A Travellerspoint blog

Juneau

The continuing saga of lost kilos found!

rain 10 °C

Dear All

The weather eventually settled and woke to relatively calm seas. Did think at one stage I would be rolled out of bed due to the rolling of the ship. Anyway. All is good.

We had breakfast in the Stateroom this morning. Those Kilos are really fighting their way back!

Following breakfast I had yet another go at connecting to the internet. Success at last but only for a short while. Ron went to log on to check banking info and the connection was lost. Not been able to get the connection back since.

Of course that left one thing to do. Shopping! Yes! That watch found it’s way into my possession. Another which is Noice, Different and Unusual!

The ship docked early at Juneau and we were left to wander the streets for a while before our tour. Did you know Alaska had a big trade in Diamonds? All along the waterfront there were shops and shops of Diamonds, Tanzanite (semi precious) and Ammolite (also semi precious). The traders are extremely hawkish. We were warned about some of their tactics. One guy got us into the shop and next thing you know, I was trying on a ring, which was exquisite! Who would’ve thought? Fortunately, someone standing next to me (read Ron) nudged me back to reality and I had the good sense to state it was just a little too big. So gave it back to the fella, then ran like hell for the door.

After that we were bundled into a bus to be taken to a Dog Sledding and Mushing place. We were warned it might be wet and muddy. Well, wet was certainly the case. Muddy wasn’t such an issue. We bought a couple of cheap plastic ponchos to put on for the ride. What an amazing experience! There were 16 dogs attached to a line which itself was attached to a 4 wheeled buggy. The dogs were hilarious! All they wanted to do was run. So when the bus pulled up and all the tourists got off, they knew what was happening and starting to bark and howl like crazy! Many of them were pulling at the leads wanting to go! So we were duly deposited onto the buggy, strapped in then off we went into the forrest with the these dogs pulling like billio! Very intelligent animals. They knew the way and just wanted to keep on going! We hung on for grim death and watched these pooches doing their thing with their tails in the air the their “third eye” watching us! Fantastic experience and one to tick off the bucket list I guess.

After this we went on the Mt Robson Tramway which is really a Gondola car suspended from a wire and a near vertical climb up from the water front to the top of this ginormous mountain. Of course there was the usual shop with trinkets and a small nature shop also selling lots of trinkets and information about the wildlife but the one thing which for me was an absolute plus was there was an bald eagle which had been injured some years ago and could not be released back into the wild. She was beautiful and so majestic sitting there. Such a shame she could not live as she should. So back onto the Tramway and down the hill and back to the ship. Dinner was simple hamburgers in the Stateroom and crashed into bed.

Write more as soon as I can.

Piccies will be uploaded once I can get a reasonably stable connection as they take a while.

Cheers all

B and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 17:19 Archived in Canada Tagged cruising Comments (0)

Day one onboard the Cruise Ship

Still getting friction burns on my jaw from it continually dragging on the ground

overcast 13 °C

Dear All

Today, we had a bit of a walk around the ship. Was just a tad invigorating and the weather has sort of turned around on us. It is drizzling and we are in fog. I haven’t seen any Ice Bergs floating by but not too worried. It seems the Captain knows what he is doing and I didn’t see Titanic written anywhere on the ship. There isn’t anywhere where Leonardo and Kate can do their “King of the World” impression either, so we should be OK.

I also spent some time trying to get internet access sorted. On the ship it is also rather unstable, expensive but just might work. Soon find out.

Actually no. That won’t be happening. The Internet has decided to have the sulks again! Will try later.

So what does one do when one can’t really do much? One goes shopping of course! So far 1x watch for myself and 1x for Ron. There is another I’ve spied and just might find it’s way into my case before I get off the ship. Both are Noice, Different and Unusual!

Also picked up some trinkets for folks back home and some cologne. Noice again!

