Over the next couple of weeks I’ll be showing you scenes of Alaskan Glaciers, including Portage Glacier, Hubbard Glacier, Margerie Glacier, and Mendenhall Glacier. Below is a preview of some of the more stunning images from this trip. Click on any image to enlarge and bring up today’s slide show.
Starting next week we’ll be taking a look at the glaciers of Alaska, including some stunning video of gigantic chunks of ice calving off glacier walls and crashing into the chilled Alaskan waters below. But first I’m going to skip ahead a bit to our trip after we departed the Norwegian Sun.
I’ve done blog posts on Anchorage before, as you can see here (link to: Anchorage). As such, I’m going concentrate instead on our favorite Anchorage eating establishment, Glacier Brewhouse, which I’ll review toward the end. Before that, I’m going to briefly share some sights we encountered on the road toward Talkeetna, which we took on our way the Mount McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge for a quick look at Denali (formerly Mount McKinley). Ursula has been desperate to see Denali every trip we take to Alaska, and we’ve been thwarted each and every time save for a brief glimpse of the 20,308-foot/6,190-meter mountain. Alas, this trip was no better. Denali remained hidden to us for our entire stay at the resort.
Here are a couple of views along the way, along with the photo at the top of this post:
Here you can see the devastation that resulted from the massive 2015 “Sockeye” wildfire north of Anchorage:
Now for a tasty treat. I’ve reviewed Glacier Brewhouse before, and we dined there twice again this trip. The first time was with our friends Lisa and Al Fittipaldi. The second was after we went separate ways (they to Wrangell–St. Elias, and we to our failed attempt at seeing Denali). Upon our return from the Princess Wilderness Lodge and before our red-eye flight back to the Lower 48, we stopped once again.
The Glacier Brewhouse is a charming, yet very large establishment. If it lacks anything it would be intimacy and quiet, because the Brewhouse gets extremely crowded and a bit noisy.
Expect a wait unless you have reservations. To reduce the wait, make sure you arrive before 5:00 P.M.
Glacier Brewhouse brew not only their own beers, but also brew house-made root beer and cream soda.
No trip to this establishment is complete without at least a taste of their incredible Alaskan seafood chowder, which can be had by the cup or in a dinner-sized bowl. It is, quite simply, the best seafood chowder I’ve had anywhere.
On this trip Ursula was tasty for something light in preparation for our night flight. She chose the Brewhouse Blue salad.
I, on the other hand, am a sucker for their artisan pizzas.
On your way out take a look behind the counter:
Next week begins: The Glaciers of Alaska
The Norwegian Sun’s next stop, on June 3, was the ever-charming community of Skagway along the Chilkoot Inlet. And, as with Juneau, I’m going to give you gals a great jewelry shopping tip, one you wouldn’t expect way out here in the wilds of Alaska. But, first, let’s take a look at some of the stunning scenery that awaits you on the walk into town from the cruise dock, traveling along Congress Street before hanging a left on Broadway:
One of the first sights to great you along Broadway is the famous Red Onion Saloon, which I’ve never actually stepped into despite several visits to Skagway:
Notice next door is a Milano Diamond Gallery. You’ll recall from my Juneau post last week that Milano is generally a pretty good place to shop, especially in the Caribbean and down in Puerto Vallarta. But this trip I’m going to steer you to yet another gem, pun intended. We’ll get to that shortly. First, let’s take a look at a nifty little art gallery we stumbled upon. It’s called Alaska Artworks, and it contains some really nifty stuff including decorative metal art:
By the way, ever wonder how caribou and elk taste, here’s a place to stop for lunch. It’s the BBQ Shack, and it’s located in the courtyard of the Skagway Bazaar, with which it shares space with several shops. Pricey, but fun. I had the caribou burger, and Ursula dined on the elk chili. Both were tasty.
I’ll get to that great little jewelry shopping tip in a moment, but first below is today’s photo gallery. Click on any image to enlarge and bring up today’s slide show:
Now for today’s jewelry shopping tip. Ursula and I spent quite some time looking at various jewelry stores throughout Skagway, but we really didn’t intend to purchase anything. Of primary interest to us were tanzanite bracelets, but most were overpriced, and many were of poor color quality — not uncommon with the smaller stones used in such an application, as tanzanite stones usually need to be quite large to get any real color depth. But our resolve melted a bit when we stepped into Aurora Jewelers at 351 Broadway. No, we didn’t walk out with tanzanite. We got an extraordinary deal on something else entirely. And, no, owner’s son Shawn Kishnani did not give me a deal for mentioning him in my blog. He didn’t even know I do a blog. He was just aware that we did business with several other jewelers in Alaska, including the previously mentioned Samuel Sengul, owner of Jewelers International in Juneau, and he wanted to show us that he could be competitive enough to bring us back on our next Skagway trip.
Well, Shawn succeeded. Ursula walked away with an incredible deal on a diamond necklace. We spent what I estimate to be only ⅔ of what this particular piece would normally retail. Give Aurora Jewelers a try, and see what Shawn can work up price-wise if you see something you like.