行到山窮處 坐看雲起時 I’m back from watching the clouds go by

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↑夏威夷茂宜島 Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii

各位朋友、列位看官:  我回來了。有十多个月沒有片言隻字, 實在不好意思。這段日子, 是有點忙, 跑了好幾千里(x n)的路, 也拍了好幾千張(x n)的照片, 有幾張還算可以的會放上來大家看看。太久没來, 這个部落格的編輯功能好像有些變了, 並不太方便寫中文, 我會慢慢再學習和改進的。過去這一两年, 用腿走路和用手按快門的時間多, 寫東西時間少, 所以寫起來有點力不從心, 所以往後就以照片為主, 文字会較少, 請大家見諒。朋友告知有些舊文内的圖片大小變了形, 我有空會看看, 修改, 猜想是原來的版型更新了。

「行到山窮處, 坐看雲起時」, 上面那照片是乘郵輪遊夏威夷茂宜島(Lahaina, Maui), 走得累了, 回到船上餐廳, 呷着咖啡, 看着山上的白雲變動, 頗有趣味, 遂想起這两句詩, 覺得非常的有意思。當時在想英語該怎樣講呢? 唉, 胸無點墨, 湊不出來, 不過這跟 “we own nothing , and yet we have everything” 倒是有異曲同工之妙。

Hi Folks, I’m back. I know it has been a while. For the last 18 months, I guess I have bitten more than I could chew. I have traveled thousands of miles (x n), and taken thousands of pictures (x n). My pictures were everywhere storing in different external hard dives, so before doing any editing, I need to centralize everything in a place where I can find them. Trying to establish a filing system for all my pictures, from scratch, is no easy task, but hard work pays off, although it is not perfect yet, I can find what I want. I am happy to say that I do have a few pictures to show you. I hope to do it chronologically, but I just can’t help hopping around categories, so we’ll see. One more thing, I am losing my language proficiency both in Chinese and English because I am getting old fast, and I used my eyes and hands more than I use my tongue. So I’ll let the pictures do the talking, I’ll try to provide relevant information about the pictures wherever I can. In this episode, let’s watch some clouds roll by.

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The day that I left my home for the rolling sea…

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↑↓ 夏威夷茂宜島 Lahaina, Maui

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↑↓ 夏威夷茂宜島 Lahaina, Maui

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↑  Nawiliwili Bay, Kauai

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↑ Nawiliwili Bay sunset, Kauai

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↑ Waimen Canyon Route 550, Kauai

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↑ Hanapepe Swinging Bridge, Kauai

 

 

 

Posted in Cruise 郵/遊輪, Landscape 風景, Photography 攝影, Travel 旅遊, USA 美國 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Swan 黑天鵝

_JSF8251-3-3-1Pat is our Italian neighbor who loves swan so much. She came to me early this year asking if I could help to locate the swan picture she saw on a local newspaper in New York State. I did, but the file size was too tiny to make a good print. Anyway, when I was traveling in Honolulu last month, I saw a couple of black swans in a pond at a Japanese temple. I took some pictures of them, bore in mind that the image would be turned into a heart-shaped image. With a little luck, I got the image and successfully turned it into a heart-shaped image. Pat loves it, I am going to make her a print to be put together with another heart shaped image of two white swans. It makes a lot of sense to her, she said, because her daughter is a ballet dancer, you know the story of Swan Lake, a white and a black swan are a perfect match.

