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Friday, August 21, 2009


Previously on the Juneau junket: Alaska Marine Highway

We stayed at The Breakwater Inn right near downtown. The room was large with a king-size bed, a table and chairs, a desk, a television inside a cabinet, an easy chair, matching nightstands, and a full-size bathroom. The walk-out balcony provided a view out across one of the boat harbors. Rooms on the other side of the hotel lacked balconies and looked back into the residential areas and beyond to the numerous streams of water running straight down the sides of the hills.

Several blocks away on the other side of downtown the cruise ships were docked. That was also the main tourist area of the city. We didn't explore that area, not because we weren't tourists, but because we ran out of time.

The city had many large buildings, comparable in size to those in some suburbs of Chicago, but most appeared to be older 1950s-style construction. With the glacier over ten miles from downtown, the city has a sense of suburban sprawl. Malls and major big-box retailers are spread out along the route between those two focal points.

The portion of the city we saw lacked the charm of Sitka. And the scale of Sitka is more appealing.

Before we arrived, The Breakwater Inn did not respond to any of our emails inquiring about shuttle service to and from the ferry terminal. As it turned out they do offer this service, by appointment only -- if either of our two readers decide to stay there in the future, call ahead and make an appointment. You will save a lot of time, money, and frustration.

The newspaper in Sitka prints all the calls that come in to the local police department every day. Recently half of those calls have been about bears. We had not seen any bears in the wild, which was disappointing, though good for our safety. But in Juneau we saw an interesting sign that seemed to confirm the bears were out there: Bear Xing.

Next on the Juneau junket: Mendenhall Glacier

1 comment:

  1. I want more, more, more!!!
    The Zookeeper