sitka, Alaska

Sitka: Journey through a once Russian Alaska

3 Guys Church
Placard promotes the sale of tlingit native ecological crafts.
M/V Malaspina
Passengers from one of the Alaska Marine Highway System boats shortly after they left Sitka.
Bears in sight
Notice of recent bear sightings at the entrance to the Sitka National Historical Park main trail
Totem Head 2
Detail of one of the many tlingit totems spread throughout the Sitka National Historical Park.
St. Michaels Cathedral
The front of Saint Michaels Cathedral, wooden and with its eight-armed Orthodox cross
Camouflaged Totem
Tlingit totem concealed among the broad trunks of the coniferous forest around Sitka
Sunset on Sitka
Long late sunset illuminates the vast coniferous forest in a canal in the vicinity of Sitka
Shadow Rail
Forest trail in the Sitka National Historical Park, often visited by bears that warrant serious warnings and extra care from visitors.
capped head
Detail of the top of one of the totems of the Tlingit tribe spread throughout the Sitka National Historical Park.
the ranger
Jimmy Craig, the tlingit ranger serving the Sitka National Historical Park.
Historical photograph photograph of a group of Tlingit Indians, the fierce tribe that made life difficult for Russian settlers
Cathedral Tower
Saint Michaels Cathedral Tower, one of the most important symbols of Russian heritage in Sitka and all of Alaska.
Carved Totem
Tlingit totem lost among the conifers of Sitka National Historical Park.
Quaker dresses
The dresses handcrafted by Jillian, a Sitka Quaker resident who despised technology.
In 1867, Tsar Alexander II had to sell Russian Alaska to the United States. In the small town of Sitka, we find the Russian legacy but also the Tlingit natives who fought them.

As we reach the heart of downtown Sitka, an Orthodox priest converses with the faithful at the entrance to the Cathedral of Saint Michaels, the seat of the Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands and the Aleutian archipelago.

His black cassock and gray beards make complete sense in the vicinity of the blue and white church crowned by several golden eight-armed crosses.

For those who have not learned about the history, they can do less in one of the territories of the nation that was for so long the arch-rival of homeland of the tsars.

St Michaels Cathedral, Sitka, Alaska Travel Once Russia

The front of Saint Michaels Cathedral, wooden and with its eight-armed Orthodox cross

Other references to Russian America appear before us when we least expect it. In nearby Marine Street, appears the grave of Princess Maksoutoff - the wife of the last governor. The princess lies in a sort of VIP extension of the vast and chilling Russian cemetery, which the sodden moss and other vegetation continue to take hold.

Right next door, there is a replica of the stockade that the former settlers erected to protect themselves from frequent attacks by the natives.

The Tlingit, the Native Soul of Sitka and the Bears that Inhabit It

When the Russians arrived, the Tlingit ethnic group owned and mistressed the region. It quickly spread terror among the invaders. The Tlingit threat forced them to form an opportunistic alliance with their Aleutian rivals. Only then, together, the Russians managed to defeat the natives at the Battle of Sitka and erect the Novoarkangelsk outpost.

Jimmy Craig knows the story in detail. It prides itself on the fierce resistance of its ancestors.

Alaska Marine Highway, Sitka, Travel Alaska Once Russia

Jimmy Craig, the tlingit ranger serving the Sitka National Historical Park.

We found him in a ranger's uniform at the entrance to the Sitka National Historical Park where he detects the aroma of campfire smoke on our clothes and can't resist commenting: “You guys smell our best perfume: firewood cologne! That's a lot of points gained from considering any Tlingit.”

Be welcome. Have fun in the park but pay attention. In recent days they have been sighted bears. Speak out loud to each other. If you come across one, above all, don't turn your back!"

Sitka, Alaska Travel Once From Russia

Notice of recent bear sightings at the entrance to the Sitka National Historical Park main trail

We follow the advice to the letter. We enter the dark forest. We had fun feeding dialogues as futile as they were noisy.

We stopped just to admire each of the 18 totems Tlingits mysterious and colorful and to read the explanatory bulletins arranged along the tracks.

Totem, Sitka, Alaska Travel Once Russia

Tlingit totem concealed among the broad trunks of the coniferous forest around Sitka

Os bears they also created problems for the Russian pioneers.

