The fun started before we even boarded the boat. Our boat left from Vancouver, BC, and the very building where we had to check in was also home to an anime conference that day! I don't know too much about anime so I didn't recognize a lot of the costumes, but I did spot a few familiar faces.
A fabulous Jack Skellington (from the movie Nightmare Before Christmas) and the black blob-creature from the movie Spirited Away. I also saw the Tenth Doctor, and I saw The Joker and The Riddler having a fight (with Jesus in the audience, go figure).
As we left Vancouver, we sailed passed Stanley Park. It was beautiful.
|Vancouver's skyline and a corner of Stanley Park|
|There were three staircases on the boat and on each landing there was a picture or a piece of art. This painting depicts the Noordam that my ancestors sailed on to come to America in the early 1900s!|
|Our boat, along with one of the tender boats that brought us ashore to Juneau, Alaska.|
Our boat stopped in three places: Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. We also sailed into Glacier Bay and spent the day admiring God's fabulous creation. At each stop, we had the opportunity to go on excursions, though most of us did not. Instead, we walked around the towns. It's amazing how many jewelry stores there are in the cities that cruise boats stop at! At least every other store sells jewelry.
In Juneau, I walked with several uncles and aunts and my cousin around the town. We found a Starbucks, which was a like coming home for me since there is a Starbucks on nearly every corner where I live. We also went to two bookstores.
In Skagway, my grandma, aunt, uncle, cousin, and I took the train up to White Pass. By far, this was my favorite part of the trip. I LOVE trains. They are my favorite mode of travel. This train took us up into the Alaskan mountains. It was stunning.
|If you noticed the thin trail snaking through the left side of the picture, that is the trail that men seeking their fortune in the gold rush rode to get wherever they were going.|
|I spent most of my time outside the train car on a little platform, snapping pictures.|
The night we left Skagway, the wind was blowing harder than my mother (who grew up in the plains of Minnesota) had ever felt it before. Two tug boats escorted us outside the bay, just in case we needed help. Thankfully, we made it to Ketchikan with no mishaps.
Once there, we walked around town again. Most people go to jewelry stores or clothing stores or trinket stores when they go to Alaska. We went to the thrift store. We also walked around Creek Street. It is aptly named, seeing that there is a river instead of a road in the middle of the street. We happened to be in Alaska during salmon spawning time, so the lovely aroma of dead mother salmon followed us around Creek Street.
I loved seeing all of the different t-shirts Alaska had to offer:
|Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Batmoose!|
|I have to admit, this one is my favorite. It makes me chuckle.|
|May the forest be with you|
There were four other cruise ships docked in Ketchikan with us, including our sister ship, the Westerdam.
Next time... learn about our trip to Glacier Bay, and the other activities we enjoyed on board the Noordam!
Live long and prosper.