I guess, the only annoying part about travelling is that we have about 2 hours to spare after check-in before our flight. Not wanting to spend more money, we just sat near the gate and used their free wifi. But even then, there isn’t much to surf online. Mr Goh just basically gorged himself on a movie buffet since he couldn’t sleep well on planes. As for me, I can pretty much sleep anytime, anywhere, so I was Ms Piggy for almost the entire flight duration (9 hours).
Food was expensive in the USA, but portions were big. The sushi rolls we got from Waji’s were pretty good, well enough to fill us up till our next meal. We had yet another 3 hour transit in Seattle before we got on the plane to Anchorage, Alaska so it was more “staring into space” time for both of us. Mr Goh was really tired and jet-lagged since he didn’t sleep much on the plane, and I wasn’t in the mood to talk as well. I just wanted to shower and freshen up!
We took Alaska Airlines for the last leg of our SIN-ICN-SEA-ANC journey and it was pretty amazing that they had free wifi onboard the plane! This feature may have been available for a long time, but I’m no seasoned traveller so I was pretty amazed by it. I took the above photo with my iPad mini and instagrammed it immediately. After that? I was Ms Piggy again.
Welcome to Alaska! (like finally!) The Ted Stevens airport was small, but we still managed to get ourselves lost as we couldn’t find the bus stop to take the shuttle to reach our backpackers’ hostel. Luckily, the lady who sat next to me on the plane was very friendly and helped us ask around.
When we finally found the bus stop, we realised that we had just missed it and had to wait about another 30 minutes or so for the bus to make a round trip back. Afraid that we would miss the bus yet again, we decided to wait at the bus stop in the cold, instead of waiting indoors. This was when I missed the efficiency of Singapore’s transport system: buses every 10 minutes, trains every 2 minutes during peak periods.
This was home for the next 3 nights: Bent Prop Inn Downtown. It was my first time staying in a hostel, and I have to say, I was impressed by this place. The location was A+++, being just a block away from the bus station, and just next to Mariott Hotel. I somewhat felt safe staying at Bent Prop Inn as I believe Mariott Hotel wouldn’t be located in a seedy area of Anchorage right? LOL
Now that I’m blogging about Anchorage, I realised that I actually forgot to take photos of the room at Bent Prop Inn! *facepalm* We got ourselves a private room (no ensuite bathroom though) for US$65/night which was pretty alright as the room was near the washrooms. The dorm beds were going at US$30/night so we actually only paid extra US$5 for the privacy. Score!
Since I didn’t take photos of the actual room I stayed in, the above photos taken from the Bent Prop Inn website have to satisfy your curiosity. I’d say the room I stayed in was pretty similar, but I didn’t have the huge dresser and couch chair, and that I had a queen sized bed, with a single bed (the room could sleep 3 people).
We skipped dinner the night we arrived in Anchorage as we were exhausted from the traveling and settled in early. Woke up bright and early the next day and decided to go for breakfast at a cafe nearby.
This was about a block away from where we stayed. Cafe 817 had a pretty good rating on TripAdvisor and it was still serving breakfast when we hit up the place at 10am. It was a weekday when we arrived in Anchorage, so most breakfast places were done serving breakfast at around 9am.
Mr Goh decided to be adventurous and went for the reindeer sub, whereas I played it safe and had oatmeal. My oatmeal was delicious, being very chewy and creamy with the milk, brown sugar and plump raisins. The chips that came with the sub were actually potato chips, but we thought they meant fries! *cue confused face when dish arrived* We were mildly disappointed as we were craving hot fries. It was also weird for us as we don’t eat potato chips with sandwiches! But his reindeer sub was very nice and substantial with lots of filling. After he was done eating his sub, he still had about 1/4 left, and I picked at it, gobbling down the salty reindeer sausage. I really really liked it!
We went walking around town after breakfast. Anchorage city was quiet, very different from our Orchard Road who is always bustling even on weekdays.
Then while walking around, something unimaginable happened. I found it particularly hilarious because it was something that would only happen in movies, like a Mr Bean movie. Well, Mr Goh was holding my hand tight because the roads were slippery due to the ice and my shoes were not made for walking (well, they were past their prime). Then, HE fell. And pulled me down with him. But before we fell, we did try to balance ourselves and we looked like we were in the skating ring, but still fell in the end. We just sat there laughing for a while before we tried to stand up.
We walked somemore (more like threaded carefully) and reached the Alaska Railroad station where we were supposed to take our train to Fairbanks that weekend. Then Mr Goh suggested that we walk to a salmon fishing spot , supposedly near the back of the station, probably 1km away? He saw it on the map we got from the airport/hostel and wanted to go see. I asked if he was sure it was walking distance, and he said yes. So off we went. We walked. And walked somemore, in the cold. 1km felt like 10km in that kind of weather. I think it was approx -5 deg celsius?
I raised my suspicions when the map showed the fishing spot to be on our left when there was no through road. Then this man suggested that we cut across the back of the factories. Oh mai god, it was quite an experience! The snow was deeper than we realised, but by the time we realised, it was too far for us to backtrack. We could only carry on forward. I was screaming and laughing at the same time. I almost lost a shoe in the knee deep snow. My socks were soaked through from the snow. And we got a weird stare from a jogger after we climbed the fence.
The reason why the jogger stared at us was because there was actually a proper way to enter the park (we missed it earlier on), but we actually cut through the thick snow and climbed over the fence. He must be thinking “weird Asians”. LOL. And the most duh moment of all was the fishing spot was not open. The river was frozen over, and there was no fish. WTF!!!! I almost wanted to kill Mr Goh because I questioned him on it earlier and he insisted that we go check it out. So he made us walk in the cold, in knee deep snow, almost lost my shoe, people thought we were cuckoo Asians and no fish. Well done. #myboyfriendissooooosmart
The view in Alaska was gorgeous. There was so much snow all around! It just looked very pretty against the sun. We walked to a supermarket near the hostel to buy some ingredients for dinner, think it was about 9 blocks away. I love how neatly organized the buildings are in USA. The main streets create neat little squares so it was easy to give directions “one block straight down, then 3 blocks to your right” etc.