Anchorage/Petropavlovsk, Russia - Saturday 11 Aug, 2007
This morning we met in the lobby of the Hilton Anchorage excited in anticipation of the charter flight to Petropavlovsk. Our adventure was about to begin. We had spent the previous day exploring Anchorage in its sun. On our charter airplane from Miami Air we enjoyed the space of the plane’s 173 seats. Everyone had a window through which to see the remarkable mountain ranges and glacier tongues. Our departure from Alaska was clear, though clouds built as we moved west. In the middle of the flight, we saw a huge Kamchatka volcanic cone and some other peaks piercing the cloud layer.
The flight attendants got a big kick out of us and were friendly and quick with the refills. We ate lunch in flight as movies played, and then were on the ground in Russia at 11 am. We slowly cleared immigration and customs to embark on a tour of Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka’s largest city, that included the busy market, the handsome and newly-constructed Russian Orthodox Church, and thestatue of Peter and Paul (the namesakes of Petropavlovsk). The city was gearing up for a basketball festival and a big weekend carnival.
We battled on-and-off rain and got a good laugh at the "viewpoint," a foggy break in the trees which,had the weather been clear, would have held a great view out onto the bay and the mountains and volcanoes beyond. Then it was time to embark on the Clipper Odyssey!
We arrived to a warm ship, tasty snacks and our bags already in our cabins. After security photos and Russian Customs we gathered for a muster drill and then relaxed and unpacked. Soon thereafter, we were invited to a welcome briefing and then to dinner. After the filling repast, we fell gratefully to bed after a long, great first day.