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阿拉斯加郵輪之旅 Alaska Cruise – 9 Victoria BC

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2015 西岸行    2015 West Coast

阿拉斯加郵輪之旅  Alaska Cruise – 9

第六天  維多利亞漁人碼頭
Day 6 – Fisherman’s Wharf, Victoria BC

維多利亞是我們回西雅圖下船前停靠最後的港口。我們只有從下午7:30 – 11時30分四個小時的時間,然而天氣非常好,我們決定步行去漁人碼頭看看。

如在其網站上所述, “漁人碼頭在維多利亞內港, 有浮宅和水上餐館, 商業船隻聚集的海上景點。”   這些浮宅和水上餐館色彩繽紛,裝飾精美, 非常獨特, 而餐廳沒有過分的商業。水上家園是如此可愛,有人他們是”異想天開” (whimsical)。

從郵輪碼頭到漁人碼頭是一個從容的步行路程。我們後來再走遠一點,然後回轉船上吃飯。郵輪碼頭前面有一禮品店, 就在那裡有免費無線上網 (wifi),所以我們很多同行站在的附近看電郵和Whatsapp,一部分在店內最後一輪購物衝刺

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Victoria was our last port call on our way back to Seattle to disembark. We only had a time span from 7:30pm to 11:30pm, the weather was beautiful, we decided to walk to the Fisherman’s Wharf.

As described on their website, “Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria’s Inner Harbour is a unique marine destination with float homes and commercial vessels.”  These floating homes are very colorful and nicely decorated while the restaurants are not overwhelmingly commercialized. The floating homes are so colorful and cute that some folks called them whimsical.

It was an easy walk from the cruise terminal to Fisherman’s Wharf. We walked a little further and turned back to the ship for dinner. There is a gift shop right in front of the terminal where there was wifi available for free, so a lot of our fellow passengers stood near the shop checking email and WhatsApp while the others were buzzing in the shop doing their final round of shopping.

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Folks bought fishes from the nearby seafood store to feed the seals. ↓ When it was the lady’s turn, she held out the fish like the gentleman did, and out of nowhere, here came a seagull diving down with lightning speed and grabbed the fish from the lady hand before the seal emerged. As you can see, I was 1/10 second slower in pressing the shutter.

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Pacific harbor seal.

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We walked a little further and turned back to Fishman’s Wharf for a last look before heading back to the cruise ship for dinner.

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Link:

Victoria Fisherman’s Wharf

My dear friends, this is the last post of the series of Alaska Cruise. Like I said, I have run out of time and steam. As a matter of fact, I have been busy the last two months, taking care of the photos taken (not yet finished, those taken in Vancouver are still waiting), wrapping up the works in the house and getting ready for my next trip. The planning of the trip to Japan for sakura is being put on ice. Stay tuned.

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阿拉斯加郵輪之旅 Alaska Cruise – 7 Musical on board 2

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此照乃下圖裁放。 Cropped picture of the following one.

 

2015 西岸行    2015 West Coast

阿拉斯加郵輪之旅  Alaska Cruise – 7

第五天 – 表演節目, 音樂劇  Day 5 – Musical on board 2

這是第五天晚上的音樂劇表演, 這晚試用光位重點測光, 我其實不知道怎樣設定才能得到好效果, 隨便試試。感覺上好像比上一次稍微好一點, 但過曝情况得然不少, 要仔細看看說明書了。

This post serves not only as part of a collection of snapshots of our Alaska cruise trip but also as a photography record of a new camera feature I have tried.  This was the first time I used the Highlight Weighted feature in my camera. Frankly I had no clue what settings should have been used to be able to get some good pictures, so I just did it with “common sense”, the results were not great. Anyhow, I would say it is slightly better than those taken on Day 2, posted earlier.

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Cropped from the above photo.

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Cropped from the above photo.

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Cropped from the above photo.

