Absolutely Amazing Alaska

When I first told my friends and family that I would be traveling to Alaska in June, their response was always,”Alaska? Isn’t it cold there?” I might as well have said “Antarctica” or “the Artic” for the reaction I got. Indeed my voyage to The Last Frontier taught me a great deal, all the while clearing the many misconceptions that clouded my mind.

When I stepped out of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the air was cool and the sky was grey. Being in the northern hemisphere, Alaska experiences summer when South Africa experiences winter, and vice versa.

The following day, we exchanged the concrete jungle(minus the skyscrapers) of Anchorage for the picturesque, snow-capped mountains of Valdez. We departed on a cruise of Prince William Sound to the famed Columbia Glacier, and it was certainly worth the ride when I laid eyes on the glacier, in its icy blue glory. On the way we encountered a few humpback whales, who demonstrated bubble-feeding and  their majestic fluking dives, Dall’s porpoise, who enjoyed riding along the bow of our moving vessel, cute sea otters, who watched us with mild curiosity, stellar sea lions, horned puffins and bright orange jellyfish. It got colder as we neared the glacier, but it was the cruise of a lifetime.

Next stop, Fairbanks! It was a quaint little town. I visited Gold Dredge 8, where I had the exciting opportunity to pan for gold, just like the Klondike gold miners! I had a blast on the Riverboat Discovery Cruise, cruising down the Chena River and visiting an Athabaskan Village. I indulged in delicious grilled salmon and deep-fried Bering Sea cod at the Salmon Bake. It was a true adventure for my eyes and my palate!

Denali National Park was a conglomeration of sights to behold. A fearsome grizzly bear, serenely grazing, a mother moose browsing with her twin calves, a soaring golden eagle, a nesting bald eagle and several caribou were but a few of the natural wonders that we had the good fortune to view. Not to mention whitewater rafting down the Nenana River, getting drenched by the ice-cold glacial water. I was grateful that I was wearing a dry suit, but it didn’t totally prevent me from getting wet.

In Big Lake, we paid a visit to Happy Trails Kennels, owned by 4-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser, who told us about being a racer and caring for dogsled teams. The highlight for me was when I got to cuddle a 1-month old Alaskan husky puppy!

Then, full circle back to Anchorage, where shopping for gifts for friends and myself awaited. I enjoyed the scenic Anchorage Trolley Tour immensely.

My visit to Alaska was fabulous, and I deem it the best holiday ever! It expanded my horizons to be in a place so vast, and so different to my homeland and the other states in the USA that I’ve visited. It was a thoroughly invigorating and enchanting once-in-a-lifetime experience.

By: Relashini Munsamy

silhouette of two person sitting on chair near tree
student life

Friendship Appreciation: The Ultimate Gifts for Your Best Friends

Good friends make the world a better place. They spice up life and bring us happiness at times of sorrow, not forgetting how they make fun moments memorable and legendary. Friends are with us through thick and thin. We share everything with them, laugh at our silly jokes, call one another back to order, and […]

Read More
wine glasses shallow focus
student life

Five ways to help you afford the luxury lifestyle you desire

Everyone desires a luxurious life that brings joy, happiness and peace. However, some don’t know how to get that life for themselves or where they need to start. The term luxury came to mean different things for different people, but it isn’t necessarily exclusive to the wealthy or famous. Yes, that’s right, with the right […]

Read More
shallow focus photography of books
student life

Lessons I Wish I had Learned Earlier

“Learn from the past, live for the present, and hope for the future.” Albert Einstein was a famous scientist who lived throughout the 20th century. I recently turned 38 years old. Birthdays and new years often make me reflect and, for a long time, bemoan my accomplishments—what I’ve done and what I’ve accomplished. This time, though, […]

Read More