Charm of You...
Written By: S.Sulianah
The silence and its tranquility
Infinite sphere of landscape
Reflection on the essence of life
Embrace the core sentiment
An absolute incomparable
Cascade of love with the beauty
Reconnoitre with bliss
Anchorage (12th - 14th Feb 2015)
Anchorage is a city with first good impression for anyone who visits Alaska. It is taken care well, clean, organised and safe. They had experienced earthquake years back and I believe they had developed the buildings structured systematically that everything looks quite new. The views of snow-capped mountains and bits and pieces of frozen sea water are a comfort.
Alaska Railroad Experience (14th Feb 2015)
Travelling from Anchorage to Fairbanks via the railroad that links to a number of towns in Alaska was a memorable experience. Even though the journey was 12 hrs, it was surrounded by beautiful landscapes of picturesque mountains, frozen trees and rivers that it was a breathtaking trip instead of focusing on the long hour. I met a number of tourists in the same cabin and they were all optimistic and filled with enthusiasm. Solo travelling never feels better.
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA (14th -15th Feb and 18th to 21st Feb 2015)
Fairbanks is a town to transit before I head to the remote areas in Alaska. It has it own characteristic that differ from the other parts of the country. Ease of access to convenience store,cafes, food and clothes stores. Mainly I depend on cabs to travel from one place to another as the locations are quite a distance. One of the interesting places you should go to is the University of Alaska Museum of the North. I love the scientific show on aurora and appreciate it more after I had the opportunity to see the magnificent view of the lights in Bettles.
Weather: Fairbanks is colder than Anchorage and Bettles it seems. It was freezing cold. I had frostbites when I lost my way in a neighbourhood area.
I would like to shoutout with millions of thanks to Karen whom I had flagged her car when I lost my way. She brought me back to my hotel. It was a crazy experience. I was glad I lost way there instead of other areas. If not I will be too overconfident in Bettles that I will lost my way there instead thinking that I will find my way as easy as I always did. Bettles is mainly covered with jungles of trees.
One of the landscapes I had fallen in love with generally in Alaska and could not stop myself from snapping photographs are the sky and clouds. They are beautifully stunning and seems nearer to the land.
Air Warbelow Venture (15th and 18th Feb 2015)
Travelling to and fro Bettles and Fairbanks were once in a lifetime experience that I might not be able to forget. It has been my dreams to travel in a private jet and it came true. The views were incredibly mind-blowing. Perspectives of the entire land of Alaska is never the same. The rivers frozen with colours of winter. The icy land hidden beneath the miniatures trees. Layers of clouds amplifying the luminosity of the daylight.
I was the only passenger for the journey from Fairbanks to Bettles with the pilot, Heather and her coach. Nervous? Anxious? Yes of course. Especially with the turbulence before landing in Bettles.
Travelling back from Bettles to Fairbanks was abit more comfortable with the companions of Danelle and Esta whom I met the first time in Ramada Inn Anchorage before departing to Fairbanks. How I can remember them? It was because Danelle looks like Dr.Bo in Lost Girl. I was super excited as if I met a celebrity.
Bettles (15th to 18th Feb 2015)
Before reaching Bettles, I had this wild imaginations (as usual). I thought that it will be a secluded place with not many tourists and I might be by myself since it is a remote area.
Guess what! It was not at all. Even though the place is not as populated as in Anchorage and Fairbanks, there are a number of people staying there. If I am not wrong, the population is 23. I only met like a handful of them apart from the ones who run the Bettles and Aurora Lodges.
Bettles is a clean, neat and huge place. A small part of it are filled with houses of the locals while other than that are trees, rivers and trees.
The place where I stayed, Aurora Lodge is pretty awesome. It was my first experience staying in a place where I have to share bathroom, living and dining room. It was infact a great first experience as everyone were all well-behaved adults with one goal. To observe the aurora. Bettles is one of the main locations in Alaska where the activity of the aurora is very clear when it is active.
The owner of the lodge, Eric was welcoming and making sure everybody were alright. The staffs were all welcoming. They had a number of friendly dogs there and I had learnt to identify their names from their built.
As most of you all know how I love being alone at times, like really alone. I find that this place suits me. When I need to talk to someone, it will be a random friendly communications with the ones there. Made friends with a beautiful girl from Bosnia, Amela who is an avid traveller exploring the world. It was pretty cool talking to someone when you are alone. What am I blabbering? Actually I am having writers' block right now. Thinking of other things. Anyway, I shall continue in a short while.
Then apart from aurora viewing, activities that you can enjoy in Bettles are skiing on a flatland and snowmobiling/dog sledding. I finally had the chance to try skiing while chatting with Amela. Snowmobiling is so crazie-ly fun with the owner of the Sled company, Sven who is from Switzerland. He is a champion on dog sledding. We rode the snowmobile on a frozen river and through jungles of frozen trees. It was so amazing!
And of course, the main activity at night in Bettles is the viewing of Aurora.
Waiting patiently and snapping the aurora was a beautiful experience. Trying to make sure my camera can snap is so challenging as my knowledge with my camera features is "extremely very good". When I finally managed to set it to the right exposure and as usual screamed, it definitely scare off everybody. hhahaha...but they were nice enough to came to me and check out my camera results.
Next time, I will make sure I will capture the aurora with a DSLR camera instead and movable tripod. I think the instructions which I read was the opposite of what I should prepare.
Anyway, I should have add 2 more extra nites in Bettles. It was very calm place and I could sleep straight without waking up in the middle of the night compared to other states I was in. My room was in full darkness.
Air Warbelow's Venture
Aurora at Bettles, Alaska
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