I've not added anything to this for 2 main reasons,
1. we haven't been out on the boat this year
2. I tried to put some stuff on with my ipad and couldn't load pictures
so... I've got my old laptop out of retirement to see if it works, here goes...
We had a trip to Canada this May and much to the locals surprise they had a late snowfall, much to our delight! It was like being in the middle of a Christmas card!
We stayed at Banff and this was the view as we were going up the cablecar to the top of Sulphur mountain. The views were unbelievable from the top and the sun came out and clouds kept skidding across the sky, quite magical.
We saw lots of wildlife and this one one of the first eagles we saw - I ended up getting quite bored with them after a while - just another eagle! yawn, yawn. Same with ospreys! sad but true, now back on the marina surrounded by wretched Canada geese (which we saw few of in Canada, they're all over here) I'd love to see an eagle, highly unlikely I suspect.
after nearly a week of staying in Banff and then Jasper we boarded the Rocky Mountaineer and here we are waiting to board it. I have to say this was an amazing experience and if you have an opportunity to do it then GO FOR IT - and do the gold - it's really worth every penny. The service was outstanding and the views were out of this world.
This is from the inside of the observation car that we travelled in and you can see the front of the train as it curves around a corner! you also get a glimpse of the countryside!
as we approached Vancouver we saw the logs being loaded down the river - such an iconic sight!
a bit dim because it was evening, but this is Vancouver from our hotel window. Vancouver was lovely - a really nice city and the positioning of the hotel was ideal. no more than 10 minutes from the harbour, 2 minutes from the bus stop, over the road from a mall and the shops were right there!
From Vancouver we caught a boat - the Zuiderdamm - to travel through the Inside Passage up to Alaska (it really was the holiday of a lifetime). Here is the harbour just as we were about to depart! We had a room with a balcony which was wonderful - very extravagant, but we got to the point when we'd spent that much what did a bit more matter?
an 'artistic' view through one of the outside openings on the boat of one of the many islands we passed on our way.
standing on the stern of the boat watching the wake and suddenly realising that it was wider than our boat is long! Strange but true (both us thinking it and the fact! well I know what I mean!)
First stop was Juneaux, and this is our boat in harbour! quite a size. Don't the mountains look lovely in the background? I'm pleased I'm doing this it's bringing it all back to me!
We went with our good friends Susan and Malcolm and here are John and Susan coming out of the Saloon. It was wonderful inside with all manner of memorabilia and items of interest (some somewhat dubious) attached to the walls and ceilings. It was packed and the floor was covered in sawdust and the serving wenches were all dressed in appropriate attire. It had come highly recommended and was worth a visit.
The architecture was all very what you'd expect it to be. Lots of wood and looking as if it's straight out of an old western. The sidewalks were all wooden and the background scenery was beautiful. This is Skagway, the most northern town we visited. We took a trip on a minibus up into the mountains to see the trail that the old gold-diggers used in the Ukon gold rush that used this town as it's starting point. There are some wonderful tales to be told and the conditions they had to live in were barbaric. So many died and when you see where they had to travel and what they had to carry, you can understand why.
This is looking over the White Pass that now had a rail track but in the gold rush years (1897/98) they had to walk up here on a track barely visible below it, this in the snow carrying 1 ton of supplies each in relay. They weren't allowed to start off without enough clothes, food, building supplies etc to last a year as there were no shops or opportunities to get anything once they'd left Vancouver to travel up the coast.
The snow was starting to melt during our stay and his was one of many waterfalls taking the melt down the mountains to join the rivers and sea. Some were amazing and really needed a video to capture the incredible height of them reaching from high precipices and tumbling down the rockfaces.
the highlight of the whole trip for me was Glacier Bay. Here you can see the exact moment when a chunk of ice falls after thousands of years, into the sea. The scope of the place is not something that you can capture on a camera. We were well out to sea and this glacier face was huge. The noises coming off the glacier were really moving. You could hear grindings and moanings as it slowly ate it's way through the rock and then as it starts to break up, you hear occasional sounds like pistol shots and then, if you're lucky you see the ice fall. I stayed watching it for 30 minutes on my own on our balcony and have to admit to crying at the beauty of it all.
I have more but must get on and do something now. I promise I'll get back and put some more on in the near future, but at least you know we're still alive and well.