University of Alaska Fairbanks - It was a rainy day, but I still wanted to visit the University, such an important entity of the city. The campus is located in a beautiful area, quite an impressive place! They have an amazing library that houses the Alaskan photo archives. While visiting, I learnt that the University is the leading doctoral-granting institution in Alaska and that they integrate teaching, research and public service to prepare their students to become active citizens in life and in their own careers.
I have always loved wildlife and love learning about them. This Large Animal Research Station was the most informative tour on animals that I have ever had. The tour guide told us the history behind the land, how the animals ended up here and also let us have some hands-on learning. The mission of this research station is to rescue and provide sanctuary for animals that are under the threat of extinction from around the world as well as native wildlife.
The muskoxen are the grand attraction of this place, they are a true arctic species living in the far north, all year round. Their thick layer of wool called Qiviut is harvested at the research station each spring and sold to be spun into yarn for knitting. Money obtained from these sales is returned to the farm for care of the animals and improvement of the facilities.
Other animals include the caribou and reindeers. When I was visiting, there were a few newborn animals, which was a real cute treat to see!
The flyer provided by the research station is very much informative in giving us an idea of how this research station came into being. The Large Animal Research Station was set up in 1979 thanks to a major grant from the National Science Foundation. The man behind this initiative was Robert G. White. It is located on a former homestead that is close to the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It is known for its excellence in research and expertise in maintaining colonies of large animals.
If you are visiting Alaska this is a wonderful opportunity to see the large animals which inhabit this area and learn some interesting facts about the treasured wildlife. This is definitely a place to visit if wildlife intrigues you!
Minnie Street Bed & Breakfast Inn , Fairbanks Alaska - I absolutely loved visiting Alaska! I could have not asked for a better B & B to stay. It was the most perfect, welcoming and coziest little place one could possibly find, making my stay in Fairbanks, a really memorable one. Truly charming hosts! Who made sure that every one of my requests was handled in the most gracious way. I fell in love with their garden and cute outdoor seating area! Hope to be back soon!
After all the mountains and the scenic sights I guess I longed for the a glimpse of something monumental and historical again. The next location that got my attention was the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum. Alaska’s journey to modernization a century ago was a dramatic and slow one. The Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum shows us this journey in vivid detail.
This is a nationally acclaimed museum and has a collection that features over 80 vehicles, including horseless carriages, electric cars, cycle-cars, steamers, speedsters, midget racers and 30s classics. The classics were, of course, my favorite. These include rarities such as the 1898 Hay Motor Vehicle, 1906 Compound, 1920 Argonne and 1921 Heine –Velox Victoria. Remarkably, a few of these vehicles are driven, making this a real "living museum.” This museum also hosts a Vintage Clothing section, which depicts the ways that fashion has evolved over the course of eight decades, as well as how the rising popularity of automobiles had an impact on the people of Alaska.
The most interesting display of all is a replica of the original Sourdough Roadhouse, where you are allowed to dress up in historic fashions, climb into an antique automobile and have your photo taken using your own camera. So, be sure to get your camera along! ☺
This automobile museum also holds a variety of Alaskan artefacts, including an antique Ford Model A sawmill, a Tokheim gasoline pump and a Fairbanks-Morse engine. The Morse engine was used to power Alaska’s first Telegraph System.
If you do decide to spend more time here, you could also go in for the Boreal Forest Tour. This nature tour experience is very alluring in itself. You get to see all that is present in a Boreal forest and the pleasure of photographing the Wander Lake.
The tour around the museum is very informative and you will definitely enjoy the visual indulgence of a sartorial evolution alongside all the early 20th century Alaskan motoring automobiles, thus making this a place not just for car enthusiasts. This combined with the nature tour is one day that is definitely well spent.
Steese Highway Fairbanks - Being the nature lover and fitness enthusiast that I am, one of THE highlights of this trip for me was to do a bit of hiking, so we headed to Steese National Conservation Area by taking the highway all the way from Fairbanks to Circle. Breathtaking rugged scenery! By the way, pretty amazing to be all the way up north in this part of the map, so close to the Arctic!
Anyone who loves to travel would have ‘gazing at aurora borealis’ on their bucket list. I was no exception and I was about to head out to tick it off my list!
Mount Aurora Skiland has been rated as one of the World's premier aurora viewing areas and I had decided that this was going to be the place for me. The sky looked dark from my hotel room, huge clouds hovered overhead. The weather was cool, crisp and awesome!
From information available on the internet, I gathered that the best time to reach the Skiland would be by around 3 pm. This would give me enough time to look around, take photos as well as get lost in the enchanting aurora.
The journey to the Skiland was beautiful in itself, lush evergreen trees and plants lined the way. Well-laid roads stretch all the way up the mount. It is a long and sinuous path, from where one can view distant signs of civilization. Sparkling white slopes lay all around. Communion with nature is something that invariably uplifts my mind. I find that it is mentally and spiritually uplifting. So much so, that the drive to the hill became a rejuvenating exercise in itself. I wasn’t about to complain, if this Alaskan getaway was going to pamper me silly.
