Passengers poured off the ships and invaded the downtown streets, panting for good jewellery deals, cheap tee shirts, fridge magnets, Native art, Ulu knives, shot glasses, and any species of souvenir that said "Alaska" all over it.
The city huddles at the foot of a mountain. It seems to exist largely for the cruise ship season. There are many interesting excursions one can sign up for, to get a taste of the wilder side of Alaska--go out into nature, or even drive past the governor's mansion, but all these cost money. So I stuck to wandering the streets with my camera.
This decorative fence of stylized sea life caught my eye,
as did these brightly painted chairs sitting by the sidewalk.
I believe this is some sort of Native Community Centre, judging by the artwork of the fence and that seen painted on the wall behind the chairs.
I spotted this ashtray attached to the wall outside a bar on the main street. Symbolic, I thought.
This is where Elks hang out.
The sign says it is the Elks Mother Lodge of Alaska.
It's as close as I got to wildlife on the trip.
The wreath-like decorations, the colours and varied finishes on this old building intrigued me.
Even more so when I noticed its name painted on a side wall: "Palace"
Maybe not the stairway to heaven, but if you look closely between these two buildings you can see a steep set of wooden stairs that climb at least part way up the mountain.
But no time for further exploration today as it's time to set sail for our next port of call,
and more opportunities to make up for not buying that sweet little souvenir that we saw and passed up when we were in Juneau.