We arrived in Juneau in the afternoon after spending the morning in the Tracy Arm Fjord. I’ve been to Juneau several times because my daughter used to live there and my two older grandchildren were born there. But I’d never noticed all the colorful houses lining the lower hills before. Perhaps now I was seeing it with a photographer’s eye, or perhaps the new perspective from the deck of a ship made a difference.
You know I love color. I turned this shot of the colorful houses into one of my simplified and saturated artworks. It’s now one of my favorites.
I’m sorry to say that the Juneau waterfront around the cruise ship piers, like every Alaskan town we visited, has been taken over by diamond, gem, gold, and jewelry stores, with a smattering of made-in-china souvenirs and warm, dry outerwear that say Alaska on them. I began thinking of these areas as the Tijuanas of the North.
We didn’t do a lot in Juneau. I wanted to find an Internet cafe so I could do some work without paying through the nose on the ship, so we set out on foot and wheelchair. Juneau is very hilly, and it was hard for us to get past the tourist area on the main level street. Many of the shops were inaccessible because of one or two steps up into the building. We did pass by the very famous Red Dog Saloon, which was packed with tourists and seemed to be going strong.
We stopped in a perfume shop that featured a delightful house perfume called Alaskan Mist, made from local wildflowers. I’m still kicking myself that I didn’t buy any, not only for myself but also for my perfume loving friends. I have to apologize particularly to my niece who has an outstanding perfume blog. I know she would love to review this unique perfume. Well, here’s another reason to take this cruise again.
After many blocks, we finally got past the tourist stuff and stumbled onto an Internet cafe. Well, not a cafe but an old fashioned saloon full of very friendly local residents. If you buy a drink at the Triangle Club, you can use their WiFi for an hour. I don’t drink, so I opted for a Virgin Mary, then settled down to catch up with email, twitter, facebook, and skype, and to upload pictures and text for my post on Seattle. Mr. K. waited patiently … well, almost.
Then we headed back to the docks to take a ride on the tram up to Mt. Roberts. Unfortunately, we misinterpreted the price and thought it was more than we wanted to pay. So we skipped it and went back to the ship for a lovely dinner. If you visit Juneau, remember that one tram ticket is good all day. You don’t have to buy a return ticket.
All was not lost. We have enjoyed the tram a few times in years past. Below is an shot of Juneau and a couple of cruise ships taken from the tram in 1997.