Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

I just have a few posts to finish off my Alaska series (see here for all previous posts).

It does seem strange to to be writing this over two years later when travel seems somewhat of a distant memory. In the best of times the tourist season in Alaska was relatively short from May to August and as far as I know the cruise season was cancelled completely in 2020 after the Covid pandemic hit.

Given that the revenue generated by tourism was a major component of the Alaska economy, I wondered what would be happening in 2021. I came across a recent article here, which as I thought confirmed most of the major cruise lines have already cancelled any sailings for this northern summer. A couple including Holland America (which was the line we went on) haven’t ruled out some late sailings from July onwards.

Owing to Covid regulations, large cruise ships sailing up from the USA are banned completely in Canadian waters. There are however some loopholes regarding smaller boat tours with reduced passenger capacity, which means some tours may still go ahead this year.

Back to Anchorage our next stop!

We arrived in the largest Alaskan city, Anchorage, (note Juneau is in fact the capital) late evening on a rather damp cold August day. We had booked into the Lakefront Hotel Anchorage for a couple of nights, which bills itself as “A wilderness lodge in the heart of the city”. Certainly it felt very rustic with wooden panelling and a cosy homely atmosphere slightly spoiled for me by the decorative features on the walls of a plethora of stuffed animals unfortunate enough to have got in the way of the local hunters.

It turned out it that we had arrived in the midst of the short 6 week hunting season and the place was full of enthusiastic hunters who seemed to carry their guns around in the way I would a handbag. We made our way to the restaurant for dinner slightly bemused by a number of patrons nonchalantly strolling around with ‘violin cases’ dangling from their shoulders or in their hands.

Locals use seaplanes like cars and the lake in front of our hotel was always a hive of activity with light planes coming in to land and taking off.

It was certainly an eye opener into Alaska – a place we found of large contradictions. Blessed with wonderful scenery of outstanding beauty and pristine wilderness conservation areas juxtaposed with hunters, oil pipelines that cross the peninsula from north to south and US military bases.

The next day dawned even greyer and wetter than the previous one. Indoor activities were the only sensible option so Monsieur and I headed to the museum to discover more. It happened to be his birthday and turned into one of the more memorable ones.

The Anchorage Museum is a fascinating exploration of the many facets of history, daily life and the rich cultural history of the First Nations People that have helped to shape this part of the world. There are art collections, interactive exhibits and the exploration of themes such as the environment and the effects of climate change. We lost ourselves there for a few hours – below is a visual tour, which is the best way to illustrate a small selection of the available exhibits. Please excuse the poor quality of some photos – the challenges of being indoors with tricky lighting!

As I said earlier I have now collated all my Alaska series of posts into their own category which you can find here.

The following day having collected a car we set off by road to head further north into the Alaska heartland.

Artwork in Anchorage Museum

Copyright Β© 2021 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose. All rights reserved

7 thoughts on “Discovering Alaska – Anchorage Museum

  1. restlessjo says:

    I have to say, Rosemay, I never really felt the pull for Alaska and budget wise it was probably never a consideration for us, but everybody I know who’s been there has been amazed at the scenery. The most appealing thing for me is the seaplanes. What fun! And the icebergs, of course… brrrh πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would have had such fun watching the seaplanes Jo – they were everywhere! In places like Juneau, where there are no roads in and out of the town, people had them “parked”along the water’s edge like cars in driveways. We do feel lucky to have visited Alaska as realistically I can’t foresee us going there again (never say never though). The scenery was amazing and we actually had some quite warm days (low 20s) but obviously even in August the weather was often cold and wet. However the glaciers, scenery and wildlife were amazing and I always love exploring the history of places and the culture as you can see! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gilda Baxter says:

    Rosemay, I am glad you are writing these Alaska posts even if 2 years later. I often write about my trips a lot later. Alaska will stay in my wish list for now. I think visiting the Museum was a very good idea, considering that the weather was bad. So much to learn here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gilda – glad you like the post πŸ™‚ I actually started this series a couple of years ago!! I’m now determined to finish the rest of Alaska – there are probably 3 or 4 more posts to do. It has actually been good to do as I’ve enjoyed looking through the old photos myself. Can highly recommend the Anchorage Museum! πŸ™‚


  3. I remember visiting a museum in Anchorage, though i think it must be a predecessor to this one which I googled and it looks far too modern to be the same one (we were there in 2001). Your introduction was interesting. There must be many places devastated by the loss of tourism this past year. I do wonder how far we will be able (or want) to travel in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think it must be fairly new Anabel or else they refurbished the old one. I thought it would be interesting to see how Alaska was faring with the pandemic-induced decline in tourism. I wonder too how tourism and travel will look going forward. Even with vaccine rollouts there are going to be more restrictions and health checks than there have been previously. Some form of quarantine may be the new normal not to mention Covid status checks. I guess things will evolve over the next few years – very hard for people whose livelihoods have depended on tourism.

      Liked by 1 person

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