Alaska trip 1 – Anchorage

Posts on Alaska were pending. Alaska was one of the places that I badly wanted to visit. We wanted to visit Alaska in March this year but since the ticket prices were sky high and most of the lodges were full, we decided to postpone the trip to later part of the year. In US, I have seen most of the famous places/parks but let me tell you this. Alaska is probably the most beautiful state in US. I found it more scenic compared to Hawaii. Imagine this coming from a person who went gaga over Hawaii.

Coming to the trip, I am going to write a series of posts on Alaska. To begin with, we took a flight to Anchorage. Lot of people have asked me why we chose not to take a cruise. We wanted to explore Alaska on land this time. And we did not have 10 days of vacation available. We got to drive on those scenic roads, enjoy the majestic mountains and tundra because we chose to drive.  I did some elaborate planning for this trip and this was probably the most difficult trip to plan so far.

This was the itinerary for our Alaska trip:

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We could not see anything from the plane since it was too cloudy. There was a thick cloud spread over the entire area. It was very cold when we got out of the airport. Anchorage airport is pretty weirdly structured with rental cars located below the airport in a corner. Had a tough time finding the rental car.

We headed towards the Anchorage Native Heritage Center. This is a great place if you want to know more about the native people of Alaska. Dance performance was just over when we went so we went on to take a self guided tour. There are so many Eskimo native tribes that I did not know about. It was interesting to see their wooden houses. Most of these houses were built such that the entrance is through some sort of a tunnel or there is an opening in the roof with a ladder to get into the house. We also saw some tools used by them to kill animals or tear their skin. Most interesting part of the tour was seeing totem poles.

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Some of the Alaskan tribes are : Athabascan who were nomadic, Yupik and Cupik who lived along the coast, Unangax and Alutiq who were maritime people, Eyak, Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian who lived on the Northwest coast.

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Once we came back to the center, we saw a demonstration of some of the Eskimo Olympic games. The last dance show for the day was at 4 PM. The dance performance was great with dances from various tribes in Alaska. Most of them were high school students working at the center to earn some extra credits. One of the girls who performed, gave us some more information about the various tribes in Alaska. The gift shop in the center was great but everything was pretty pricey. I got a book on native cultures of Alaska.

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We then went to the 4th avenue marketplace which is a good place to buy native arts and crafts. Unfortunately everything was closed except for one shop which had some native crafts. I bought few stuff like totem pole.  The Anchorage museum was closed by the time we came to downtown. Native arts gallery was also closed. By 5 in the evening, most of the shops had closed down.

We just strolled around downtown Anchorage for sometime. This city looks just like any other big city in US. In Hawaii, we saw that even the biggest town looked like a village.

We called it a day since nothing was open and checked into the hotel. The restaurant in the hotel was good. We had Fettucine Alfredo for dinner. Next few days were going to be hectic so we thought it was better to take some rest.

24 Comments Add yours

  1. SG says:

    Thanks for writing about your adventure in Alaska. We have not been there yet. We are planning to visit. Your posts will give us some good guidance. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks SG. Hoping that these posts will help you in planning a trip to Alaska.

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  2. This should be one cold place, huh? I have seen one ship-struck-in-a-storm movie based in Alaska. One scary movie that. Why no pics in this post?

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Yeah Alaska is a very cold place but summers are better I think.. winters it goes below -60 or -70 degrees F. I can’t even imagine living in that cold.
      What is the name of that movie? Let me know.. will try to watch it sometime..

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  3. About that no pics ‘observation’ in my above comment – just don’t mind. I just woke up and I guess I am half-asleep 😛

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    1. hehehe.. I can understand 🙂 😛

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  4. That way of entrance is pretty interesting. I wonder if its because of cold weather. Looking forward to the rest of the posts 🙂

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    1. I think it is because of the snow and cold weather.. winters are really cold it seems.. goes below -60 or -70 degrees F.

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  5. Keith Hecht says:

    Thanks, A very useful information.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Keith.

      Like

  6. Shilpa Garg says:

    We have seen Sarah Palin’s Alaska TV series and it sure is a fabulous place! Looking forward to your travel to Alaska through your words and pics! 🙂

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    1. Thanks Shilpa.. I need to the watch that TV series sometime.. havent gotten a chance to watch it…

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  7. Shilpa Garg says:

    Love this theme for your blog… I had this one on my blog for a short time too!

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    1. Thanks Shilpa.. this is a beautiful theme right? I really loved it..

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  8. Wow! Looks like you have a great time in store. Do share more pics and experiences of your Alaska trip.

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    1. Thanks for visiting my blog and reading this post Nikhil 🙂

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  9. Anu says:

    That’s great Ash! I am sure I will love your Alaskan posts! I’ve heard it’s the most beautiful state US.

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    1. Thanks Anu. It is indeed the most beautiful state and probably the most beautiful place I have visited so far 🙂

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  10. D says:

    wow you went to Alaska? need to read all posts slowly, haven’t had time to catch up with your blog for quite sometime

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    1. yeah finally went to Alaska 🙂 or rather forced my husband to come to Alaska with me 😀 hehe..

      Like

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