Alaska. The Vast Russian Colony That Just Sold Out

The Russians ventured into Alaska almost a hundred years before the British. They were motivated by the abundance of skins, an asset, at the time, very valuable, which they could obtain there in greater quantity than on the other side of the Bering Strait.

After his subjects had nearly extinguished the target animals of the Aleutian Islands and Kodiak, the colony's first governor, Alexander Andreyevich Baranov, moved the capital to the south.

He built Sitka with the unbridled ambition of establishing a fur empire that would stretch from Bristol Bay to northern California.

The project ran into the advance of the British. It didn't even make it halfway. Still, the Russians dominated Alaska until 1867. That same year, they closed one of the worst deals in its history.

At the time, various domestic disputes and conflicts with native tribes, the high expenses for the maintenance of the colony, which were added to those resulting from the Napoleonic wars, depleted the finances of Saint Petersburg.

As a last resort, the Russians sought to sell the territory to the United States. The Americans ended up agreeing to the price of 7.2 million dollars, less than the two cents per acre that the Republican Party called “the madness of Seward” (the Lincoln Secretary of State who signed the deal) that would turn out to be surprisingly profitable.

Alaska's Gold That Attracted New Settlers From Everywhere

Thirteen years later, prospectors Richard Harris and Joseph Juneau, who came to give the name to the Alaska's current capital, discovered gold in the Gastineau Canal. The lode they found, together with others, quickly netted over 150 million dollars.

Part of the sellers' heritage and way of life also passed into the hands of buyers. No other village in Southeast Alaska has inherited as much as sitka. Today, Sitka has 9 inhabitants. It is the only village in Southeast Alaska that challenges the Pacific Ocean.

Unsurprisingly, ethnically and culturally, Sitka has become the real Russian salad. A historical patchwork that continued to intrigue us.

Tlingits, Sitka, Alaska Travel Once Russia

Historical photograph photograph of a group of Tlingit Indians, the fierce tribe that made life difficult for Russian settlers

We spent part of the night around a second fire, in the home of a young couple Quakers who offered to welcome us. We weren't the only ones.

A Bonfire Night, with Quakers, S'mores and an Alaskan Musician

Caleb had just arrived from far away Fairbanks (northern Alaskan town) and was also a guest. “Did you bring wine? How wonderful!" he exclaims when he detects the bottle in our shopping bags for dinner.

Seth and Jillian, the eccentric hosts, aren't so enthusiastic. “Well, alcohol goes against our principles but we're not going to impose anything on you. Drink but behave well below! know what they are s'mores?” still ask us. We're really looking forward to doing a night of s'mores. But let's settle around the fire. They already see what it is.”

Just in case, rather, they show us where we were supposed to sleep. In that same small room, we have fun watching dozens of folk costumes hanging that seem to us to be suitable for a long Carnival.

Quaker Dresses, Sitka, Alaska Travel Once From Russia

The dresses handcrafted by Jillian, a Sitka Quaker resident who despised technology.

Jillian notices our fascination: “Like it? I'm the one who sews them by hand. We, Quakers we are not big fans of technology, as you may have noticed”.

The Then Emerging Phenomenon of the Portugal group. the man

We went out to the backyard and into the cold night of that coastal Alaska. Caleb had already helped himself to the wine.

As he basked in the flames, he remembered something that intrigued him. “You know the Portugal. The man ? They are an alternative band from Portland already quite famous here in the north of the States. I even bet they will become famous in Europe too. (ndA: that's more or less what happened and they came to play the Portugal). Why do they have this name? Well, I would love to explain to you, but the truth is, I don't know. "

To compensate, he asked us about Portugal. He assured us that it would be one of his priority trips to the Old World.

Meanwhile, Jillian gives us branches caught around there and opens up hostilities s'morescas. Make a mini marshmallow sandwich between crackers. Place it at the end of your branch and toast it over the fire. Us and Caleb imitated her and Seth. Shy, this one laughed at everything a little while protecting himself from the dense smoke that made us choke.

The flames and smoke soon subside.

Jillian took the opportunity to confess: “Oh, how good this is feeling.”. We're still pretty wet from the morning's adventure. We went to mine gold for the river. We never thought it would get so tired. On top of that, we found no sign of him. Not even dust."

Confusions on Sitka's Russian Past and Present

At that time, a parallel strikes our minds and exposes them to the fire: “Have you noticed that if the Russians had found the first gold here in these parts, we could have been speaking Russian here and drinking vodka accompanied with pickled cucumbers ?”