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過曝了。 Ooops…Overexposed。

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Posted in Cruise 郵/遊輪, Photography 攝影, Travel 旅遊, USA 美國 | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

阿拉斯加郵輪之旅 Alaska Cruise – 6 Sitka

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2015 西岸行    2015 West Coast

阿拉斯加郵輪之旅  Alaska Cruise – 6

第五天  錫特卡  Day 5 – Sitka

維基百科資料: 錫特卡是美國阿拉斯加州一個市鎮合一的行政單位,位於亞歷山大群島巴拉諾夫島上。面積12,461.8平方公里,是全美面積最大的建制單位。根據美國2000年人口普查,共有人口8,835人,是該州第四大城市。1799年由沙俄建立,1972年12月2日建市。是特林吉特語Shee At’iká,即「Shee外邊的人」的意思。

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Wikipedia : The City and Borough of Sitka, formerly New Archangel while under Russian rule (Tlingit: Sheetʼká; Russian: Ново-Архангельск or Новоaрхангельск, t Novoarkhangelsk), is a unified city-borough located on Baranof Island and the southern half of Chichagof Island in the Alexander Archipelago of the Pacific Ocean (part of the Alaska Panhandle), in theU.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2010 census, the population was 8,881. In terms of land area, it is the largest city-borough in the U.S., with a land area of 2,870.3 mi2 (7,434.1 km2) and a total area (including water area) of 4,811.4 mi2 (12,460.8 km2). Urban Sitka, the part that is usually thought of as the “city” of Sitka, is situated on the west side of Baranof Island. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sitka,_Alaska)

The current name “Sitka” (derived from Sheet’ká, a contraction of the Tlingit Shee At’iká) means “People on the Outside of Baranof Island”, whose Tlingit name is Sheet’-ká X’áat’l (here contracted to Shee).

_JSF3134_5_6_7_8-1又是一個大陰天。今天郵輸不能直接靠岸, 得由小艇接駁。

Overcast with some drizzles, this was the weather we were tendered to explore the town of Sitka.

_JSF3159_60_61_62_63-1這裡雖然是阿拉斯加第四大城市, 但其實是一小鎮, 船也只停大半天, 我們就到街上隨便看看。

Sitka is the fourth largest city in Alaska, however, it does not look like a big town. It is in fact a quiet little town and not a lot of excursions were offered other than kayaking or wildlife viewing.

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主街: 林肯街      Down town: Lincoln Street

當我在市中心閑逛時, 看到幼兒院的老師带着一群小孩子到 Pioneer Home 前的草地玩耍, 當時正下着小雨。隨後在禮品店裡我問在地人為何雨天還带小孩出來玩, 那小姐說: “這不是下雨, 在這裡, 我們叫它錫特卡的陽光” , 非常正面的生活態度。

While we were walking on Lincoln Street, I saw a bunch of small kids led by their teachers (probably from a day care center) walking to the front lawn of Pioneer Home. It was raining lightly at that time. I asked a local why the kids were brought out to play in the rain. She replied, “This is not rain, this is Sitkan sun.” What wonderful attitude the Sitkans have.

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圖騰廣場       Totem Square

P1080957-2巴勒諾夫圖騰。由原住民藝術家刻於1940。原想好好的解讀此圖騰,連阿拉斯加的青蛙/蟾蜍(上面中間綠色那青蛙)分佈的資料也翻過了, 只是現在有點忙, 遲些補上。

The Baranov totem pole, carved by Tlingit craftsman in the early 1940. I have good intention to “study” the meaning of this totem pole, I have even searched for the distribution of frogs/toads (the green one above) in Alaska. However, I have run out of steam, may be later.

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北極狼皮待售。Arctic timber wolf on sale.

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P1080984-5↑ 長毛象的牙歯, 有意思。

↑ Mammoth tooth, how interesting.
P1080986-1↑ 到處可見俄國文化的影響。

↑ Russian heritage everywhere.
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_JSF3264_5_6_7_8-1聖彌額爾大教堂是市中心的一所東正教堂, 是錫特卡的地標。由於同行的老友對参觀教堂没多大興趣, 我也就没有参觀, 事後悔之晚矣。

St. Michael’s Cathedral is a cathedral of the Orthodox Church in America Diocese of Alaska, at Lincoln and Matsoutoff Streets. I was hoping that we could visit the Cathedral on our way back to the tender pier. I have visited a lot of churches and temples, in Europe and Asia,  but never one with Russian heritage. However, folks in our group had no interest at all, I followed them back to the ship which I deeply regretted.

