by my Alaskan experience and have shared some of my best moments.
Sightings of Nature
“I see something new here every day,” a fisherman told me as we sailed out of Ketchikan Harbour. I had taken a trip on the Aleutian Ballad with local fishermen aimed at showing visitors some of the wonders of nature. Before long I spotted grey seals, and bald eagles but more was to come. Enthralled by the huge crab nets I watched as Pacific king crab was brought to the surface and an octopus appeared. It was an insight into the waters off Alaska and a highlight of visiting this area.
The day before I had been in Skagway and taken the White Pass train up into the mountains where those on the gold rush had come a century or so before. The scenery was spectacular and combined with the history of this trail, made it a very special journey. On the return journey the guard ran through the train shouting, “bear!” Immediately I got onto the footplate and there, in the grass below was a small brown bear. Bear sighting is never guaranteed in Alaska but mine was most unexpected. Back in Skagway I celebrated with local beer from the Red Onion Saloon and shopped for souvenirs in Rushin Tailor, a quilting store that has fabulous fabrics in Alaskan themes.
I’ll never forget the first time I saw the Medenhall Glacier just outside Juneau. I could not believe such a feature was just outside the capital, and yet thousands of years ago the glacier had covered the entire area. Getting up close to it was an incredible experience. Near Juneau I was in for a further surprise at the Glacier Gardens Rainforest. This was an incredible tropical looking garden that felt just like a rainforest with the humidity, and yet- was in Alaska. But the highlight of my entire holidays was yet to come. A cruise on still waters in Glacier Bay with spectacular reflections of the mountains and glacial formations was magnificent.
Alaska is full of amazing experiences and attractions, much of them natural. Go see this incredible place for yourself.