I halted twice to soak in the surrounding and take pictures. The view was indescribably stimulating, the second I saw the lofty peak, I was excited. I took loads of pictures for those back home.
Ski land takes an entrance ticket fee of 34 dollars and by the time you are done looking at the aurora borealis you will feel that it was 34 dollars that was well spent. ☺
The top was completely covered in snow and being from India, (where it snows in a select few areas of the country) the idea of skiing really fascinated me. I was not interested in trying it although there were many skiing equipment rental stores around. Quite affordable ones too.
As the sun went down, the lodge filled up with visitors waiting for the Northern Lights to emerge. All of us couldn’t wait to photograph this awesome sight. Finally I saw it and its beauty was simply baffling. The sky had lit up into a beautiful pattern. The aurora borealis had appeared on the dark, clear sky and it was as close to magic as I was going to get.
The Aurora Ice Museum Fairbanks Alaska - I could certainly not miss this attraction. What a mind blowing museum! I was amazed with every ice carving, so intricately done. I kept telling myself that it had to be glass, because it was so hard for me to believe that such a place could exist, but it was ice indeed! Magical and pretty much taken out of a fairytale!
Once in Alaska, the first thing I wanted was to get to know a bit more about the place and its history. So, I packed my camera and headed out to the historic Pioneer Park . This place was recommended to me by the travel desk at my hotel.
Upon reaching the park I was given a flyer which was very informative and helped me in getting around the place. Though the place was filled with tourists, it did not seem uncomfortably crowded as the park was stretched across a large area .There was no admission fee to enter the park, but they did charge a small nominal entrance fee to a couple of its museums.
The first place that caught my attention was the Alaska Native museum. Upon entering I was overwhelmed by the number of artefacts present there. The Alaskan mural on display was quite a feast for the eyes. It was a good opportunity for pictures and memories. The park also had various other attractions like the Bear Gallery, the Palace Theatre, the Pioneer museum, the River Boat Nenana and a crooked creek railroad. For a person who loves history, this place is quite intriguing.
The steam engine train that goes around the park has a guide who points out each building in turn and supplies you with loads of information on each one. This tour is very informative and you get a whole new perspective of the Alaskan culture and traditions.
Whilst inside the park, you do not realize that time flies, looking at historic building, ships, train cabooses and the little shops with native crafts will keep your mind totally occupied. The tourist info booth was helpful and had several suggestions for what to see during our day's visit.
After all the walking and exploring, hunger set in and I headed to the popular Alaska Salmon Bake. The meal there was simply sumptuous!
My adventure at Pioneer Park finally came to an end. With a whole bunch of photos and a ton of information I headed to my next location. The Alaska land Pioneer Park was like the Disneyland of Fairbanks!
In my opinion, it is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the importance of mothers all over the world. Mothers are the greatest teachers of the most important values in life that we can learn as human beings. Probably the hardest job there is, the true embodiment of devotion, warmth and care. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers out there!
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” this was always my theory in life. I love to travel, no matter how hard or busy my life gets, I make time to de-stress myself. I have found that the best way to do this is by travelling. Visiting new places, eating new food, meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and traditions are what make you feel more connected to this world.
Having heard from a few friends about the lofty mountain peaks, ice-sculptured fjords and the amazing marine wildlife – this time, it was Alaska that was drawing me to it. I couldn’t wait to streak out on one of my photographic expeditions. But being a mother has its responsibilities. I had a lot of planning to do. First came, booking my tickets, the rest would follow.
I was looking for the cheapest airlines possible and luckily for me, I found that using an International Flight Booking app is the easiest way to do this. It’s pretty cost-effective to boot. It was a connection flight, Goa to Alaska via Chicago. The first leg of the journey was with Air India and then, after the layover at Chicago, Alaskan Airlines would fly me to Alaska.
My journey started off at dawn, which was just the perfect beginning I could possibly wish for. Took my camera out and captured few amazing stills of the morning sky. Soon enough the services began, breakfast was bought to me and I was really pleased with the food as well as the professional manner and warm smiles. I must thank Air India for making my journey even more memorable. The journey from Chicago to Alaska via the Alaska Airlines was quite brief. Though I must say, I have never met such upbeat and kind flight attendants.
Finally I saw it. The beauty of Alaska was so welcoming. The view of the Chugach Mountains and the still Matanuska River was so breathtaking that I couldn’t wait to be out there!
This is Diana, I consider myself as a passionate individual. I believe that everything in life should be given equal importance, be it your job, family or hobbies. You don’t have to make sacrifices, you can enjoy everything if you plan it well. I’m a working mom, I love cooking, travel/vacation and photography. Through this blog, I want to share my life experiences and management/planning skills. I just want my readers to follow their passion and live a happy life.