| ||Geoff & I, Mendenhall Glacier|
| ||Tracy’s King Crab Shack, Juneau|
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We docked in Juneau, the capital of Alaska, at 7.43am and it was interesting to see modern office blocks alongside little wooden quayside shops and cafes.
We had breakfast in the Rotterdam Dining Room and as I am not a morning person it was a relief not to have to share a table with anyone other than beloved husband, and the service and food were both excellent.
As we were taking a helicopter flight to Mendenhall Glacier that morning we dressed in appropriate layers, including waterproof jackets, and in fact it was cold and rainy for a couple of hours. But nothing could detract from the sheer exhilaration of the flight and walk on the glacier.
Once we’d been outfitted with specially designed boots at the Temsco HQ and given a thorough safety briefing we boarded an AStar 350 Series chopper and three of them took off in quick succession.
Geoff and I had front seats next to the pilot but wherever you sit the views are spectacular (they accommodate a maximum of six passengers) and the pilot narrates the trip through headsets.
The overcast sky accentuated the brilliant aquamarine blues of the crevasses – the pilot did explain the scientific cause of the colour but I’ll leave it to you to look it up – and one of the many highlights of the trip was drinking pure glacial water that was hundreds of years old. Sweet!
While walking on the crusty ice, surrounded by jagged mountain peaks thousands of feet high, I was again overwhelmed by the sheer scale and majesty of everything we’ve seen in Alaska.
By the time we got back to the ship it was hot and sunny and we were sweltering in our glacier gear.
Once we’d peeled off a few layers we walked around the streets looking for a new photo card reader. It is hard to believe how many tourist trinket shops there are and how few ‘normal’ shops.
Some have posters saying ‘Alaskan Owned’ in the windows and we were told that this is to differentiate them to the shops owned by the major cruise lines.
How these little towns can support so many jewellery shops is beyond me and many were virtually empty of customers.
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Source = Sally MacMillan – Cruise Passenger