Sitka, Alaska Travel Once From Russia

Saint Michaels Cathedral Tower, one of the most important symbols of Russian heritage in Sitka and all of Alaska.

To which Seth counters. “It's true, guys. But I'm not sure if that doesn't happen now and then around here. It could be more visible, but this city still has a lot of Russian.

They were unlucky with the cruises schedule, but almost every time one docks here, there is a show of traditional Russian dances.”

Channel in Sitka, Alaska Travel Once Russia

Long late sunset illuminates the vast coniferous forest in a canal in the vicinity of Sitka

The next cruise didn't arrive until after too long.

Two days later, we boarded the M/V Malaspina and we continued to explore Alaska by the route of its long Marine Highway.

Key West, USA

The Tropical Wild West of the USA

We've come to the end of the Overseas Highway and the ultimate stronghold of propagandism Florida Keys. The continental United States here they surrender to a dazzling turquoise emerald marine vastness. And to a southern reverie fueled by a kind of Caribbean spell.
Ketchikan, Alaska

Here begins Alaska

The reality goes unnoticed in most of the world, but there are two Alaskas. In urban terms, the state is inaugurated in the south of its hidden frying pan handle, a strip of land separated from the contiguous USA along the west coast of Canada. Ketchikan, is the southernmost of Alaskan cities, its Rain Capital and the Salmon Capital of the World.
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Anchorage to Homer, USA

Journey to the End of the Alaskan Road

If Anchorage became the great city of the 49th US state, Homer, 350km away, is its most famous dead end. Veterans of these parts consider this strange tongue of land sacred ground. They also venerate the fact that, from there, they cannot continue anywhere.
Mount Denali, Alaska

The Sacred Ceiling of North America

The Athabascan Indians called him Denali, or the Great, and they revered his haughtiness. This stunning mountain has aroused the greed of climbers and a long succession of record-breaking climbs.
Juneau, Alaska

The Little Capital of Greater Alaska

From June to August, Juneau disappears behind cruise ships that dock at its dockside. Even so, it is in this small capital that the fate of the 49th American state is decided.
Valdez, Alaska

On the Black Gold Route

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez oil tanker caused a massive environmental disaster. The vessel stopped plying the seas, but the victim city that gave it its name continues on the path of crude oil from the Arctic Ocean.
Skagway, Alaska

A Klondike's Gold Fever Variant

The last great American gold rush is long over. These days, hundreds of cruise ships each summer pour thousands of well-heeled visitors into the shop-lined streets of Skagway.
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Seward, Alaska

The Alaskan Dog Mushing Summer

It's almost 30 degrees and the glaciers are melting. In Alaska, entrepreneurs have little time to get rich. Until the end of August, dog mushing cannot stop.
Okavango Delta, Not all rivers reach the sea, Mokoros
Okavango Delta, Botswana

Not all rivers reach the sea

Third longest river in southern Africa, the Okavango rises in the Angolan Bié plateau and runs 1600km to the southeast. It gets lost in the Kalahari Desert where it irrigates a dazzling wetland teeming with wildlife.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Itamaraty Palace Staircase, Brasilia, Utopia, Brazil
Architecture & Design
Brasilia, Brazil

Brasília: from Utopia to the Capital and Political Arena of Brazil

Since the days of the Marquis of Pombal, there has been talk of transferring the capital to the interior. Today, the chimera city continues to look surreal but dictates the rules of Brazilian development.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
knights of the divine, faith in the divine holy spirit, Pirenopolis, Brazil
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pirenópolis, Brazil

A Ride of Faith

Introduced in 1819 by Portuguese priests, the Festa do Divino Espírito Santo de Pirenópolis it aggregates a complex web of religious and pagan celebrations. It lasts more than 20 days, spent mostly on the saddle.
Melbourne, Australia

An "Asienated" Australia

Cultural capital aussie, Melbourne is also frequently voted the best quality of life city in the world. Nearly a million eastern emigrants took advantage of this immaculate welcome.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
Karanga ethnic musicians join the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Great ZimbabweZimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe, Little Bira Dance

Karanga natives of the KwaNemamwa village display traditional Bira dances to privileged visitors to the ruins of Great Zimbabwe. the most iconic place in Zimbabwe, the one who, after the decree of colonial Rhodesia's independence, inspired the name of the new and problematic nation.  
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
View from John Ford Point, Monument Valley, Nacao Navajo, United States
Monument Valley, USA

Indians or Cowboys?

