We arrived yesterday and are leaving tomorrow! Not nearly enough time to do all that is available, so maybe we will have to come back!!
We disembarked in Whittier, Alaska and transferred to our bus to Anchorage. We stopped at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre for a short visit.
We saw all manner of things but the highlight was the bear. We looked for ages and then he sauntered out and wandered under the bridge / viewing platform that we were walking over. He gave us a cursory look, but wasn’t interested at all. Was very cool to see him in the ‘sort of’ wild. Close enough for me.
We also saw moose, caribou, reindeer, fox, wolf, eagle, wood bison, lynx and a few different birds. The foxes were very small compared to the wolf. All the animals here are either orphaned or homeless for a variety of reasons.
When we arrived at our accommodation for the next two nights, we dropped our bags and heading into ‘town’ for a look around. Anchorage is a large city, mostly flat and has approx 300,000 people who live here. It is definitely geared for the tourist … only found tourist shops on the main drag!
Anyway, since we are limited on time here we decided to do the trolley bus tour.
First one we have been on since being on our travels. Actually, it is a great way to get an overview on things and we heard an awful lot about the 1964 – 9.2 earthquake. It certainly changed the face of Anchorage. After our little tour, we went to the federal court, went through security and watched the documentary on the earthquake. Having been so involved with the Christchurch earthquake, I certainly had an appreciation of the devastation here.
Our accommodation has a pub on-site so we had dinner here and met some interesting people. One woman from Scotland (but lives in Perth, WA) was here doing a hiking / rafting tour which sounded amazing, and the other lady who joined our conversation was here in Anchorage visiting her daughter who does dog mushing. Both the daughter and her husband compete in the Iditarod race. The husband has won three times and also competes in Norway. So interesting.
This morning, we had a lazy start to the day and then walked into town via the Veterans memorial, found another community book library [it was a bit of a mess, so I tidied it up!].
The art, sculpture and gardens around town are beautiful. Apparently because they have so much sunlight here all the summer flowers are 30% bigger.
We hired bikes and did a 25 mile bike ride along the tony Knowles Coastal Trail. It took us along the Pacific Ocean [funny to think that we are all this way from home, but in the same ocean!], past the airport which was so cool to stand and watch all the planes landing. Then we carried on through Kincaid park, back past the other end of the airport and past where all the little planes are on Lake Spenard and Lake Hood. Every other person has one of these little planes.
This is the longest we have gone without food! So we stopped at a Greek cafe and had a Greek pizza for a very late lunch! The owner was a ‘famous’ Greek singer and we have all the details to visit the Greek Island he lived on until 1975, when he headed to Australia, before marriage brought him to Alaska.
After 5 hours on our bikes we were so happy to return them. When you don’t do it very often, you certainly feel it when you get off!
So in the morning, we are heading to Seward to catch another cruise. Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas. Can hardly believe that we are cruising again, but can’t wait. See you in a week xx