Fairbanks and a Surprise

fairbanks_sunrise_web

I took this shot as we were approaching Fairbanks, Alaska. It was two a.m. and the sun was just coming up. So weird to be flying over such dark clouds with clear blue sky and a streak of sun above. We didn’t get to sleep until 5 a.m., but got there a day early to compensate.
No, our flight wasn’t delayed. That was the schedule Princess Cruises arranged for us. If they do the flight arrangements, then they’re on the hook to get us to our destination in time. Otherwise you can spend major bucks trying to catch up.

fairbanks_airplane_web

Inside the Fairbanks airport.

Fairbanks is much smaller than I expected (pop. around 30,000). We were able to do the entire downtown area pretty quickly. The Chena River flows through the city and there’s a nice plaza near it:

fairbanks_plaza_web

This “First Unknown Family” statue is dedicated to the First Nation Inuit people of Fairbanks. “Eskimo” is now considered politically incorrect.

fairbanks_church_web

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church was built in 1904. Our shuttle driver told us it was later dragged across the frozen Chena River to be on the more “reputable” side of town.

fairbanks_jewelry_web

fairbanks_fudge_web

fairbanks_mecca_web

A few businesses downtown.

fairbanks_ice_web

We could have taken an excursion to this place, but decided on the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitors Center instead.

fairbanks_museum_display_web

A typical exhibit at the center.

fairbanks_musicians_web

While there, we watched a short performance by some Athabaskan fiddlers. Fiddles were introduced by Scottish, Irish, and French Canadian fur traders of the Hudson’s Bay Company in the mid-19th century.
When one of the fiddlers said, “See what the Americans did to us?” it dawned on me that I knew nothing about native Alaskans. The whole time we were in Alaska, I kind of felt like I was in another country.
The map shows the main groups of aboriginal Alaskans.

fairbanks_women_web

The sign for the ladies room at the center.

What surprised me the most about Alaska? The flowers! They were huge and arranged so beautifully.

fairbanks_asters_web

fairbanks_barrel_web

fairbanks_sunflower_web

fairbanks_nasturtiums_web

These are the biggest nasturtiums I’ve ever seen. Guess the 22 hours of sunlight don’t hurt. πŸ™‚

fairbanks_lodge_chena_web

The view from our lodge at 11 p.m. So fun to have the white nights again, just like St. Petersburg.

Fairbanks is kind of a landing spot for those going to Denali, as we did, or the Arctic Circle (just 120 miles north of the city!). Not a lot to do, but a good meeting place. Luckily our four friends all made it there on schedule too.

Hope your week’s going well so far.

{carole}

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About pearlsandprose

Photography. With a little life thrown in.
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17 Responses to Fairbanks and a Surprise

  1. Caroline says:

    The sky is so stunning. Again this limpidity.
    I remember my dad speaking about the size of vegetables in Helsinki and now that you mention the size of the flowers – I hadn’t thought of it before – very possibly that was also because of those long summer days.

  2. susan says:

    We once saw a gardening show featuring veggies grown in Alaska – and the size of said veggies took me by surprise – almost like Mother Nature goes a bit crazy during those long hours of daylight in a relatively short growing season. Great photos (again)!

  3. anroworld says:

    Terrific pictures, so full of bright colors! But especially I like the last one which I can call “Reflection”! It seems to be an amazing place, thank you for sharing with us! SUPER!

  4. This is so neat. I’ve never been so I loved this insider view.

  5. brittabottle says:

    Lovely photos and looks like such a fun trip!

  6. When I think of Alaska, I think of snow, so I loved getting this summer view with flowers in bloom. Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

  7. joshi daniel says:

    that is beautiful πŸ™‚

  8. Alaska has been on the list for a long time. It always sounded so foreign and isolated when I was a kid but then I got older and saw such beautiful pictures of Alaska not being covered in snow. I’d love to find an excuse to go.

  9. Sartenada says:

    Last photo could be from Finland.

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