Friday, March 19, 2010

End of Day 2 in Alaska

Another long day... began this morning with a two-hour bus trip to Seward through beautiful Sitka Spruce forests, and along the Turnagain Arm of Cook Inlet.  Once in Seward we visited the Alaska SeaLife Center--an interactive aquarium of some of the sea life that inhabits Alaska.  Quite a few photos, but it was tough with moving animals and very low light levels.  Will take some processing to get them to look good; I think there are a few winners in there though.

After an hour and a half there we walked across the street to Cristo's Palace for lunch.  I had the day's special--deep fried halibut, salmon, shrimp and scallops--and I must say I've never had fish that light and flaky.   Every seafood dinner I have from here on out will have to compete with that!  Topped off with a glass of Alaska Amber and it was a perfect lunch.

I tried to tweet some text and images while there, but my phone battery was weak and I could barely even see the screen.  Tomorrow I'll try to keep the charger handy in case we get reception out in the bush.

On the way back to Anchorage we stopped off at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center where we saw animals that had been injured or abandoned--moose, caribou, bears--and got some pretty good photos there too.  Of course this is where I discovered I left my coat back at the SeaLife Center... weather has been relatively warm (30s) that I didn't need it and walked away with it still on the hanger in the lobby.  Tomorrow a.m. I'll need to get on the phone to see if they can mail it back to me!  Thankfully I also have a parka which I'll be using once in Fairbanks.  Temps there are about 10-30F colder.

Pulled into the hotel again around 6 p.m., and followed that with dinner at a local restaurant (the Snow Goose).  I tried the salmon with a bourbon bbq sauce and, while it was good, it was no match for that amazing lunch we had earlier.

Tomorrow at 08:15 we depart for Fairbanks on the Alaska Railroad.  The station is across the street from the hotel, so we'll be walking over around 07:45.  Our luggage will take the bus north and will be waiting for us in our rooms when  we arrive.  The trip takes around 12 hours because of all the stops--people getting on and off, mail and newspaper delivery, etc.  But the scenery we pass on the way through Denali National Park and all the small communities along the way is breathtaking in the wintertime.  Last year we had a spectacular view of Mt. McKinley (Denali) and we're hoping that the weather cooperates again tomorrow.

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