Travel Blog – Alaska/U.S.A.
Alaska, a place of raw and wild beauty – and a place where an American citizen can walk into an outdoor camping store and walk out with a gun five minutes later to shoot dinner with. None of the hundreds of guns available at the camping store are as expensive as my camera. That’s right: It’s cheaper (and quite possibly easier) to shoot a Moose in Alaska than take a nice photo of it! Hunting and fishing and living of the land as a way to provide food for oneself or the family are deeply incorporated in Alaskan culture and even supported by the government. Since game and wild salmon exist there in abundance, hunting and fishing for food is a viable option for many Alaskans.
Living in a frontier state so far North and away from the main-land, traditional American liberal and individualistic views play a prominent part in the mindset of the Alaskan people. It was in Alaska where I realised how deep the transatlantic rift between Europe (and I count Australia as part of that for practical reasons) and the U.S. really is, and how very European I am in my world views.
Had I not visited Alaska, I would have ignorantly believed Sarah Palin – or angry white people in general – and blood thirsty grizzly bears were the only ones inhabiting that place. What I found instead was that most people who live in Alaska had moved there from other states and come from all kinds of different cultural backgrounds entirely. What I didn’t find was a single grizzly (or angry white people for that matter).
That’s what traveling is all about: Being open to surprises, expanding the horizon, learning new things, meeting interesting people – and breathing in some fresh air.
We stayed with a lovely family in Anchorage who grow their own kale and other vegetables. So instead of the expected bloody Moose steak, we had crunchy Kale salads almost every day, which was just amazing. (I find people who can grow their own food totally awesome).
There are a few little hikes to do around Anchorage. This one here was just a little thirty minute walk at Hatcher’s Pass, near an abandoned mine, called “Independence mine”. The fog, rocky landscape and meager vegetation gave the hike an eerie atmosphere.
Seward Highway near Anchorage goes along a huge bay (or fjord? When does a bay become a fjord?). The alpine mountains reach right down to the water which makes for a unique looking landscape. All these photos were taken in July – midsummer and yet the mountain peaks never seem to be free of snow.
I love the birch trees and fireweed blossoms that are so characteristic for the Alaskan landscape.
Like everywhere along the northern Pacific, the seafood is just amazing. I couldn’t get enough of the bright orange wild salmon and mussels.
During our stay we only visited a small part of the state and only explored the area around Anchorage and did none of the touristy “must-do’s” (whale watching), but I really enjoyed our stay. The landscape is unique and the people are more than friendly. I would love to revisit Alaska one day.