Saturday 22nd August 2015 - Skagway

August 21, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Alarm went off of 6 so that we could get up, shower and eat in time for the first trip at 8:25. This was J’s least favourite trip so far, not helped by the fact it was cold and rainy and the keen photographers on the trip had their windows open. If Kamloops was a half horse town, Skagway is a ¼ horse one. Very impressive that they made a trip out of pretty much nothing. Supposed to be a gold rush town, but really it was the start of the trail as no gold was ever found. The town has 800 permanent residents, which swells to 2000, during the tourist season. Our costumed guide did the tour, drives the bus and very dramatically bought the stories alive (and also works in the airport sorting the post). The biggest plane than can land here is a 12 seater. Food comes in on Monday and it is in the one supermarket on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On the other hand D thought the tour was quite good.

Shown various houses and places of interest in the tiny town, including the house where Sarah Palin lived for 6 years! The tour guide’s ex-boyfriend’s house, various infamous brothels and bars; some of the shops did look very nice with expensive jewellery etc., they do seem quite big on jewellery in Alaska

The real highlight was the Gold Rush Cemetery, which stopped being used in 1908. The two most famous graves were the graves of two baddies, both of whom shot each other. The first chap died instantly – he had been running several scams and so the town people were pleased when he was shot and made the other guy, who took 12 days to die the goodie, even though he had a colourful past and was wanted for murder.  Stopped off at a scenic view point for photo opps., we could see out ship way below us. We saw a sea otter and a heron, hanging around the salmon fish ladder. The salmon are supposed to be starting on their way back around now to spawn (and die).  We saw several leap out of the water when docking at the end of yesterday’s whale watching trip.

Skagway, Alaska

Back on the ship for a snack and a cup of tea to warm up (and just seen another sea otter by the ship). Next tour is at 12:25, so we have to have an early lunch. (It’s all about food!)

WHITE PASS AND YOKON ROUTE RAILROAD.

Another luxury train journey, this time on the historic narrow gauge route to the White Pass summit, complete with a private guide and more beverages and regionally sourced appetisers!

The cabin was amazing, the luxury coach only takes a dozen and we had the comfiest leather armchairs. Not only are they supremely comfy but they also swivel through 360 degrees. There is only 1 luxury coach on the train and today it was behind the engine going up and we were the last coach on the way back, so D got better pictures on the way down. The luxury carriage is purpose built, but decorated to look “olde worlde”. Think I could get used to luxury train journeys, must look out for more of them; we hadn’t planned to do this one because the trip we had booked was cancelled, we changed to this and the Skagway Trip above.

White Pass & Youkon Railway

White Pass & Youkon Railway

White Pass & Youkon Railway

White Pass & Yukon Railway

Stunning views on both sides and D and I swapped when we got to the Summit (White Pass). Choice of drinks but D & I both had a glass of prosecco on the way up and another on the way down. Nibbles were reindeer sausages – v tasty, large shrimp, smoked salmon and Alaskan chocolate (local stuff) plus doritos and hummus (not so local). Did not see any wildlife except the salmon run, with thousands of salmon leaping up river to spawn.

Alaskan Salmon Run

Alaskan Salmon Run – Skagway

There are a few things that I keep forgetting to put in the blog:

  • Tara & Selwyn gave me a beautiful little orange silk and leather clutch bag from Italy for my birthday and I was going to use it for evenings on holiday. But am actually using it all the time on the boat as we only have to have our cruise card (there are no money transactions on the boat) and I need my glasses, so most of the time I carry that. Thanks T&S!
  • The mats in the lift are changed daily to show the days of the week. Great idea as it is so easy to lose track of time / days.
  • The cabin crew make the towels into shapes (similar to other cruise boats, Nile etc. – we have had a monkey, an elephant and a chimpanzee and tonight a swan).

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