Well, here we are again on the road albeit on a very much reduced scale in terms of time and load. But we are now here in Anchorage, Alaska.
After a hectic time back home with family visiting from Australia, we survived our 27 hour journey to Anchorage. We must say that we were impressed with Virgin Atlantic right from Heathrow check-in to landing in Chicago. Also, it is worth noting that from being disgorged from the Virgin flight at Chicago we managed to get through the USA's intimidating border controls, customs, baggage reclaim in Terminal 1 and transfer to Terminal 3 where we checked into our flight to Anchorage and were through to the Gate all in less than 25 minutes - impressive stuff. We did have a 5 hour wait until our flight though!
What was also impressive was our flight over Greenland where we had stunning sights of the snow covered mountains, icefields, fiords, etc then later the barren and frozen coast of Labrador. Even later on that day, we flew over the snow covered Rockies and the mighty and impressive glaciers of South West Alaska before landing at Anchorage about 10:30pm - and still very light. Soon we had set up 'camp' in our (tongue-twister of a) hostel, the Qupqugiaq Inn, and after a quick take-away pizza and bottle of beer, into a very welcome and comfortable bed.
Anchorage is a sprawling city with a waterfront on the Cook Strait and a backdrop of the Chugach Mountains. Even with a very long day on Tuesday, we were up at the crack of dawn and into the city centre by bus for breakfast. A highly recommended place was Snow City Cafe - and it is certainly deserved. Food, service and ambience were really excellent. With the sun shining and plenty of fresh air, we set off on a walk on one of Anchorage's many pathways along the Cook Strait to Westchester Lagoon. Having been heavily damaged by an earthquake in 1964, the city has only a few interesting buildings but it was lovely to walk around enjoying the openness of the place and views of sea and snow covered volcanoes in the distance.
Being a bit groggy with the previous day's exertions, we decided to head out to the Alaska Zoo on the free shuttle bus to enjoy an early sight of some of the animals we hope to see whilst in Alaska. One we will not see is the polar bear so we were delighted to see a couple in the Zoo. We were also impressed with the brown and black bears - but they are very big and have very long claws so here's hoping any sightings we get in the wild are not too close up!!
Still managing to keep going we returned to town for some food.First stop was at the F Street Station for a couple of Alaskan beers to slake out thirst after a long warm day. This is an interesting and original sort of place with a 'Cheers' type of atmosphere. Then it was off to another recommended place, The Glacier Brewhouse, that serves really good food and makes its own beer on site. Margarite was impressed with her marguerite and Eric with the beer. Our steaks, too, just hit the spot.
Eric & Margaret xx