Alaska 2014 Days 7 & 8

Saturday and Sunday, June 28 and 29 were our first two full days of the cruise. On Saturday, we had a sea day. That is, the ship did not stop in a port and we were on board all day long. The ship did take a trip into this big bay to get an up close look at Hubbard Glacier. Here are a bunch of pictures I took. They do not do justice to the beauty of the scene that was before us. The wall of ice you see was 30 stories tall! Our ship was 11-12 stories tall. So looking at a 30 story tall object from the 10th floor of another object at a distance of half a mile to a mile, makes everything look much smaller than it really is. When we were at the closest point, just under half a mile, I was outside on a back deck and you could hear loud pops and creaks everywhere as ice chunks broke apart from each other. Every now and then you could see a small avalanche of small chunks fall into the water. In the water pictures you can see the bay was littered with ice bergs…

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On Sunday, we visited the city of Juneau, Alaska. I got in a little bit of running and a little bit of walking. The two items listed as diamond attractions in the AAA tour book were the Mendenhall Glacier and the Mt Roberts Tramway. There were a number of very expensive ship excursions to the glacier and there was a 20 shuttle to the glacier. I, however found a local car rental company who would rent me a car for $60. This would save us some money and give us the freedom to explore some more. The one draw back was that the office of the car rental was 1 mile from the ship. Rather than have all four of us walk it, I ran it while the ladies got in a bit of shopping. After we were done with the car I dropped it off and ran back. So, I did get in 2 miles of running.

The main attraction, Mendenhall Glacier was awesome. We walked a trail out to a water fall by the base of it (2.5 miles). We took some pictures and enjoyed the awesome view. We also walked a boardwalk pathway along the river leading away from the glacier, hoping to spot bears…. We did see a porcupine up a tree, but that was it.

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We drove out to a Botanical Garden, which was beautiful but very small…

We made it to the Mt Roberts Tramway after a late lunch. We watched a video at the top and enjoyed the view….. including bald eagles.  Then we headed down so there was still enough time for shopping before we had to be aboard the ship. There were coupons handed out with various free items at certain stores…. mainly small trinkets at jewelry shops. They were hoping to get you in to buy something. We just collected our free stuff.

Of course, one of the fun things about cruising is dining…. They make you get dressed up some nights. Other nights it is less formal…



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