Sunday, June 15, 2014

Magnificent Alaskan Cruise

Home from our Alaskan Cruise and I'll share some of my photos of the beautiful scenery we saw there. Mom and I flew to Seattle and boarded the Norwegian Jewel there. I taught the two days we were at sea... and we played tourist when we docked at the ports.

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Sunset from our balcony on the Norwegian Jewel.

I taught Zentangle drawing and quilting on this cruise.
I challenged the students to find tangle designs throughout the ship.
Check out this carpet. It even has shading between the curved designs.

 As we cruised along, there was a lot of snow melting,
creating rivers and waterfalls running down
the sides of the mountains.

Port of Ketchican

We took a trolley ride to the largest park with totem poles.
There were also two eagle nests near the entrance so
we got to see a lot of eagles too.

Mom standing by one of the totems - and this was a very short one.

This eagle flew toward the ship as we pulled away from the dock and I snapped this photo from our balcony.

Port of Juneau

Mom and I hopped on a shuttle to go to downtown Juneau where we did a little souvenir shopping (had to get some Ulu knives) and strolled along a boardwalk which gave us the best view of our ship. Usually we were too close to it and couldn't get the whole ship in the picture. 

Juneau: We just had to stand in front of this big stuffed bear.
Temperatures were cool enough for a light fleece jacket.

Large and small pieces of the glacier. The ice was a blue-green color.

This was our first view of Sawyer Glacier from our balcony.

Then the captain stopped the ship and turned it in a 360-degree circle so everyone could see the glacier from our balconies. We expected to see a tall mountain of ice. Instead it was a collapsed-looking mound of ice.

Our next port was Skagway, where Mom and I boarded the White Pass Yukon train. The sights were unbelievable. I spent most of the trip standing on the rear platform of our car so I could take photos. The train twisted and turned along the edge of the mountains.
There were several trestles and two tunnels on our route.
Now don't you just wonder how long it took them to build a trestle like this
on the side of the mountain.

This was a large falls that we could see from the train. It was closer to the Yukon Highway.

When we reached the turn-around point, the engineers used a side rail to move the engines from the front to the back. This was a large glacier lake right next to the tracks. The guide said it was 2.5 miles long and was 250 feet deep in spots.
Looks cold in this photo, doesn't it? Well, it was cold up there.

Check out how high that snow is piled outside our car.

As we headed back to Skagway, the guide pointed out the
Class 6 rapids in this area.

Engine #52 was the first engine to traverse this rail line.
They keep it parked at the workshop for the White Pass Yukon Rail Line.

Our trip ended back in downtown Skagway.
This train ride was a highlight of our trip.

 This was the million dollar photo from our train ride.
We were 20 miles away from where our ship was docked,
but you can see it in this photo.

And then we sailed on to Victoria, British Columbia.

At Victoria, we visited the Butchart Gardens. Mr. Butchart had used this
site to dig limestone to make cement. As Mr. Butchart exhausted limestone deposits, his enterprising wife Jennie, made plans to create something of beauty in the gigantic exhausted pit. From farmland nearby, she had tons of top soil brought in by horse and cart and used it to line the floor of the abandoned quarry. Little by little, the quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden.

And, oh my, were the flowers beautiful! At home we have flowers that bloom at different times. In this garden, many of them were blooming all at the same time.

Butchart Gardens

The Rhododendrons had huge blossoms... in many different colors.

This is a view of the Sunken Gardens

A momma bear and two babies were made of
moss and tucked into the trees.

Tucked under this group of trees were many different varieties of hostas.
The variety of colors made this a beautiful garden.

A pond with a fountain in the center made a great backdrop
for these wild flowers.

Mom and I took a break in the garden and
enjoyed sitting in some of the chairs sprinkled among the flowers.

Bonnie sitting in the Sunken Garden.

Loved the blue poppies!

Mounds of colorful flowers lined the walkways throughout the gardens.

We rented a wheelchair so Mom wouldn't need to walk up and
down the hills in the gardens. Made it easier for us to stroll and roll
through the gardens.

The azaleas were profusions of color everywhere.

Some walkways were lined with tall, straight trees.
After we left the Gardens, our driver stopped downtown so we could
take a few photos. They were planning sailboat races that weekend so
the bay was full of sailboats.
This is the government building in Victoria. It is a very old building.

Last photo of the trip just before we boarded the ship
to head back to Seattle.

We enjoyed our trip to Alaska on the Norwegian Jewel.

Thank you Gloria Cook for scheduling our
Magnificent Alaskan Cruise.
And thanks to the quilters who joined Patti Hempen and me,
and made the classes on sea days such fun!

Be sure to take a cruise to Alaska!