As an aside, I’ve added a couple of pics to yesterday’s post.
It’s obvious our bodies are not yet adapted to the long distance flown, as both of us were awake most of the night, it seemed, even in a comfortable bed and a properly air-conditioned room.
Despite this, we were reasonably chipper given the ungodly hour, and managed to get down to a cab returning us to the airport reasonably felicitously.
A somewhat hair-raising drive ensued, but we and our luggage got there, shaken up and in one piece, but again $45 lighter.
We were dropped off at the Delta terminal, and were surprised to see a guy on his own outside appearing to run a check-in terminal. And so it proved. Within 5 minutes our bags were checked in and we were in the terminal. Through Security in remarkably quick fashion – again. Maybe I’m finally getting the hang of this…..
We then had two hours to kill, and managed to have a leisurely breakfast (which was much better than I was expecting, despite the crap coffee) right outside the departure gate. This was all shaping up very well.
Even better, we were first to be called into the aircraft and, as we were right in the front row, got ourselves ensconced comfortably very quickly. Not up to the standard of long haul Delta, with just wider seats and greater legroom, but perfectly adequate. So we settled down to a two and a half hour flight, with, I have to say, absolutely top service. Although we’d had breakfast, lunch was served not long after takeoff, and it wasn’t half bad. I should also say that the plane backed off the stand 2 minutes EARLY!!
Landed at Anchorage ahead of schedule, baggage collected and out looking for a cab in no time. Around 20 minutes later, we were deposited outside the Hilton Anchorage, an enormous hotel close to the ocean inlet hereabouts.
Check-in was straightforward, but I had two things on my mind. Firstly, we still needed a supervised negative Covid test, as the USA requires one within 48 hours of boarding a cruise. Secondly, we needed to confirm what time we were being picked up from the hotel to take us the 100+ miles to the Viking terminal at Seward for the start of our Inside Passage cruise.
I decided that I’d follow up the second one first, as it only required a local phone call. However, I was thwarted in even this simple endeavour. I couldn’t phone from the hotel room – there seemed to be some sort of technical problem – and I couldn’t use my phone as it obstinately wouldn’t connect to any of the local mobile cellular networks. A visit to the local AT&T shop was fruitless.
Both problems were solved by the angelic Angelina on the front desk. She allowed me to phone the provider of the transport to Seward from her workstation, and I spoke to a very nice but totally dozy female who said she’d get back to me confirming the arrangements. When I pointed out that I could neither make nor receive calls, she was nonplussed. We agreed that she would leave a message at the hotel once she had the necessary info. God knows why she couldn’t provide it there and then, but hey…
Angelina also directed us to a local convention centre which purported to carry out the supervised lateral flow tests that were necessary for us to board the Viking Orion tomorrow. We made our way there with the utmost dispatch, and were delighted to find that they knew exactly what was required. After some understandable bureaucracy, we stuck the swab up our noses in what is now time-honoured fashion and left them to be dealt with as they saw fit against a promise that the results would be delivered by email in about 20 minutes.
They were as good as their word. Both negative, thank the Lord.
Pending the call-back from the transfer people, we decided to take a stroll round Anchorage. I’d heard it was a nice town. I disagree. It’s OK, but a bit dowdy, high-rise and – dull. A few nice bits here and there, but generally not impressed. A few pics to follow:
Back to the hotel for some dinner. I have to say, prices in the USA seem to be exorbitant, although I suppose we’re in the sort of environment where you’re going to get ripped off. Anyway, a nice meal and bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon, but far too much of the former…..
We also got confirmation that we will be gettng picked up at around 10.45 am tomorrow, so a decently leisurely start.
The relative lack of sleep is beginning to catch up on us, and at least we can look forward to 12 days on the Viking Orion where we can unpack and not have to worry about catching flights, food and even drink (as I’ve purchased the Silver Spirits package….. )
Time for bed. Not sure there’ll be much to report tomorrow, but I’ll see what I can do!