Alaska Day 1: Ketchikan – Homeport

Yasuko, Mom and I arrived at Ketchikan, a town which feels quite isolated despite being the 4th largest town in the State of Alaska. No road leads to Ketchikan. The only way to get here is by boat or by plane. A young local woman who picked us up from the airport told us about her outdoorsy lifestyle, going to the sea, hiking in the mountains, and picking berries. It seems that people here live with nature. It is difficult to imagine living in such a remote place.

Tomorrow we will board the Alaskan Dream and start an 8-day cruise in south-east Alaska. The Dominican crew arrived at Ketchikan a few hours earlier with sleepy eyes. We happily congregated together in our hotel but the still heavy jet lag put us to bed very early.

The next morning we had a couple of hours to explore Ketchikan before the official program started. We decided to walk around the old town near the port. The narrow red-light district during the times of the explorers was turned into a tourist shopping quarter with lots of rather meaningless souvenir shops.

We then took a tiny cable car to get an eagle view of Ketchikan. The top station, however, turned out to be a noisy building site as some renovation was going on. It was unfortunately not worthwhile.

From there we hiked a small loop and on the way, we accidentally discovered a salmon hatchery. This region is famous for pink salmons and we learned how salmons come upriver to spawn their eggs.

The first program by the Alaskan Dreamboat was a visit to the Ketchikan Museum. We got a good overview of the south Alaskan nature and particularities. Fun fact: If Alaska’s population density would be applied to Manhattan, that east coast peninsula would have only 16 inhabitants. Alaska is a vast state with much more wildlife than humans. That’s why this trip is appealing to me, although we visit only a very small part of Alaska. I look forward to it.

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