July 23-28: Seward

Seward was the absolute best place on my trip and I ended up staying there longer than I had planned. Everything (except the weather…) was wonderful: the nature, the hostel, the Sea Bean, even the Yukon Bar. The Sea Bean has a piano in the bathroom, look:
On the Stage Line trip from Homer to Seward we saw a moose by the side of the road. Upon arrival in Seward it turned out that the Moby Dick Hostel’s office was closed until 5 pm, so I left my bag in the garden and went to check out town. The hostel is great. Nice and helpful hosts, clean rooms and kitchen, cool guests, great location. Had a wonderful time there and hereby thank Susanne and her family very much. Oh, and the view is fantastic, as you can see in the picture below.

Things to do in Seward: as I had already been here a year earlier I skipped some main touristic things: the cruise (very much worth it, but bring pills against motion sickness. Everybody gets sick there. At one point you come into a part of the sea that the captain refers to as ’the washing machine’), the Sealife Center (can be skipped in my opinion) and the kayaking in Resurrection Bay (great).

This time I did some hiking:

  • Mt. Marathon. There’s a very steep route to the top which I didn’t take. Instead I took the Falls trail which leads you to a waterfall. Despite the rain it was beautiful. It’s an easy hike. The vegetation on the path gave me the impression this trail isn’t used much. I hardly met anyone there, so again I decided to warn the bears by singing loudly. This time the soccer songs were replaced by Drs P and Jaap Fischer. If you ever plan to take this trail, prepare yourself for loads of mud.


  • Ptarmigan Lake For this destination you need a ride, which I got from Todd (thanks so much), whom I met in the Sea Bean and who kindly offered to take me and another hostel guest on a hike. This hike also is not a very difficult one, but it’s rewarding because it leads you, through a couple of miles of rainforest, to a wonderful lake.


Apart from hiking I did not do much else in Seward. This was because of the neverending rain. Getting tired of hiking in the rain all the time, I spent quite some time in the abovementioned Sea Bean to have lunch and drinks. And we hung around at the hostel. A lot. The other hostel guests were so cool that they made Seward worthwile even with constant rain and nothing to do.

The Seward Museum is quite nice but not a must-see. It looks like you’re in somebody’s attic and it’s hardly bigger than that. The stories of previous inhabitants struck me: there were so many saying ‘on *whatever date* he travelled towards *wherever* and never reached his destination’. Crossing the Kenai peninsula a hundred years ago was dangerous business.

On my last evening in Seward we went out to the Yukon Bar which is eh, very authentic.

The morning (make that afternoon) after, we arrived at Alaska Nellie’s Roadhouse late for breakfast, only to find out that the lunch menu had a ‘lazy man’s breakfast’ on it. Brilliant.

In the evening, after dinner in the lovely Smoke Shack, which is located in a train wreck near the station, we took the train to Anchorage. This train ride is one I can recommend for the terrific views. You can stand on the balcony outside at the back of the train (layer up: it’s very cold and windy). The ride takes a little over four hours and it is advisable to keep looking out the window all the time in order to not miss anything. At some point, in the Chugach area, we saw three wolves. But mainly it’s just amazing landscapes:


->July 24: Harding Icefield Trail
<-July 21: Katmai

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