It takes three flights (Sydney to LA, LA to Seattle, Seattle to Anchorage) to get to Alaska, America’s 49th State – and it’s probably a miracle that only one bag was (temporarily) lost in transit.
We were taken from the airport to the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood by bus – 46 miles (74km) along the scenic Seward Highway – driven by a perky young Alaskan woman called Mary.
My husband, Geoff, and I were the only passengers so had the best views and uninterrupted access to Mary’s enthusiastic introduction to the gobsmackingly beautiful Chugach State Park – half a million acres of snow-capped mountain ranges – and Turnagain Arm.
This vast waterway is home to beluga whales and although we didn’t spot one of those we saw Dall sheep perched on the rocky cliffs and a bald eagle soaring through the bright sky. I noticed a roadside cafe called the Turnagain Arm Pit…
Once checked in at the Alyeska Resort, a large ski lodge at the base of Mt Alyeska, we realised it wasn’t going to get dark until about midnight so we took the tram to the bar/restaurant at the peak.
Talk about unreal. Twenty-four hours ago we were leaving dark, rainy Sydney and now we were chatting with Seven Glaciers’ barman Dave the Wave and local pyrotechnics expert and engineer Lynn C. Johnson in a bar surrounded by snow and unbelievably picturesque scenery – and it was still light at 10pm.
This is a major skiing centre in winter, and several people told us that there had been record snowfalls this year – 22 feet (7m) in places.
Tuesday, 3 July 2012
Alaska with HAL’s Zaandam: Day 1
Source = Sally MacMillan – Cruise Passenger