 

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林肯街的東面, 静靜的。

The east side of Lincoln Street.

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↑↓ 太平洋中學校前的圖騰。

↑↓ Totem pole in front of Pacific High School

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俄國主都府, 由國家公園局管理。分上下两層, 下層為展覽廳, 介紹些歷史。第二層是主教起居處和参拜的地方, 我們只参觀了下層。

Russian Bishop’s House – This is the highlight of our tour to Sitka. This historic site consists of two storeys. First floor is a general exhibition to show the history of the Bishop’s House (free admission), second floor is said to be the old Bishop’s quarter and worship chamber (admission required). We visited the first floor, and skipped the second floor.

Wikipedia : The Russian Bishop’s House, once the Russian Mission Orphanage, is a historic house museum and National Historic Landmark at Lincoln and Monastery Streets in Sitka, Alaska. Built in 1841-43, this log structure is one of the oldest surviving buildings of Russian America, and was one of the centerpieces of the Russian Orthodox church’s efforts to spread its influence among the natives of Alaska. It was the home and administrative center of Ivan Veniaminov, the first Bishop of Alaska, later canonized as Innocent of Alaska. The house is now a unit of Sitka National Historical Park, and is administered by the National Park Service.

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P1080996-1↑ 海獺皮革。展覽廳內排有一張供遊客撫摸的。摸下去, 手感之好, 驚艷, 這才明白為何早期很多人專們獵殺它們。海獺現在是受保護動物。

↑ Sea Otter Pelt: ” A full grown prime skin, which has been stretched before drying, is about five feet long, and twenty-four to thirty inches wide, covered with very fine fur, about three-fourths of an inch in length, having a rich jet black, glossy surface, and exhibiting a silver color when blown open.” William Surgis, American merchant. The sea otter is now protected by federal law from commercial exploitation.
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我們還逛到超市去看看民生食用品,基本上跟美本士無異, 只是價錢稍貴, 因為運輸費貴。

After a visit to the supermarket, we walked back to the pier for tender boat. Kayaking is a popular excursion.

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Sitka 的避風港, 中間黃色的建築物就是主教府。
↑ Crescent Harbor, note Russian Bishop’s House in the middle.

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House situated at the far end of the town.

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在我們離開Sitka時, 天色漸放睛。
By the time we embarked from Sitka, it was in the mid afternoon and the sky was a bit brighter.

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Posted in Cruise 郵/遊輪, Travel 旅遊, USA 美國 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

阿拉斯加郵輪之旅 Alaska Cruise – 5 Juneau

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↑ 這張紀錄那天的天色。
↑ Just to show what the weather was like the day we visited Juneau. This was taken in the afternoon, it was actually a bit brighter as compared to the morning sky.
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2015 西岸行    2015 West Coast

阿拉斯加郵輪之旅  Alaska Cruise – 5

第四天  朱諾  Day 4 – Juneau

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泊船處就是市中心。
Downtown is just a few steps across the street of the cruise terminal.
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_JSF2596-1朱諾雖然是阿拉斯加首府, 但市中心人車都不多。
Despite the fact that Juneau is the capital city of Alaska, down town does not have a lot of traffic.
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_JSF2613-1此纜車由郵輪碼頭直上1800呎至山上, 據說可俯覧朱諾全市和海峽, 風景優美。可惜當天雲霧鎖朱諾, 上去肯定什麼都看不到, 只能享受騰雲駕霧之樂吧了。

The Goldbelt Mount Roberts Tramway: According to their official website, “Cars rise 1,800 feet from the cruise ship dock in downtown Juneau through the rain forest to the Mountain House, offering expansive views of Juneau and Gastineau Channel.” Unfortunately, at the time of we visit, Mount Roberts was immersed in clouds.