I decided to pamper myself and booked in for a full body remedial massage and Pedicure. Turned up for the massage and this rather well built tanned lady asked if I’d like Firm or Firm Firm. I mentioned I would like the Firm Firm and actually received Firm Firm Firm Firm! I think my spine actually met the top of the massage table. However, I only moaned a few times. Most likely because I was having difficulty getting my breath. Must say, it was a lovely massage and I feel a hell of a lot better. Gitta need not worry though!

When another equally tanned lady started my Pedicure, I was sitting with my feet in a mini whirlpool and talking about this, that and the other. She then lifted one foot onto a stool at the end and asked if I’d had a Pedicure before as she was using a device which was slightly reminiscent of a rasp file! As I peeled myself off the ceiling, giggling, I mentioned I had not! So with a rather sadistic laugh, she continued with the rasping whilst hanging onto my foot with a rather strong hold so I couldn’t run away giggling my head off! Must say though, it was equally fantastic and now am wondering why I’ve never done this before.

The weather took a turn for the worst last night. It is difficult to imagine such a large ship being tossed around like a toy, but that is what happened during the night. Lots of bangs and creaks. I wasn’t unduly concerned but it is difficult to have Emergency Training not come to the for during these times and I started to go through thinking “OK. Life Vests are here and I can get to them quickly. Emergency Exit is this way and it’s about 15 paces to the door” . Needn’t have worried though. This morning is beautiful and the sun is attempting to peek through the clouds.

Will write more soon. Will be docking in at Juneau this afternoon at 13:00 hrs.

Take care all

B and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 10:24 Archived in Canada Tagged cruising Comments (0)

Victoria to Ship Terminal

New definition of OMG!

overcast 17 °C

Dear All

Our last day in Vancouver. So sad!

So, as usual, an early morning start to the day. However, we were both happy this was to be the last early rushed start to the day for some time.

Whilst were getting the bus organized and once all others had boarded the bus except Ron, Sueann, Mark and myself, I walked up to both Linda and Kate on separate occasions and said I wanted to have a “stern word” with them. Both had suitably horrified expressions on their faces until I cracked up and gave them a kiss and hug, then Ron place envelopes into their hands with a card and some additional tips for them. All from Sueann and Mark with us also contributing. Honestly, you should’ve seen the look on their faces. It was priceless. Not that I got much pleasure out of that! But seriously, they were really what made the tour a wonderful experience.

Off we went into Vancouver and ended up at the Ship Terminal. What a place and so well organized about getting people on board. But I will say, the U.S. people are not really falling over themselves about welcoming people into their territories. Even though we will be on a ship and starting from a Canadian Port, we will be going to Alaska for the journey which is American territory. So we had to go through their Immigration department. Hence the warm fuzzy welcome by gum chewing people who seem to be over endowed with vocabulary such as “grunt” and “huh?” Mind you, there were over 2,000 people to get through and there were only 8 immigration officers. Seem oddly overwhelmed I might’ve thought! I can't really say I would be full of bon hommie myself!

After that, we eventually boarded ship and were guided to our Stateroom. Cabin was so five minutes ago and apparently they are all called Staterooms. OMFG! Such splendiferous, luxurious rooms. They are just beautiful. Pictures to follow once I’ve picked my jaw off the ground. Also pictures will follow once I can get a stable faster internet connection.

We didn't do much today except sigh and think "Thank goodness no more living out of a feckin suitcase for a whole week!" Mustn't complain though. I really feel so privileged to be able to experience all of this.

Will send some more when able

Cheers

B and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 10:12 Archived in Canada Tagged cruising Comments (0)

Victoria to Vancouver

Internet? What's an Interthingy?

overcast 17 °C

Dear All

First of all, apologies for the lack of communication.

Now I've finally managed to get some access, albeit not the most stable, I'll forward these as I can.

Internet coverage has been less than desired. The last hotel we were staying at had free Wi Fi but it was really unstable and I had major difficulties even loading a page. Of course being blessed with so much patience and tolerance, I took all of that in my stride as I threw the toys out of the cot and spat the dummy! First world problem then!