Iconic Western filmmakers like John Ford immortalized what is the largest Indian territory in the United States. Today, in the Navajo Nation, the Navajo also live in the shoes of their old enemies.
Navala, Viti Levu, Fiji
Navala, Fiji

Fiji's Tribal Urbanism

Fiji has adapted to the invasion of travelers with westernized hotels and resorts. But in the highlands of Viti Levu, Navala keeps its huts carefully aligned.
Rainbow in the Grand Canyon, an example of prodigious photographic light
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Natural Light (Part 1)

And Light was made on Earth. Know how to use it.

The theme of light in photography is inexhaustible. In this article, we give you some basic notions about your behavior, to start with, just and only in terms of geolocation, the time of day and the time of year.
Chania Crete Greece, Venetian Port
Chania, Crete, Greece

Chania: In the West of Crete's History

Chania was Minoan, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Venetian and Ottoman. It got to the present Hellenic nation as the most seductive city in Crete.
Early morning on the lake

Nantou, Taiwan

In the Heart of the Other China

Nantou is Taiwan's only province isolated from the Pacific Ocean. Those who discover the mountainous heart of this region today tend to agree with the Portuguese navigators who named Taiwan Formosa.

Geothermal, Iceland Heat, Ice Land, Geothermal, Blue Lagoon
Winter White

The Geothermal Coziness of the Ice Island

Most visitors value Iceland's volcanic scenery for its beauty. Icelanders also draw from them heat and energy crucial to the life they lead to the Arctic gates.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
travel western australia, surfspotting
Perth to Albany, Australia

Across the Far West of Australia

Few people worship evasion like the aussies. With southern summer in full swing and the weekend just around the corner, Perthians are taking refuge from the urban routine in the nation's southwest corner. For our part, without compromise, we explore endless Western Australia to its southern limit.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Hell's Bend of Fish River Canyon, Namibia
Natural Parks
Fish River Canyon, Namíbia

The Namibian Guts of Africa

When nothing makes you foreseeable, a vast river ravine burrows the southern end of the Namíbia. At 160km long, 27km wide and, at intervals, 550 meters deep, the Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon of Africa. And one of the biggest canyons on the face of the Earth.
holy plain, Bagan, Myanmar
UNESCO World Heritage
Bagan, Myanmar

The Plain of Pagodas, Temples and other Heavenly Redemptions

Burmese religiosity has always been based on a commitment to redemption. In Bagan, wealthy and fearful believers continue to erect pagodas in hopes of winning the benevolence of the gods.
Era Susi towed by dog, Oulanka, Finland
PN Oulanka, Finland

A Slightly Lonesome Wolf

Jukka “Era-Susi” Nordman has created one of the largest packs of sled dogs in the world. He became one of Finland's most iconic characters but remains faithful to his nickname: Wilderness Wolf.
Jabula Beach, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa
Saint Lucia, South Africa

An Africa as Wild as Zulu

On the eminence of the coast of Mozambique, the province of KwaZulu-Natal is home to an unexpected South Africa. Deserted beaches full of dunes, vast estuarine swamps and hills covered with fog fill this wild land also bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is shared by the subjects of the always proud Zulu nation and one of the most prolific and diverse fauna on the African continent.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Busy intersection of Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

The Endless Night of the Rising Sun Capital

Say that Tokyo do not sleep is an understatement. In one of the largest and most sophisticated cities on the face of the Earth, twilight marks only the renewal of the frenetic daily life. And there are millions of souls that either find no place in the sun, or make more sense in the “dark” and obscure turns that follow.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Bather rescue in Boucan Canot, Reunion Island
Reunion Island

The Bathing Melodrama of Reunion

Not all tropical coastlines are pleasurable and refreshing retreats. Beaten by violent surf, undermined by treacherous currents and, worse, the scene of the most frequent shark attacks on the face of the Earth, that of the Reunion Island he fails to grant his bathers the peace and delight they crave from him.
Bungee jumping, Queenstown, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown, the Queen of Extreme Sports

In the century. XVIII, the Kiwi government proclaimed a mining village on the South Island "fit for a queen".Today's extreme scenery and activities reinforce the majestic status of ever-challenging Queenstown.