The Wandering Tops

The Wandering Tops

02 June, 2015

Anchorage and Kenai Fjords NP

Had to pack up our stuff as left the RV at the Park ready to be rented out for the Summer in Alaska. Was transported to our hotel in Anchorage, which is Alaska's largest city and surrounded by spectacular wilderness.  Once settled we walked into the main centre, visited the Log Cabin Visitors Centre (log cabin with grass growing on its roof!), took a trolley car ride ("Lolley") to the Ulu factory where they manufacture Alaska's famous knife.  The Alaska's ulu (oo-loo) knife has been used for centuries by Native people of the Arctic.  Ulus were first shaped from slate - a stone that can often be found, in it's natural shape, curved or tapered to a fine edge.  The ulu was used to skin, fillet, sew and eat, was and still is, their most popular cutting tool - today it is a familiar sight in many modern kitchens.

Also visited the Federal Lands Centre where we saw a great exhibition of stuffed animals and watched a film about the split up of Alaska.  Had to have photo ID and go through Security as we entered a Federal building.

Reindeer Dogs sold from the sidewalk ..... yum!!

View of Anchorage CBD

Salmon fishing in the city Ship Creek..
Bear and the Raven - Legend has it that if you rub the bears tummy it will bring you good luck.


"Lolley" trolley car ride to the Ulu Factory

Had a 5.30am start the next day - picked up by bus and taken to Railway Station to board an Alaskan Railway train to Seward.  We paid extra to upgrade to upper level dome car seating with on board dining which was great.  Even though the day was cool with misty rain it all added to the scenery and having the dome carriage was certainly worth the extra.  We travelled through snow capped mountains, passed glaciers, rivers and Cook Inlet (Turnagain Arm).

Setting of on the Alaskan Railway

Breakfast on board

It was one of the few wet days we had but still enjoyable inside the warm train and the mist added to the atmosphere.

Glacier



On arrival in Seward we were transported to the 'Glacier Express' a 95 ft catamaran and then sailed up through the Kenai Fjords to the Holgate Glacier, and experienced a 'calving' (piece of ice breaking off).  Was fantastic to experience as the catamaran's motor was turned off and all you could hear was the creaking of the ice before a whole chunk broke off.

Kenai Fjords National Park did not become a national park until 1980 and encompasses more than a thousand square miles of land and water. The fjords for which the park is named are deep, water-filled bays, originally valleys carved when glaciers retreated long ago.

We saw so many animals and fish including humpback whales, Orcas (highlight of the day as they were so close), sea otters, sea lions, puffins, bald eagles, kittiwakes (small type of gull) - hundreds nesting, so noisy & smelly and common murre (looks similar to a penguin).  After having an enjoyable lunch we sailed back to Seward to be picked up by a bus and transported back to Anchorage, arriving around 9.30pm.  It was a long day but most enjoyable, especially seeing many marine animals and experiencing the glacier 'calving'.

Many tour boats waiting to leave Seaward harbour.

Scenic coast line

Another tour boat watching the Glacier, our boat was much bigger.

Cold outdoors to watch the glacier

You can hear the cracking noise and then we saw the calving.



Orca (Killer Whale)

One of the whales showing off by the boat


Many noisy sea loins 

Common Murre nesting in the rock caves

Seward



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