The cruise got underway on a beautiful clear Friday afternoon 10 days ago. We sailed out of Vancouver and headed north toward Ketchikan. Steve and I spent much of the first two days searching for telltale signs of whales. We saw a few dolphins and some seals, but no whales.
On Sunday we docked in Ketchikan. We spent the morning walking around this quaint gold mining town. We ate fresh king crab for lunch before taking in the Lumber Jack show.
Steve and I are in the midst of a 15-day trip to Canada and Alaska in celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary. So far Steve has taken 782 pictures. I promise I won’t post them all, but I will share a few of my favorites.
We began our trip last Thursday by flying to Vancouver, Canada, by way of Chicago. I’ve heard horrors stories about O’Hare; however, our experience was wonderful. We arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule and more than our hour before boarding began for our flight to Vancouver. We had plenty of time for the short walk to the gate and to get some breakfast. We arrived in Vancouver shortly before noon local time. We had a bit more than 24 hours to explore Vancouver before boarding the cruise ship that would take us to Alaska.
Vancouver is a beautiful city, with a mix of hundred-year old buildings and new, modern skyscrapers. The city is very clean, and they take their recycling seriously. Steve got fussed at for not properly deciphering the instructions on a series of recycling bins at the McDonald’s where we ate breakfast Friday.
After checking into the hotel, we ate lunch at an authentic Irish pub a block from our hotel, and then bought a pass for a “hop on, hop off” bus tour around the city. Because we bought our ticket late in the afternoon, we were allowed to use it the following day. We stayed on the bus for both of its routes Thursday, and on Friday we took the bus to Stanley Park.
We hopped off at the first stop in Stanley Park intending to spend 30 minutes exploring the area before hopping back on and riding to the next stop. Things do not go as planned. We walked about half a mile downhill to visit Beaver Lake, then we decided that we did not want to walk back up the hill to catch the bus. Rather we decided to walk to the next stop. Thirty minutes later with the stop nowhere in sight, we realized that our reasoning had been faulty. We eventually made it to the stop, having walked about 3 miles through the park.
Stanley Park is beautiful, and I highly recommend spending time there if you have an opportunity to visit Vancouver. We were particularly intrigued by the nurse trees which root themselves in dead tree stumps.
Our hotel was located next to Canada Place where the 2010 Winter Olympics medals were handed out and about 2 blocks from the Olympic cauldron. We visited the site and made a quick trip to the Canadian Mountie store before boarding the ship.