October 4, 2011

highlights of Juneau & Skagway

I didn't know what to expect and if I would survive :-) my very first flight in a 10-seater plane. I had mixed feelings as we boarded the tiny aircraft on a rainy day when we did our flightseeing, bears and whale-watching excursion with Alaska Galore Tours. It was amazing! The view of the glaciers from above was just breathtaking. In a way I was glad this tour was in my husband's wish list and was determined about it. If not, my fears would get in the way and I would never have experienced what it was like to view the glaciers from this perspective.

Mendenhall glacier
salmon stream where bears may be seen feeding

bears like these wild blueberries that grow in the area
view of islands and mountains from our boat
whale photos above taken by my husband
After our full day excursion in Juneau, Skagway was our next destination. I was looking forward to our White Pass and Yukon Route excursion. Boarding was effortless right by the ship dock so it was convenient for the cruise passengers. The White Pass and Yukon railroad was built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush.The train had a vintage feel to it and very well kept. We had spectacular views of cliffs and mountains covered with yellow and green spruce trees. I particularly enjoyed passing through the two tunnels along the route. It was an unforgettable scenic train ride.

view of a beautiful stream as we crossed one of the bridges along the route

Skagway River
We had a few hours after the train ride to check out downtown Skagway and look for a place to eat. It was a chilly rainy day so we were happy to discover the Lemon Rose cafe and bakeshop located at a quiet part of the downtown area. They had an assortment of freshly baked pastries and cookies as well as sandwiches. We couldn't wait to sample them with some hot tea and coffee.

we also passed this bakeshop along the way

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