Thursday, February 12, 2015

Alaska - Day 4, Ketchikan

Wednesday, September 24

Weather: High 50's
Misty, drizzly, sunny, rainy – You name it

Arriving in Ketchikan,
early in the misty morning.
I awoke as the ship was approaching Ketchikan, ahead of the alarm I had set. I was excited to be here, and I didn't want to waste a moment of this much-anticipated stop. I once worked with a young woman who was from Ketchikan and was very curious to experience what she'd described to me. The mist was hanging on and between the mountains. It was drizzling, but it was easy to see what a beautiful spot this is. The water was like glass, the mountains that I could see were thickly blanketed with trees. It was very green. 

You walk off the ship, and there you are.
It rains a lot in Ketchikan, and rain is such a welcome thing to me right now, as we are having a drought emergency in California. Wouldn't it be fabulous if a method could be found to ship this water back home? But not in little plastic bottles.

We stood on the little bridge
for quite a while, watching the
salmon make their way upstream.
I managed a shot of one as it
leapt out of the water.
Not bad for a point-and-shoot!
In Ketchikan, you get off the ship, and there you are. No need for taxis and such if you are just planning to hang around town, which we were. We did a walk-about today, taking photos of totem poles and the local sights for what seemed like hours. The streams were rushing and full of spawning (and dying) salmon. The smell was a little unfortunate, but that's nature. They spawn, then they die. Kinda sad, actually. The gulls were happy, though, and having a feeding frenzy.

Totem poles abound.
Down by Creek Street, where the “shady” ladies used to ply their trade (I am taking the liberty of assuming here that this no longer happens, but I could definitely be wrong about that), there were salmon carcasses and piles of roe everywhere on the banks of the creek.

We did some shopping, and all the standing and walking and waiting did my husband in a bit. I need to keep in mind that the illness causes disorientation and rapid mood swings. It really isn't helpful at all if I'm impatient or otherwise inattentive to his increasing needs. Mostly, though, it was fine. Especially in retrospect. While hours of shopping used to be a wonderful diversion for him, half an hour now seems interminable. Funny. Half an hour of shopping has felt that way to me for ages!

Where the shady ladies used to hang out. Shops now.
At least, that's the story...
We made our way back to the ship at noon to have lunch, after which we went down to the Piazza to have some more of those heavenly meringues. But there weren't any today! As crushing disappointments go, it was a relatively minor one. But, still. I was so looking forward to that burst of flavor.

As the ship was due to leave at 2 p.m. anyway, we decided to take a nap. Harry slept for over two hours, and then he was cranky because I didn't have an activity scheduled. Note to self: Schedule, schedule, schedule. You can always cancel, cancel, cancel!

When a town is built on a
mountainside, sometimes
the streets are actually just
stairs. First time seeing this!
We watched for whales from our balcony as we sailed away. The mountains were heavily shrouded in mist and obscured by rain. I was very much reminded of our trips to British Columbia. The scenery must be stunningly splendid when it isn't a dark, gray day, because it was lovely anyway.

Everyone came to dinner tonight, and we sang “Happy Birthday” to Mark. He's 21 now (cough, cough)! Judy was feeling much better and looked gorgeous. No wonder he likes her! They took a flying excursion to Misty Fjords, which they said was great.

Here's what we ate for dinner: We both had the tempura sushi, which was like a deep-fried California Roll and was served chilled. We both enjoyed the cream of garlic soup. And also the coconut soup with lychee, because who can decide? The good news is, you don't have to. You can have both. Huzzah! On to the entrée, which was roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, and potatoes. Delicious. And for dessert, see if you can guess what my husband had? Give up? Crème brulée. I had Drambuie soufflée with pear sauce. Divine. I know!

Look! The sun came out!
Tonight's show featured hypnotist Matthew Fallon. It was highly entertaining, and we ran into one of the participants later in the evening. Her husband and I were chatting (and chuckling) about some of the antics we'd witnessed. She had absolutely no idea what we were talking about. None. No memory of what had transpired at all, except just one part: She remembered feeling very hot (a hypnotic suggestion). I reassured her and told her that it was all in good fun, and she'd done nothing to be embarrassed about. Much.

The Adagio Strings (three violins and a cello) were playing in the Vista Lounge to a packed and appreciative house. These beautiful young women from Ukraine are spectacular musicians. The second heat of Princess Pop Star followed, and then it was time for bed.

Tomorrow morning, we'll be rising at 6:30 to allow plenty of time for waking up, getting ready, and eating breakfast. Our Juneau tour to Mendenhall Glacier had originally been scheduled at a leisurely 2:30 p.m., but the change in itinerary now means we have to be dockside by 7:50 a.m. My gratitude to the Longshoremen increases daily. But we're having a wonderful time in spite of it all. So far, Alaska is fabulous!

Downtown Ketchikan
By the way, Tom Sheridan has a website called "Tom's Port Guides." If you're going on a cruise, be sure to check it to see if the ports you're visiting are included. You won't be sorry. Friends have thanked me for suggesting his site. You will, too. Here's the one for Ketchikan. Take a look, and you can follow his map to see where we wandered today.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I read all messages and would love to hear from you.