It's interesting to read how others see us, especially when they and their intended audience are far away. In this case, the author is Kathy Montgomery, who writes for The Arizona Repulic of Phoenix. She wrote a two-page article in its "Travel & Explore" section on Feb. 8 entitled "An insider's view of Alaska's Inside Passage," an account of a cruise last summer on the Celebrity cruise ship Summit.
In it she writes, "Juneau ... named for a gold prospector, the state capital has a waterfront populated by multistory buildings, warehouse and an extensive shopping district. Disappointed by the shops, where we find the same selection of ulus (knives used traditionally by Eskimo women), T-shirts, smoked salmon and bear-claw salad tongs we've seen at every other port, we settle on a whale-watching trip, lured by the money-back guarantee."
She goes on to describe what would be to most anybody some very exciting whale sightings and a roughish boat ride back, so perhaps one might say that Juneau doesn't come off too badly at that.
Mark J. Millea