We took a 10-day cruise, round-trip San Francisco, to the nature rich State of Alaska, with a final stop at Victoria, Canada. We were ‘at sea’ for three days before reaching our first port-of-call.
Alaska has so much to offer, especially for nature lovers. No photo of mine did justice to what we saw (especially with this toy equivalent camera of mine). It is best exhibited through these videos I found on-line.
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For centuries the Tlingits (pronounced Kling-it) called this lovely island home, until Russian explorers invaded their land and built a Russian fort in 1799.
Region: Sitka is located on the outer coast of Alaska’s Inside Passage, situated on Baranof Island, in the midst of the Tongass National Forest. Sitka is accessible only by air and sea.
Founded: Originally settled by the Native Tlingit, Sitka was founded in 1799, by Alexander Baranof.
The Tlingit tribe led a peaceful existence until Russian explorers, under the direction of Alexander Baranof, built a Russian fort in 1799. Tlingits fought the Russians for 22 years, until a truce was called between the Natives and Russians in 1821. The town prospered, becoming known as the “Paris of the Pacific” (huh?). In 1867, Sitka transferred from Russia (“…it was not theirs to begin with” stated a Tlingit Chief) to the United States.
Population: 8985 making it the fifth largest community in Alaska.
Economy: Among all of the cities in southeast Alaska, Sitka has the highest King salmon saltwater catch rate.
More to see on this >> 1:24 video on Sitka. (You may need a Facebook account to be able to access the video.)
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Glacier Bay National Park
More to see on this >> 2:52 video on Glacier Bay National Park
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Tlingits were the first settlers in this beautiful area and they called it ‘Dei-shu’ meaning ‘The End of the Trail’. The name change to Haines was in honor of a Presbyterian Missionary by the name of Francina E. Haines.
Region: Haines is located on the Chilkat Peninsula, between the Chilkoot and Chilkat rivers. Haines and Skagway are two of three cities in southeast Alaska accessible by road. It is a 350 mile drive between the two but only 14 miles by water.
Founded: The North West Trading Company settled the area in 1880. The city of Haines was incorporated in 1910. Population: 2620
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Ketchikan is believed to come from the Tlingit word ‘Kitsehk-Hin’ meaning ‘Thundering Wings of an Eagle’ and is reminiscent of the outline of the Ketchikan Creek seen from above. An estimated 19% of Ketchikan residents are of Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian Native Indian descent.
Downtown’s centerpiece is Creek Street, said to be the most photographed street in Alaska. Now populated with shops and art galleries, Creek Street was once the Red Light District with more than 30 brothels. These houses of ill repute were the result of a high male population, due to the gold rush.
Region: Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, 90 miles north of Prince Rupert, British Columbia and 235 miles south of Juneau, capital of Alaska. Population: 8142 and another 5500 living in outlying areas.
Have you heard of this song? A little history for you!
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– Victoria is most famous for its Butchart Gardens and Fairmont Empress Hotel (See video).
– Bastion Square and Market Square are areas with stores and artists exhibiting/selling their crafts. (Click on each photo above to see larger image.)
– High percentage of residents per capita are retirees.
Founded: Fort Victoria was established as a trading post in 1843.
Region: Greater Victoria is located in the province of British Columbia, Canada, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
Population: 80,000 within the metropolitan area, and about 345,000 in Greater Victoria.
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Aerial bird’s eye-view photo source: Princess Cruises and municipal sites