Thursday, September 01, 2016

Sightseeing: Turnagain Arm & Portage Glacier

My time in the Alaska leg was short with just a couple of days to get around, so any touring would be whistle-stop at best. The most popular trip in this part was the Turnagain Arm and Portage Glacier, which I chose to go for.





Some lovely scenery along the way.
 
Our first major stop was Mount Alyeska, which is the Russian name for the state (it used to be Russian owned before being sold to the Americans). The mountain is a popular ski resort and in the Summer offers some hiking. I took the car up the mountain and then did a small hike up a neighbouring peak close by.





Lovely views

Our lunch was more thick soup like in Iceland. I managed to have my second choking fit of the holiday here. Embarrassing! 

In the afternoon we headed to an animal sanctuary, the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Centre, which allowed us to get close to some of the animals indigenous to this part of the world.











 

A rather shy porcupine.

The main stop was the Portage Glacier which is a boat trip that takes you to the foot of an immense glacier as it meets the Portage Lake.



The glacier is half a mile across and about 300ft high where it meets the water. It's so immense that you think it's smaller so the dimensions are a bit eye opening. A natural optical illusion.




This was a rather cool part of the trip.



A salmon spawning location which is also where they return to to die. Those that aren't killed by humans or bears keep swimming in locations like this until they decompose. What a horrid way to go.

On the way back we were fortunate to see some manatees in the water.


More fish for dinner this time in one of the more popular restaurants/bars in town. A lot of the guests here were about to go on a cruise. Anchorage is a popular starting destination for cruises that head down the western coast.




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