Monday, September 17, 2012

My 2nd home...

After a stunning month in Alaska I am now on my way back home with stop-overs in New York and London to visit friends and family.
The last 2 weeks I spent in my 2nd home the concrete Jungle New York which is quite a contrast program from wide and open spaced nature in Alaska and I at first had to get used to it again. But what can I say, New York had and will always have a spot in my heart... with its busy streets, posh cafees, steakhouses, taxis, subway, food trucks, overcrowded parks..... there is just no other city like it in this world.  Though the major reason why this is a 2nd home to me is because of my friends living over here who are just grand. Unfortunately my time here comes to an end and I will move on to London on Wednesday before returning to Germany on the 25th.

Friday, September 7, 2012

1 month of Alaska = 1 month of Adventure

Alaska was always a dream destination for me, though I never had an answer for people when they asked me for the "why". 
Having been to Alaska now for 1 month just confirmed that Alaska for me is one of the most wonderful places on earth. Though it is still hard for me to pin down the exact reasons - Is it the mountains and lakes? The climate? The wildlife? The people? The shere size of the 50. state of the US? I guess it is the combination.

On the day I arrived in Anchorage I met some local people through couch-surfing (check it out on it is a great concept), who took me on a 3 day trail-hike the next day and with that the Alaska adventure had a kicked off and it basically didn't stop until the day I flew out on which I still did a 6 hour trail hike :-).

The program and highlights for Alaska were as following:
- 3 day back-country trail hike in Denali State Park, with a rocking group of 7 people, stunning views, loads of rain and a continuos 13 hour hike through the night, because we didn't want to pitch a tent in the rain anymore.
- Mountain-bike tour around Anchorage and accidentally running into a mother Moose with her young child about 5 meters away from me. Luckily the Moose was totally relaxed :-)
- 3 day sea-kayaking to Bear Glacier, with 8 hours straight paddling, pitching tents without shelter and firewood, pulling two of my fellow kayakers up the river, cruising through a lagoon of glacier water in between of broken off pieces of ice
- 3 day back-country hike in Denali National Park which started of with hitchhiking 300 miles, then once hiking seeing 4 bears up close, a river crossing which we had to abort as it nearly swamped me away, a 11 hour hike up to and on a glacier
- Chilled hiking around Cordova where I ate one of my best Burritos in my life (Salmon Burrito :-))
- 7 days of a roadtrip on the Alaska Highway System which leads through stunning nature. The highlights certainly were: Ice climbing in the Wrangler National Park, Getting up to the Arctic Circle and driving the Denali Highway.
- Several day hikes, such as Exit Glacier, Jumbo Mine or Bird Ridge.

A big thanks goes out to Katharina, we teamed up for four weeks to explore Alaska together, she is a grand travel-mate and took all these awesome pictures... have a look for yourself!!