Saturday, 18 July 2015

Juneau - Alaska's Wilderness Capital

After arriving in Juneau, we got the tender into the dock for our first excursion of the cruise. We only chose two excursions on the cruise - a float plane over 5 glaciers; and a tram up the mountain to Mt. Roberts. Juneau is the capital of Alaska and is the most visited town in Alaska.
Leaving the Solstice.
On the tender
 At the dock ...
 ... waiting for the float plane
Juneau from the air

 Due to high winds in Juneau, we needed to land at the airport.
The float plane airport runs along side the regular airport.
Here, we waited for a bus to take us back to Juneau.
The Mendenhall Glacier, which runs beside the airport.
The excursion was definitely worth the money. 
Our next excursion was the Mount Roberts Tram. 
It is located on the dock, not far from the tender landing. The tram rises 1,800 feet from the dock, and has views back to the cruise ship, downtown Juneau and the channel.

The tramway is one of the most vertical tramways in the world and only takes a few minutes to reach the top. Each car was crammed full of tourists, and the ride was not that comfortable - thank goodness it was a short ride.

Once at the top there are a few shops and many activities one can do, depending on the time available.
 Our first stop was the Chilkat Theatre, which is free, and shows an 18 minute film on Tlingit history every half hour. 
A good web-site for the Tlingit language can be found here.
Our next stop was the Raptor Center. It has a live bald eagle, named Lady Baltimore, that had been shot and can no longer fly. This center takes care of injured birds, and also has a gift shop.

There are many trails, and we only did one - a short one, through temperate rain forest. There were signs saying being careful to watch out for black bears and eagles, but we didn't see any. There were carvings in some of the trees and interpretive boards along the trail. 
The Nature Center has many interpretive displays and a small gift shop. It also has trail information if you wish to hike one of the trails.

We waited almost an hour to go back down in the tram, 
the queue being so long.

There is a restaurant, and we were told it was expensive, and it was, so we headed back to the ship.

Should one put Mt Robert Tram on one’s must do list?
Only if you intend to do some of the trails. The views were great, but the tram was a little expensive, for what it was.

Celebrity Solstice

 This is a statue of a bull terrier named Patsy-Ann.
Patsy -Ann use to greet the cruise ships and was declared by the Juneau mayor as the 'Official Greeter of Juneau' in 1934.
Patsy-Ann died in 1942.
Back on board, having dinner. 
This was French Onion Soup.

10.30pm sky.

. . .life is short and the world is wide. 
Simon Raven

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