We began the day with a tour of the Jewel Gardens. I was expecting a botanical garden a bit bigger than this. I know, I am spoiled having lived near one of the best gardens in the country, The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Everything seems small and less cared for after hanging out there for several days a year for nine years.
They did have some pretty flowers and I took some flower close-ups. The gardens weren’t much bigger than my own back home, but they did have a feature that mine don’t have. There was an electric train set up that was pretty amazing. They must put it away for the winter, but there it was chugging around the track and through the tunnels in the rain. It was a cute set up and I took several photos.
After the guided tour, they served us a nice Tea inside with a good selection of scones and cakes and chocolates. We found a few more items on our gift list in their shop before boarding the bus to return to the ship.We dropped our purchases off in our cabin before getting on the Street Car Tour. Skagway is very small and most of the shops are filled with expensive goods for the tourists that come on the cruise ships. There were lots of jewelry shops featuring the same kinds of things that were in the jewelry shops on board ship. Then there were some very nice shops selling Alaskan made fine art goods also pricey. The street car guide was a very theatrical lady in Victorian dress and a big hat with flowers on it. She was very entertaining as she told us stories of frontier days in Skagway
Again, we returned to the docks where the ship was and waited for the train to pull into the station for our train ride to the top of White Pass. The cars had large windows, but the lights on the ceiling reflected in them and made it difficult to get pictures so after a few miles I went outside to join a few other passengers. We were in the last car and could stand on the little porch on the back. From there we had a clear view of all the scenery behind the train and occasionally off to the side. Most of the time the left side of the tracks were so close to the mountain and with the speed of the train everything was a blur, but on the right side and straight back there was some spectacular scenery.
I took lots of photos of mountains with railroad tracks.
Once we arrived at the pass, the engines did a switch around and came and joined the train at the back. The train then went back down the mountain and we were in the first car. I went inside then because the view was blocked and the air was full of diesel smoke. At one point as we rounded a bend, there was a mother bear with a cub beside the tracks up ahead and I just caught a glimpse of them before they tumbled off to the side to get away from the train.
When we reached Skagway again we boarded the ship and walked around a bit and went to the buffet. There were several other very nice dining rooms on the ship but we enjoyed sampling all the wonderful things on the buffet so much we never did go to any other one.
To see my best photos of Skagway, please look up alicehuntstudio on Flickr or try the link below. (you may have to sign up, it’s free and it’s easy and there are so many fun groups of photos to see from all over the world I think you will be glad if you do.)