Team Amirault's Taj II touring America & Canada Blog

Skagway – the Alaska Inside Passage to Juneau.

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We both made it to Skagway safely but the road into the seaport was tricky and one didn’t want to look over the edge very often. However Skagway was amazing and it’s history and heritage was fabulous to learn about. It was however raining steadily and not a great arrival. Other coaches had some difficulties. We were all exhausted and needed a good rest that the first night, but we were looking forward to next few days which included a train ride mirroring the historic White Pass train followed by what was an amazing boat trip ride to Juneau.

Fireweed growing along the waterway that bordered the rail line.

A relic building of the early rail line

Flags of USA, Alaska, The Yukon Territories, Brutish Columbia and Canada.

Trees shrouded in fog as the train retraces the passage prospectors took 150 yrs ago on their way to find gold and silver.

Boats and cruise ships line the Skagway Harbor as the port is the most northerly stop for them. It is also important to fishing as are Valdez, Seward and Homer.

A big red machine…….

The snow removal machine used by the railroad to clear the tracks for access during winters difficult weather.

A memorial was erected in Skagway to all those who sought their fortune in Alaska and the Yukon Territories during the Gold Rush.

Cruise ships lining up – disembarking passengers for their visits to Skagway and points northeast

A cool building down on Main Street

More Main Street buildings and below is the view south at the end of that street.

Brothels were common in the 1800s as the men came into town to spend time and their earnings.

Restored buildings make it seem like time stood still in Skagway.

A space ship? No Royal Caribbean Cruise ship.

Cruise ships depart and that night the harbor grows quiet. The next day we took our cruise to Juneau.

Another bald eagle up on a cliff as we pulled out of Skagway Harbor.

We picked up other passengers in this tiny harbor – just a short distance from Skagway Harbor – remember the only way to Juneau is by boat or airplane. No road or bridge connects it to the mainland – the people who decided it would be the state capitol were far sighted methinks……

Glaciers line the Lynn Canal passage on our route – another picturesque glacier !!!

A beautiful statue of a humpback whale – those fantastic mammals who call the waters here home.

The view from the restaurant where we had lunch – Hangar on the Wharf – named because seaplanes land alongside the restaurant and it offers a terrific view as well as a fabulous menu. The capitol city and port is famous as a stop for cruise ships – thousands of people visit the area every year and enjoy a seaside Alaska cruise. We did trips by both land and sea – our perspective is much broader as a result. But – the intimate sea and land relationship in Alaska is a vital part of its heritage as well as its beauty. Don’t miss it if you get a chance.

Seaplane travel looks like fun and fascinating.

This historic Orthodox Church, named after St Nicholas, was built near the top of the hill in Juneau – it survived several catastrophes including fire. Inside we felt a remarkable feeling of calm and peace. It’s parishioners are dedicated to their church and their pastor greeted us as friends. It was a lovely experience.

St Nicholas Icon that was hanging in the front of the church.

The bell was recently restored and welcomes its believers to the daily services.

An example of the small sweet homes that line the streets up the city’s hills. Many have been restored and preserved as part of the city’s record of its earlier heritage.

Couldn’t resist getting a shot of this wild mural in a parking lot.

Cranes made by local children in an effort to bring peace to the world.

One of several sculptures along the harbor that celebrate the integral sea / land relationship.

A humpback whale spotted on our return ride to Skagway.

Brown fur covered sea lions occupy one of the Passage islands – like a huge moving brown velvet carpet – they eat, sleep and roar.

One of several waterfalls we saw along the way.

Eldred Rock is an island in the boroughs of Juneau and Haines, Alaska, United States. Located in Lynn Canal, it is 2.7 miles southeast of Kataguni Island and 55 miles northwest of the city of Juneau. The structure has been rebuilt and remains an important touchstone for passage travelers.

After hours of rain and fog – the sun breaks through and brings a shimmering golden hue to one of the glacial peaks. The sun and the warmer weather made our voyage back to Skagway beautiful with many creatures to watch and fantastic landscapes to enjoy.

Falling waters as glaciers melt and then freeze again as temperatures get cooler each fall.

These were a group of White sea lions far off in the distance – who were on a small island that we passed on the return trip.

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