Saturday, July 10, 2010

Alaskan Cruise - Juneau, you know?

Part II of our Pacific Northwest Adventure-  We were the first cruise ship to arrive in Juneau since September 2009, so this was "opening day" for Juneau's tourist season.  Many of the restaurants and shops that were shuttered over the long winter were scrambling to reopen in time.  Being the capital city, I was surprised how small and quaint Juneau is-- although they do have excellent cell service due to all the government facilities located nearby.  I love small towns... I hope it never turns "metro".

juneau, alaska - view from our balcony at 7:00 AM

Instead of buying a "shore excursion" through the ship (the prices are ridiculously inflated), we easily found a bunch of tour companies on the pier when we disembarked.  Since we have young kids, we didn't go for more adventurous tours like helicopter rides or dog sledding.  We instead chose the more kid friendly tour of Juneau and Mendenhall Glacier.

view of our ship from across the bay
(where did Smarty Pants learn to pose like that?)
Happy Vee wanted to run around and was not happy to be packed-up in the beco baby carrier.
safety first, little man!

 my first thought when i saw the glacier-- wow, the ice really is blue!
(i know,i'm scientific like that.)
such a beautiful and calming sight.

it saddens me to learn that the glacier has receded greatly in the last decade or so.
global warming is the real deal and can no longer be ignored.


After our Glacier tour, we decided to ride the gondola to the top of Mount Roberts.  The Mt. Roberts Tramway is located conveniently on the pier.  Again, no need to pre-order tickets through the cruiseline-- it's ridiculous how they "scare" people into making reservations, then jack the price up 3 times over.

view from the base
and away! 

beautiful vantage point

birdseye view of juneau (bottom right) 

aw, brotherly love!
au revoir juneau...

Next Stop: Ketchikan