Apart from the internet issue, The Grand Pacific hotel is a magnificent place to stay. Some semblance of Art Deco in the design which I totally love. I guess the fact we were staying in a top shelf room helped and the view was also wonderful. The room overlooked the harbour you could see the place was a hive of activity. Tourism seems to be a mainstay of Canada. Everything is geared up for it. You should see the little water taxis they have here. They look like little remote control toys. I’ve got a glimpse of a couple in some of the photos and I’ll try to remember to load them onto the blog. They call them Pickle boats over here and that is what they look like.

We started off our second last morning of the bus tour with a walk around Butchart Gardens. Joyce (Mother) would’ve approved. There are 55 acres which might just be enough to keep her occupied. I can just see Joyce whizzing around the garden in one of the John Deere buggies screaming off to the Tuberous Begonias with yet another load of mulch. The grin would be miles wild and everyone would be running, screaming for their lives from the woman on a mission!

I had the breakfast of a life time there. I never realized there could be such a wild variation on French Toast but you learn something new every day! I asked for the Brioche and a plate was plonked down in front of me with half a loaf of bread, toasted, with Maple Syrup dripping down over it with a few berries and half a carton of cream. Funny thing, all of a sudden it just disappeared! I dunno either! Remember those Kilo’s? Their finding their way back! Little devils!

After that we went for a spot of Whale Watching. Not a bad tour but I must say, when the day is so blue sky yet icy, you realize there are definitions of cold and f****g freezing. Especially on the bow of the boat. Still, wouldn’t have missed it for the world. One of the dominant male Orca’s actually did some “spy hopping” ! He kept on bobbing up having a look at those funny things called humans which were snooping on him having a bit of fun with his ladies.

We finished off the night with a Farewell dinner at which there was well recognized appreciation for Linda, the Tour Director and Kate, our fearless bus driver.

Talk soon

Cheers

Bryan and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 10:04 Archived in Canada Tagged travel Comments (0)

Float Plane to Victoria

Yeeeeee Haaaaw across the Glaciers

sunny 25 °C

Dear All

A short note to update you on the absolute fantastic experience we had today.

12 of us flew by Float Plane from Whistler to Victoria. OMFG! What a treat!

So we wander around down town Whistler and buy a few little trinkets and then head back to the hotel to get ourselves prepared for the flight. (read have some caffeine). Get picked up by Taxi and get driven to a Golf course! Of course, that is where all float planes take off. Who knew!

After some guffawing and clowning around clicking ourselves silly with Cameras we were ushered onto the Plane.

I did feel a little concerned for one of the group because he was placed near an exit door. However his wife was placed at the front of the plane and her foot was out of range of poor hubby , so clearly someone realised this person's life might be in jeopardy! I do believe he hadn't completed his understanding of the Marriage Vows Chapter 5, Clause 3, Sub heading 34, Paragraph 2 outlining he must be a doormat no matter what! :-) Poor man. I'm sure he will eventually get the hang of this in the next Century or so!

Anyway. Took off and spent the next 55 minutes going Yee Haw, WOW, OMG, and other incredibly excited superlatives. We flew across the top of some of the Glaciers and I'll swear we were about 20 foot clear. It was an absolute hoot!

You should've seen us in the cabin. Cameras were being swapped from side to side, nudging each other as different things came into view which the other side might not be able to see. I can't believe that no cameras were harmed in the making of this episode of the blog!

There were also some mountains we flew between and I'll swear I could've reached out and touched them.

When we had landed and the pilot (Australian by the way) had turned everything off, I sat there and stated very loudly AGAIN!

So. All in all a wonderful experience.

Certainly one of the absolute highlights for the tour

Take care all

Cheers

B and Ron

Posted by BeeandRon 17:20 Archived in Canada Tagged flying Comments (0)

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