Inside Passage

20090616 Inside Passage

Well:  here we are safely (if somewhat grumpily in my case) back in Chicago after our Alaska adventure.  It was amazing … exceeded our expectations in every way.  Vancouver:  phenomenal city;  could live there.  Cruising up the inside passage (as it were):  incredibly gorgeous.  And the whole “being on a cruise” experience – despite my trepidation – was really great.  Part of my trepidation, I think, stems from the fact that I sometimes get sea-sick … but those little miracle patches they have now that you stick behind your ear, and it was all no problem … even when we were out in the Pacific swells.  My only long ship journey until now was on the Espresso Egitto from Venice to Alexandria in 1990, when I was on my way to Cairo for language training.  Four days of boredom and bad coffee, enlivened only by a pre-Yugoslav-war stop in Dubrovnic (beautiful), a transit through the Corinth Canal (scary and amazing), and occasional hilarity by the pint-sized swimming pool (naming no names Ms Mealor …).

20090618 Happiness is ...Anyway:  this one was different.  (a) the ship had a lot more going for it than the Espresso Egitto;  (b) we were there to celebrate mum & dad’s 60th wedding anniversary;  and (c) thanks to a last-minute upgrade offer, we were in the most fantastic suite at the front of the boat, with a balcony double the size of some of the rooms … <happy sigh> … I had two great books – one of which you can see pictured here along with my G&T.  Bliss.

20090617 Mum through the looking glassWeather was mostly great, though often moody, as here (left) when sailing up the Tracy Arm Fjord towards the glacier of the same name (below right).  Amazing sight … that slightly eerie turquoise colour on the exposed bits of ice;  and the massiveness of it all …

20090617 Tracy Arm Glacier

On one of the days, Helen, Tony & I did a 9 mile hike up onto one of the glaciers (the Laughton Glacier) and back;  which was also fascinating.  Despite years of school and university geography, I had in my head an image of a glacier as ‘clean’ ice … but of course it’s carrying millions of tons of rock and grit suspended in it, so that from afar its snout looks just like a pile of rocks.  It’s only when you’re actually on it that you can see you’re on ice.

Isn’t this one great?  Tony (on self-timer of couse) capturing the family moment …

20090620 Happy Family

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