Snow-covered mountain tops, marshes, forests, glaciers tantalizing with their dazzling blue color under a sun which courses through the sky for 24 hours...
The predominant color in the country. White snow on mountain tops and frozen rivers and lakes in the valleys. At the time we were there the foothills were clad in green, having thrown off their white quilt of the winter months. There was an incredible silence. Noise and pollution have not found their way to this fortunate environment.
The gigantic blocks of glittering blue that have flowed for centuries in Alaska reveal only a small part of themselves above water level.
Small pieces that have broken off the Portage Glacier gradually melt on the lake's surface. The gigantic blocks of glittering blue that flow imperceptibly over the centuries between inaccessible mountains, show a small portion of themselves to us at the valley's entrance filling us with admiration and awe. The invisible parts of the ice mountains stretch hundreds of kilometers back and refuse to share their secrets. The glaciers are solitary and no living being is in a position to share their solitude.
Sea lions have established themselves on the rocky fjords of the southern shores. From time to time they are disturbed by curious visitors such as ourselves. The enormous males are adept at protecting their families, grunting and screaming at us they do not hesitate to let us know that we are intruding.
Most of Alaska is virgin territory and we tried to get as close as it would permit us. We filled our lenses with its wild hidden beauty by climbing mountains and trees.
Holgate Glacier turning its back on the pushing and shoving behind it and contemplating the sea. Every now and then there is a sound like thunder and a piece breaks off and makes off into the cold waters of the North Pacific Ocean. Like other glaciers it gradually melts and returns to its original form. It is difficult to believe that these vast blocks can turn to liquid with such ease.
A RIVER CALLED SUSITNA
In places the glaciers give way to swamps, rivers and forests. On one of these, the Susitna River, we spent 10 hours in a small boat, sometimes bewitched by its beauty, sometimes intimidated by its unbridled currents and pitiless swarms of mosquitos. Throughout the journey our attention was drawn by enormous trees whose roots sank into the calm waters of the river.
ALASKA BIRD'S-EYE VIEW
We completed a large part of our trip through Alaska in our caravan, but it wasn't the only vehicle that we used during our expedition. In Alaska roads are quite limited; in places where the roads won't lead we used small planes. One feature of the sea planes is that it doesn't fly high. Thus we had the chance of viewing the snow covered mountains and glaciers without the hardship of weather-wrought roads.
The glaciers mingle with the green of the valleys and continue their existence in defiance of the summer weather. Almost everywhere in Alaska you will encounter this blend of white and green.
Around midnight the sun takes a short break and pink clouds take the opportunity of flirting with the mountain tops. After the sun has rested for 15 to 20 minutes it rises again, taking its former place in the sky. This game lasts until the winter months when darkness predominates once more.
|To explore wild Alaska we used sea planes, boats and special 4-wheel motorbikes. These little monsters carried us to the most inaccessible corners.|
|We only saw one bear but often came across tracks. The one we saw set our spines shivering in a cold sweat.|
|The town prison. Several miners pined for freedom here a century ago.|
|It is possible to make a luxurious journey along the shore by double decker tourist train.|
The Oil Pipe Line, source of pride for Alaskans, runs from north to south through the country carrying petrol from the Arctic Sea to the extensive refineries in Valdez.
If you come to Central Alaska be sure to visit Mount McKinley where clouds float around the peak. This high mountain draws tourists like a magnet.
In summer months waterfalls tumble from the peaks as snow that has settled on the glaciers throughout winter thaws.
During our tour Alaska witnessed one of the greatest fires in its history. Fireworks set off for pleasure turned a large area of forest to ashes.
Tamer Yilmaz and I. Two men at the top of the world with our maps open trying to find new routes.
Salmon means everything to the people of Alaska. They talk about salmon with the same enthusiasm as the Turks on football. The prize for the record-weight salmon to date was fifty thousand dollars
No-one should consider they have seen Alaska if they leave without sampling the 1/2 m legs of the King Crab