Hello - greetings from Juneau!
We are now in Juneau. It is a lovely city - the state capital - and we have just done a quick tour around the State Capital Building. It's a lovely, gracious building and the senate room and the representatives room are just magnificent. Now we've crossed the road and come into the state building where all the administrative work is done. We've been given a computer for half an hour for free, so I'm able to update you on our last 24 hours.
After blogging yesterday in Ketchikan, we explored the town some more. It was an amazing place. We went up the mountain in a funicular and had a coffee. The view from up there was something else. We came back down and followed Ketchikan Creek down, and could see loads of dead salmon as well as lots of live ones trying to work their way upstream, against the current, and obviously some weren't making it. Apparently, the last few years the salmon population has decreased dramatically, but this year there are millions of them. The local birds were having a feast! When we walked back along the harbour, where the creek joined the sea, there were thousands of them all queueing up to go upstream. It was the oddest thing to see. The salmon have to get back to where they were spawned to spawn themselves. If they don't make it - they die. If they do make it - they spawn and then die.
We sort of wandered around the shops and came across a fantastic quilting shop, huge and very busy. Apparently quilting is alive and well in Alaska. Even in a small place like Ketchikan, there are lots of quilters with shows and classes on all year. Amazing!
We got back to the ship, which sailed at 2.00 p.m. We had a lazy lunch, then I borrowed some books from the library and read for a while - Richard went exploring to find bits of the ship that we hadn't even seen up til then. He came back and dragged me off to see these places - a night club (Skywalkers) right at the top of the shop (I think floor 17 or something), which was fantastic. We found the imaginary golf course, tennis courts, more swimming pools and hot tubs. I'm not sure if we've seen everything yet. We had dinner and then went to see another show with a comic pianist who wasn't very funny nor particularly good on the piano. Never mind.
Today, when we woke, we were in Juneau. It's a lovely city, and we've explored around this building. We've still to look at the shops - but we found another quilting shop! Even better than the one yesterday. The shop featured the work of an Alaskan designer, a bit like Beryl Cook's work, with fabric, kits, embroidery etc. I bought one panel of one of her works, and it should make an interesting quilt. Next door was an amazing knitting shop. Sorry, Lucy - at $22.50 dollars per ball, I couldn't really afford to get you any Noro - but I've got the address - firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to look (and thanks for the map, by the way - that's great).
So now we'll go and find a coffee and wander back to the ship. There is a cable car setting off from the dock to take us up yet another mountain - might try that. We sail at 7.30 p.m. tonight. Tomorrow is all at sea, going through Glacier Bay and seeing - yes, you've guessed it - glaciers.
The weather here is unseasonally hot and dry. Normally, at this time of the year, it's raining and raining, and not particularly warm. But we have blue skies and we're wandering around in T-shirts etc. Let's hope it continues. But - to be picky - I'd like South Korea and China to cool down before we get there. It's in the 30's at the moment. (And don't I sound American - 'picky!)
I won't be able to blog until we get to Whittier, and I'm not sure if I'll be able to blog from there. So, this might be the last blog until we get to Muroran in Japan. That'll be a long one!