Saturday, June 16, 2018

ALASKA CRUISE - MAY 2018 - JUNEAU - TUESDAY, MAY 15TH, 2018

(This is the ship we booked for our cruise, Celebrity Millennium.  It is tied up at the pier in Juneau)
I am adding this on every post for those who don't know that we are already back home.  I am now sharing daily journals and photographs of our holiday.  If you have missed any of the posts and would like to take a look, you can go to the bottom of this post and click on "Alaska Trip-May 2018".
Tuesday, May 15th, 2018
We docked in Juneau at 7.00 a.m.

Our niece had a chat with her Dad at 10.00 a.m.  She is trying to see if the connection works better on our balcony.  Wi-Fi is iffy at best, which I think I have mentioned before, sometimes working but more often not.  The ship is 18 years old and it is having an overhaul after this cruise.  I am sure it will be something taken care of before they put out to sea again. 
I learned about Juneau here.  Juneau has been the capital of Alaska since 1906.   It was named after a gold prospector from Quebec, Joe Juneau. 

Because of the rugged terrain surrounding the city, there are no roads and the only way you can get to it is by boat or seaplane.  While we were there we saw seaplanes, one after the other. landing on the water or taking off.  
(There was another cruise ship that had arrived the day before.  It was about to get underway in this photo.)
11.39 a.m. Our niece is sitting with us now.  The weather is good for the next two days.  She taught me an old German saying, "When angels travel..."  It's a sweet saying.  She is my angel, not just for bringing the good weather but a whole lot of joy along with it.  

We had gone for a walk around the ship, but when we got back to our room it was being cleaned.  We decided to go down to the 5th deck, where we sat in a lovely quiet area before going for a late breakfast.  Not long after we went up to Deck 10. Gregg and our nephew studied the view through the window in the floor.  It was quite dizzying to look down to the water far below, but fascinating at the same time. 
12.10 p.m.  The four of us are going ashore and meeting Gregg's sister and her husband.  We are heading up the mountain on a gondola ride.
5.34 p.m.  After an afternoon out Gregg and I left our niece and nephew to continue their walk around Juneau.  As we have been out since about noon-ish, we wander back to the ship slowly, but I am jumping too far ahead.
When we first disembarked we had a pleasant walk along the pier, and hearing the sound of the seaplanes, we headed towards where people were boarding.  It was very busy, people were coming and going.  
They were fascinating to watch.
We met up with sister-and-brother-in-law later to ride the gondola up to the top of Mount Roberts
Very smart looking in that bright red paint job, and I liked the artistic design.  
At the top after enjoying lunch we all admired the handsome bear greeter near the restaurant's entrance.
Gregg's sister and her husband decided to walk down the mountain on one of the trails.
There are also other ways to get down...
but we elected to take the gondola again, eventually.  
We wanted to see the raptor exhibit and found where the Bald Eagle was being kept.  Sadly she had been injured and was now blind in one eye.  She would never be able to fly properly again, and would always have to be taken care of.  There was a donation box nearby and the money collected would be used to help take care of her every need.
As you would feel for any living creature who, for one reason or another, is not able to live in their natural habitat, it was sad to see this wonderful bird behind bars.  All that being said, she looked healthy and well taken care of.  You could just tell the lady standing guard over her loved her and cared very much for her well-being.  We were asked not to get too close and to also speak in hushed tones, so as not to scare her.  She was a real beauty, now being used for educational purposes. Young and old would learn from her, and she would be taken care of for the rest of her life.  

We went into the Nature Center/Gift Shop.  
We enjoyed several casts of animal tracks on display.  
It wasn't a big exhibit but it was very interesting. 
 For instance...  

 you could check out your own wing span by that of the Bald Eagle.
 
Both niece and nephew wanted to check out theirs.
You could also sit in an eagle's nest for a spell, one man-made of course but it gives you the idea.
I was told by one of the staff that there are no grizzlies in this area, but there are black bears.  A lady joined in on our conversation, another visitor like me, with more information. She had the same job as this lady but on the East Coast, and the three of us talked about the differences between these two animals.  

We were ready to take the gondola down the mountain.  It was super crowded and we were packed in, safely, but like sardines.  We felt a bit claustrophobic my niece and I.  Once we got back to terra firma, we walked on a little ways together, but we left them to carry on as we felt like going back to the ship.  
Looks cold doesn't it?  But truly as we are bundled up, we are very comfortable.  Otherwise we wouldn't have stopped to sit on a bench and admire the view across the water, and we weren't the only ones admiring the view.

There are security guards at the pier gate, and also at the ship's entrance.  There were about 40 people in front of us.  Just like at the airport, we took our coats off, put personal belongings in trays provided,  so that they could run them through the x-ray machine.  And then we walked through the metal detector.  They were very organized and it wasn't long before it was our turn.  The only difference between here and the airport is that someone is waiting with a cup of hot chocolate on the other side.  That brings a smile to everyone's face.  The staff are all bundled up with warm clothing, including balaclavas and woolly hats, and the kind of thick gloves with the fingers showing on some.  They need them as there was a dreadfully cold wind going in, and I am sure being on the water doesn't help that wind tunnel effect.  They swipe my card and I hear once again, "Welcome back on board Denise."  Feeling the cold more by then I am given my cup of hot chocolate, I take a sip and go, "Ahhh, that's lovely!"  I hope those crew members get their hot chocolate too.  I have no idea how long they stand watch, but I hope it isn't for too long. 
Now we are in our room both exhausted, but it certainly has been another lovely day. The ship has set sail and we are heading towards our next port of call.

Tomorrow our family will meet at the pier where a tour company van, large enough to accommodate our group of eight, will take us on a 4-hour ride. We have to take our passports with us as we will be driving into Canada. 

14 comments:

  1. It has indeed been another lovely day. Thank you so much.
    And yes, I cannot help but mourn for caged animals. And applaud those who look after them, and continue to mourn.

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    1. Thank you EC and I very much agree with your comment.

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  2. Float planes bring back good memories. I spent many hours on float planes but they were very old compared to these.

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    1. A wonderful experience I hope to have myself one day Red.

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  3. Poor eagle, or maybe a lucky one!

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  4. Hello, wonderful photos from the cruise and Juneau. The nature center looks very nice. I feed sad for the eagle. Thanks for sharing your trip. Enjoy your day and have a great new week!

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    1. Thank you Eileen, knew you would. Happy Sunday to you :)

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  5. wow and wow again... what a trip... you really went on an adventure. the eagle is so beautiful and sad to like you said. your photos of the airplanes are really really good.

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    1. Thanks Sandra, the Bald Eagle has a lot of friends here.

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  6. It sounds like you had the trip of a lifetime. Beautiful shots!

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    1. Thsnk you William, it certainly was a trip of a lifetime.

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  7. Hi Denise,
    Another busy day for you all but appears a most enjoyable one.
    To see so many float planes is incredible.
    As you say sad for the Bald Eagle but without the help it gets it would have died in the wild.
    Super post to read through.
    All the best, John

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    1. Thank you John, that's very true sad but considering the alternative. All the best to you too :)

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