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市中心街上有两小童穿着1920 年代報童的服飾, 沿街叫賣當地報紙。他們頭带報童帽, 白色牛津紡襯衫, 配蝴蝶呔, 牛津吊带, 前擊有圍袋,甚有”古風”。

 

It was interesting to see how these newspaper boys were dressed, a flat cap or newsboy cap  (or newsy cap), a bow tie, Oxford Rigger braces, white oxford shirt, just like the 1920s._JSF2967-003
_JSF2976-2-1↓ 這建築物前為三文魚店, 後面原來是海鮮廠, 外有碼頭。

 A salmon store (and restaurant?), there is a seafood plant at the back.

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_JSF2609-1↓ 軟糖店

↓ A fudge shop in town.

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_JSF3008-1↓ In a T shirt shop.
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↑↓ 阿拉斯加州長府第, 有阿拉斯加白宮之稱, 落成於1912年。

↑↓ The Alaska’s “White House”, the Alaska governor’s mansion, was built in 1912.
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_JSF2633-1↓ 市內中學

↓ A high school.

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孟丹荷冰川 – 離市中心十二哩外, 有著名景點孟丹荷冰川。此冰川被很多雜誌評為朱諾必去景點, 其下的冰洞曾被譽為一生必要去的景點。由於去冰洞要由山路上山, 穿越林木, 穿釘鞋爬過冰川, 始能抵達, 對體能、耐力要求甚高, 我等老弱殘兵, 冰洞变成我們必不能去的景點, 於是参加了冰川加市內遊的巴士團, 作「可遠觀而不可褻玩焉」之旅。

Mendenhall Glacier

Wikipedia: Mendenhall Glacier is a glacier about 13.6 miles long located in Mendenhall Valley, about 12 miles (19 km) from downtown Juneau in the southeast area of the U.S. state of Alaska……The Juneau Icefield Research Program has monitored the outlet glaciers of the Juneau Icefield since 1942, including Mendenhall Glacier. The glacier has also retreated 1.75 miles (2.82 km) since 1958, when Mendenhall Lake was created, and over 2.5 miles (4.0 km) since 1500. The end of the glacier currently has a negative glacier mass balance and will continue to retreat in the foreseeable future.

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金塊瀑布徑 – 乘巴士抵孟丹荷冰川遊客中心前的路邊下車, 司機先生囑準一小時後原地集合, 切勿遲到。花了幾分鐘, 信步走到此地圖前, 始知來回需時45分鐘, 於是來也怱怱, 去也怱怱, 到達瀑布前也是怱怱拍了幾張照片就要趕路了。看官有意到此一遊, 不妨問清楚時間, 否則連上個厠所也要去也怱怱。有些長者走到半路就得折回, 可惜呢。回到車上, 向司機先生反映了一下, 他不置可否。

As written on the map, it takes 45 minutes round trip to walk to Nugget Falls from the location where the map stands, it also takes a couple of more minutes to walk to the  parking area. So if you are given an hour there, you only have 5 minutes to take pictures, may be 10, if you walk fast enough. For those who want to join a tour to see the glacier, I would recommend not to join those tours that only allow one hour for the Mendenhall Glacier. It was a joke, I saw some senior folks had to turn back before reaching the Falls. It is said that there are local shuttles ($8+/-).
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I have read somewhere that one of the most wonderful places on earth one needs to explore is the ice caves under Mendenhall Glacier. However, it demands good physical fitness to be able to hike a long distance (5 miles each way?) in the wood and climb over the Glacier with crampons, well, definitely not for  us. We can only appreciate the beauty of the Glacier from a distance.

