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Monday, July 9, 2007

me and my mountains

The Glacier Bay Day Tour was hands down the highlight of this Alaska trip. Though the glacier and especially the blue icebergs on the Tracey Arms Tour two days ago were more special, the total experience yesterday was breathtaking all the way. Tip: do both. But describing all the sights wouldn’t do the total experience right. I was completely happy, now on with some anecdotes.
In between happily looking at the mountains (did I mention I love the combination of mountains and water?) I noticed a few things. First: I lack something. This became clear when I found myself, not once but twice, on one side of the boat, taking in some great mountain ranges, while the rest of the boat was on the other side, catching a glimpse of a mountain goat or a bald headed eagle I couldn’t bring the enthusiasm up for that others seemed to have plenty. And there were the Orca’s, or, better, the fins of Orca’s. Been there, seen that. Loads of sea lions. And birds in shades of colors. Nice, I truly think so, but give me a bald headed mountain anytime.. (Did I mention I love..?) Wide open space always does it for me. What does that say about me? To my defense: I loved the sea otter drifting on it’s back with his hands and feet out of the water, looking at us, totally at ease. I identify with that. Drifting through these waters, enjoying the scenery..
Of course also in people there were the usual suspects on the boat: the New Zealand cool kid with tanned face, cool sunglasses and one-liners (question: why do the people in the most beautiful country in the world travel so much?) that has seen all the world. We picked him up at a beach, after he had been kayaking around glacier bay with a mate, camping on the rocks. Cool, what? We got talking about travels and my worry about the ecological effects of visiting Galapagos and Antartica. He looked at me strangely, started an incomprehensible argument about expeditions and tourism and advised me to visit the south pole soon, before tourism really hits it and prices will go through the roof. And there was a cute Dutch lesbian couple, keeping very much to themselves in a corner of the outside deck, armed against the world with enormous tele-lenses hanging low on their hips. When I heard them discussing whether they would ask someone to take a picture or not, I made my Dutch and myself useful. They looked a bit startled.
Important: must make a comment on the Glacier Bay Lodge staff who organized this trip: what a great feeling it is if the people serving and assisting seem just as happy as you are to take the trip. What about forgetting about the stiff ‘customer oriented’ service and thinking in terms of ‘event oriented’ or ‘enthusiasm generating’ service? Let’s enjoy it together, staff and customer? What a great difference that makes to your day. Thanks for that.

On to Seattle today. But will be back here. Would be the best if I could sail through these waters then. The quietness would make the experience even better than it was today, where the noise of the engine was the only small negative. Just to drift through the waters like an otter, silent and smooth.. Aah, did I mention I love mountains in combination with water..?

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