6am and we are Sitka-bound. We had a nice morning, with just the occasional sprinkle. The views as we cruise to Sitka:
At 6:30am, continental breakfast items were available in the lounge as they’d been all week. The full breakfast buffet started at 7:30am.
A few more photos as we come into Sitka:
At 8:30am, we were docking, and the gals got us safely secured:
Debarkation was smooth, and we had a chance to say goodbye to the crew and thank them for another good week. We were on our way to the Sitka Westmark Hotel, where we would overnight before leaving the next morning on our journey to Denali National Park.
Here is some info on Sitka from Wikipedia: It is the largest city-borough in the US, with a land area of 2,870.3 mi2 and a total area (including water area) of 4,811.4 mi2. With a population of 8,881 in 2010, Sitka is the fourth-largest city by population in Alaska.
We went to the Westmark where our room wasn’t ready (and wouldn’t be until about 3pm). We were scheduled to go on a Small Boat charter to St. Lazaria Island to see Puffins and Otters. Unfortunately, our charter was cancelled due to problems with the boat. Disappointed, but it was for the best – we still weren’t feeling great and the weather got worse in the afternoon.
We took care of an important errand first thing; packed up quite a bit of our stuff and mailed packages home. Lou also sent his camera gear home. I was worried about this, but it turned out ok. It did take a month (!) for our packages to reach us, but everything except my Alaskan Fudge was in good shape.
We weren’t in the mood for a lot of tourist activity, but did enjoy walking around Sitka. Sitka has a strong Russian Heritage and several of the prominent attractions provide more information about the history of the area. Sitka also likes bears – they were all around town:
One place we did want to visit was St. Michael’s Orthodox Cathederal; it was established in the nineteenth century when Sitka was under Russian rule, and is the oldest Orthodox Cathedral in the New World. It burned down in 1966, but was rebuilt. When we inquired about a tour, we were invited to join a tour group in session (from the Admiralty Dream, it turns out), and learned more about the Cathedral and the Orthodox Religion.
We tried a Mexican Cafe for lunch, and it was tasty – we like to sample Mexican Cuisine in unlikely parts of the world:
Our room was ready when we returned to the Westmark (after buying a few more t-shirts). Ahhhh – we each have our own bed, and the bathroom seems ginormous compared to the previous 3 weeks! This will be a welcome relief from having to clamber over Lou to get in and out of bed during the past week (no photos and no video of that adventure!).
We each took a long shower and a nap. We had dinner plans with Dick & Polly, a nice couple we’d enjoyed spending time with during the past two weeks and hope to see again. We had a pleasant dinner at the Westmark Restaurant, then hit the sack. We had an early departure tomorrow for Fairbanks – 4am!!!
Pretty Flowers in Bloom in Sitka:
The view from our room, overlooking Sitka harbor:
Up Next: Our thoughts on Week 3, and the Overall UnCruise Experience.