Youtube – Mendenhall

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Posted in Cruise 郵/遊輪, National Park 郊野公園, Travel 旅遊, USA 美國 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

阿拉斯加郵輪之旅 Alaska Cruise – 8 Ketchiken

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2015 西岸行    2015 West Coast

阿拉斯加郵輪之旅  Alaska Cruise – 8

第六天 克奇坎  Day 6 – Ketchikan

Wikipedia:

克奇坎,是美國阿拉斯加州克奇坎門自治市鎮 (Ketchikan Gateway Borough)下的一座城市,為阿拉斯加州最靠東南的城市。根據2010年美國人口普查,該市有人口8,050人,為阿拉斯加州人口第六多的城市。

Ketchikan is the southeasternmost city in Alaska. With a population at the 2010 census of 8,050, it is the sixth-most populous city in the state. Ketchikan is named after Ketchikan Creek, which flows through the town, emptying into the Tongass Narrows a short distance southeast of its downtown. “Ketchikan” comes from the Tlingit name for the creek, Kitschk-hin, the meaning of which is unclear. It may mean “the river belonging to Kitschk”; other accounts claim it means “Thundering Wings of an Eagle”. In modern Tlingit this name is rendered as Kichx̱áan. Ketchikan Creek served as a summer fishing camp for Tlingit natives for untold years before the town was established by Mike Martin in 1885. The area near the mouth of Ketchikan Creek later earned Ketchikan a measure of infamy during the first half of the 20th century for a red-light district known as Creek Street, with brothels aligned on either side of the creek.

_JSF3463我們泊岸的那天, 也是密雲, 但間中有陽光。

The morning we docked at Ketchikan the weather was kind of cloudy. However, from time to time, sunshine managed to sneak through.

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↑↓  碼頭對面彭諾克島岸邊漂亮的房子

↑↓  What beautiful houses alongside the Pennock Island across the terminal.

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我相信我們的船是停靠在泊位2 (Berth 2). 我們信步走過Front街,Grant街,然後到溪街(Greek Street)。最後到Stedman街一店內買了一些三文魚產品。溪街是我們在參觀克奇坎最有趣的地方。

I believe we docked at Berth 2. We strolled through Front St, Grant St, and reached Creek Street. We shopped some salmon products on Stedman Street. Creek Street is definitely the most interesting place we have visited in Ketchikan.

Everywhere you dock in Alaska, there are diamond shops and jewelry stores.

好像無論你在阿拉斯加走到那裡,都有鑽石商店 ↑ 和珠寶店 (笑… ),當然,還有三文魚店 ↓。

Everywhere you go in Alaska, there are diamond shops ↑ and jewelry stores, lol… and, of course, salmon markets ↓.

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_JSF3563-1溪街是克奇坎在20世紀20年代初的紅燈區,據說當時妓院佈滿小河的兩岸。現在只留一間, Dolly’s House, 改成博物館(我們没有参觀)。其餘的都是紀念品商店和餐館。

Creek Street, the red-light district of Ketchikan in the early 1920s, it is said that brothels aligned on either side of the creek. Now only one, Dolly’s House, is preserved for tourism. The rest are souvenir shops and restaurants.

P1090094-1Historic Creek Street – “Where fish and fishermen go up the creek to spawn.”

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多莉院 (Dolly’s House) – 面口寫着: 建立於1919年, 歷史紅燈屋遊, 這裡曾是三文魚(指屋前的溪) 和男人來”下春”的地方。

Dolly’s House – This was where fishermen went up the creek to “spawn”.

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上山電車? A tram?

_JSF3620   謝謝, 請進.

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我必須說,我見到也有中國餐館, 是頗驚訝的。

I must confess that I was surprised to find a Chinese restaurant here, in this part of Alaska.

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↑ 從上游俯視溪街.

↑ Looking down Creek Street from upstream.

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這是溪街過了橋對面的烏鴉偷太陽圖騰柱。

This is the Raven Stealing the Sun Totem Pole across Creek Street, across the bridge from the Chinese restaurant.

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↓ 我們走過溪街東側, 發現了幾家商店。這紅房子商家提供了一些很好的鮭魚產品。

↓ We walked beyond Creek Street to the east and found a few shops. This red house offers some nice salmon products.

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Time to board again, last look of Ketchikan from the terminal.

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