Sitka, Alaska was a very lovely spot ...
... and probably my favorite port call on our cruise. It was a beautiful, historic town that seemed to say, "We're glad you're here!" The smaller shops, quiet neighborhoods, friendly folks and quaint buildings were a nice change of pace.
A couple boys and their dad were manning a Sitka version of fast-food -- hot-dogs and cold drinks on the main street corner. Instead of hot-dogs, we got reindeer-dogs! The meat had a robust flavor and was quite good, too.
In front of a hardware store, a young woman named Traci sold children's books she'd written. At her feet sat a beautiful dog named Tango, a duck-tolling retriever who is the main character of her colorful books.
Traci explained how Tango has retrieved some pretty important things -- including boys, rafts and more. He obviously loves his mistress, because he wouldn't leave her side for a moment. We bought a copy of her two books and her sign them for our grandsons.
Just down the road, children were climbing on a concrete whale at the local park. Odd to us, but perfectly fitting here, where whales can be seen in Alaskan waters. Across the way, you can see other children having a home-made cookie sale in their front yard. We bought a giant oatmeal raisin treat from a little salesman who was more than happy to take our dollar.
Many of the other folks from our ship had gone on outbound excursions -- fishing trips, hiking, biking and sea -plane ventures. We were happy to putter around town awhile and take photos of Mt. Edgecumbe, a dormant volcano, in the distance.
Before leaving Sitka, we huffed and puffed our way up the hundred or so (?) steps to a spot that overlooks the bay. There, we read about the history of the town and took a few photos before going back down to board ship.
The orange and white life boats in the photo below (they're in the background) returned to pick us up after our time in Sitka. They had delivered us to shore earlier due to low tide. The Oosterdam's gracious crew members made dozens of trips from ship to shore to ferry over 1800 guests back in time for a tasty supper on board ship.
If you're ever in Sitka, be sure to see the Russian dancers at the local theater and stop by the museum and gift shop. Take that hike up the hill and enjoy scenery like this ...