Unfortunately many tourist activities weren’t on offer in Anchorage on the Columbus Day holiday in October. Thankfully the friendly staff at Salmon Berry Travel Tours took pity on me looking sad because it was my last day in Alaska and decided to run their Wildlife Tour activity with just me onboard.
If you’ve traveled in Alaska for a while but not seen any big wildlife than this is your best option to get up close to Elk, Moose, Bears etc.
GUEST ARTICLE: In July my parents moved from central British Columbia to Pender Island, which is situated in the Gulf Islands just outside of Victoria, BC. Every year we visit them and my grandparents who live up north in Terrace, BC. With my... Read More
Selected Alaska travel highlights are explained as a travel diary / journal below.
At 6pm Friday I checked in and got onboard the MV Columbia at Bellingham, Washington enroute to Juneau,Alaska via the Alaska Marine Highway. My cabin was right next to the deck exit so handy for seeing what the weather was like to take photos outside.
As I stepped onboard I changed all my devices to 5pm Alaska time. After stashing my luggage in my cabin I waited for the MV Columbia to leave port. As late September is getting close to Winter in Alaska there were only about 125 passengers on board, about a quarter of the usual capacity.
I knew that the next day would be clear weather and have good viewing opportunities of the landscape we were passing from standing at the stern of the MV Columbia. So I woke up at 5am (voluntarily! which is very rare for me) and was rewarded with this beautiful sunrise.
Selected Seattle, Washington State highlights are explained as a travel diary / journal below.
When I told people I was visiting Seattle they warned that it would rain all the time so I should pack plenty of wet weather clothing. As it turned out the end of September is the perfect time to visit Seattle because the temperatures are comfortable and it didn’t rain even one drop the whole week I was there.
When visiting a country it’s a great idea to participate in national pastimes. Baseball is one of the main ones in the USA so I went along with a friend who lives in Seattle to watch the local Mariners team play a home game against the Texas Rangers. Safeco Field is a great place to watch a baseball match as you can get a good view of the game without having to spend a lot of money.
I had a great time and this is a sample of the atmosphere including Seattle Mariners batter Eric Thames hitting a home run.
It should be emphasised that catching Amtrak is about the journey and who you meet along the way. Delays can and do occur due to weather, other train traffic along the route and injuries/fatalities if someone collides with the train. Do not make firm plans on the same day you’re due to arrive at your destination to meet friends for dinner, catch a connecting flight etc.
In return you’ll get to sit and watch the landscape roll pass as the Amtrak Coast Starlight train passes through California, Oregon and Washington State. Book by phone so you can ask for a sleeper roomette in the middle of the carriage on the top level and on whichever side left/right the customer service agent thinks will be more scenic.
William Randolph Hearst, founder of the Hearst Newspapers media empire (the Rupert Murdoch of his day) began his career at the San Francisco Examiner building (Third and Market streets) on March 4 1887.
I use Hearst as an example of how huge media empires tend to weaken, lose influence and fragment after the founder passes away. One of my friends commented when they saw the photo that Hearst was “one of the most toxic of the moguls America ever gave us and likely an inspiration for the yellow journalism in which Murdoch’s publications engage”.
This 40 ft high Raygun Retro Rocketship art is located at Pier 14, Ferry Wharf with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the background. It imagines a world where we could travel to distant lands in the solar system by rocket.
The pier to the right of the rocket ship is a good place to see the skyline eg: the Transamerica Pyramid (tallest skyscraper in San Francisco) surrounded by fog at sunset.
GUEST ARTICLE: We have been to Honolulu quite a number of times over the years and always have a great time. It makes for a convenient stopover, breaking up our usual flight between North America and Australia. Usually when we’re there we like to go... Read More
GUEST ARTICLE: The province of British Columbia is located in Western Canada. Our goal on this trip was to get as far north and explore as much as we could in just 2 weeks. First we flew into Vancouver and picked up our rental car. Most people drive... Read More
GUEST ARTICLE: Depending on your time of arrival it can take about one hour to reach the famous rays and waves of Santa Monica from Los Angeles International Airport (more commonly known as ‘LAX’) after battling the famous highway gridlock –... Read More
Dallas, Texas. Skyline photo credit: ragingwire
GUEST ARTICLE: We arrived at Dallas, Texas pretty late at night and got a bus transfer from the airport to our hotel (Hyatt Place) located in the suburb of North Irving. We were packed in with a few... Read More
Travel Tales and Photos from around the world off the beaten track