Our next port of call was Juneau, the state capitol. The most remarkable thing about this city is the fact that you can only get in or and out of the state capitol by boat or plane. It is built at sea level with high mountain ranges completely surrounding the city. Otherwise, we found this to be the least remarkable place we have been in Alaska. Like Skagway, much of its income is derives from the tourist trade, mostly from cruise ships. When we arrived, we found the port virtually full of cruise ships.
When we disembarked, we had to walk the gauntlet of tour operators lined up in small booths on the pier head. It reminded us of the red light district of Amsterdam. When we stopped to chat with some of them, I mentioned this fact. They just laughed and said that they had heard this before.
The downtown area is just off the piers and an easy walk. There were lots and lots of gift stores among the few buildings dedicated to the workings of the state capitol. We walked the streets and followed some locals into a coffee shop for a caffeine fix. Anneke was pleased to find that they made a very nice cup of cappuccino that rivaled the artists onboard ship.
After quickly getting our fill of the shopping delights, we visited the state museum which is devoted to the native cultures of Alaska. This was an interesting look at the people who lived in this wild land for thousands of years.