Take Me Back In Time

She-“Take me back in time“

He-“OK love; let’s take the White Pass & Yukon train

Built in 1898 during the Klondike Gold Rush despite harsh weather and challenging topography, this marvel of engineering transports its current passengers:

⁃ geographically: across magnificent panoramas, domineering mountains and deep gorges

⁃ historically: the narrative behind its construction will convey the difficulties faced by thousands of railroad construction workers and later by thousands of gold rushers some of them doctors, lawyers..

“Give me enough snoose, and I’ll build you a railroad to hell” – Mike Henry, Railroad Builder.

Sure he did! A man of his word, he delivered a railroad to hell for the stampeders who left everything behind in the eternal quest for riches.

However, 121 years later it is now a railroad to heaven for legions of starry-eyed tourists in awe with Mother Nature

She-“I don’t want to go back in time, no more“

He-“Say a grace for living in the right century“

The Red Onion Saloon

The Red Onion Saloon in Skagway was built in 1897 and opened for business in 1898. It was once known as the finest bordello in town during the Klondike Gold Rush.

Unfortunately, the gold rush turned out to be pretty much exaggerated and the stampeders sadly realised that potato-size gold nuggets were only found on the pages of newspapers…However, one person made fortune in Skagway and left the premises, arms, fingers and teeth laden with diamonds

“Diamond Lil” Davenport, Red Onion’s most famous madam !

A guide in period costume led us on a tour of the now museum and explained the practical side of the “business” :there were 10 dolls behind the bar, a doll representing each of the 10 working girls upstairs. When one was busy, the bartender would lay her corresponding doll on its back until he hears the $5 coin rolling down a copper pipe from a hole in the the girl’s floor connected to his cash register : she was paid and available again.

From the $5 – a working man’s weekly wage back then- the madam would take half, the bartender a quarter as “protection fees” and the WORKING girl was left with $1.25. However, it wasn’t the $2.50 that filled the madam’s coffers and made her wealth… she accepted customers for no less than $100…provided the client declared his line of work and handed out a health certificate and his bank account.




Bye Bye Canada

Two frame pictures chronicle our journey in British Colombia : June 7, that first day in Vancouver, we did Capilano suspension bridge and Grouse Mountain. Two weeks from that day, after having visited Seattle and cruised the Inside Passage , we were back in British Colombia and with this “finale frame picture” in Victoria , we ended a memorable chapter in beautiful Canada

Afetrnoon Tea at The Empress Hotel

Honestly, I didn’t regret leaving the exquisite Butchart gardens for our next destination was well worth it. The afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel is a double win: this historic hotel – one of the oldest in Victoria, 1908- is a must visit and I absolutely relish this quintessentially English tradition : the array of savoury small sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, marmalade, colourful cakes and tea poured from a beautiful teapot.

The Butchard Gardens



Stop and Smell the roses


The peace and serenity found in Japanese gardens transcend the distant archipelago ⛩


A “secret garden” with its own demure charm


No, I’m not flashing my ring, just adjusting my sunglasses while trying to retrieve my breath lost at point during the pleasant stroll around these magical gardens.


This is the rebellious noo!-I-don’t-want- to-leave pose…However, the hubby’s “I’m sure you are going to love it there” lured me outside these enchanting gardens..

Any guess where to ?

Paradise on Earth

Tropical islands with palm trees have long been promoted as “hot” destinations, the ideal romantic getaways for honeymooners , and heaven’s stereotypes for other holidaymakers..

However, as I’m sitting now on my lounge chair at the cruise ship’s 16 years + Solarium  a single sentence keep resonating in my head : ”Paradise on Earth “ .

Yes, I’m enjoying this Alaskan cruise in the inside passage more than last year’s in the Caribbean Sea for the below reasons:

-I live by the sea in a “ hot” country with palm trees : no drastic changes be it weather or scenery

– Every morning , whenever I open the curtains of our stateroom’s balcony, I’m greatly surprised by a totally new panorama, an absolutely different landscape…the crescendo of spectacular sceneries and magnificent fjords culminated today with the much anticipated glaciers.

-We are kept entertained with the multiple impromptu sightings, always on the watch for the ever elusive whales the playful dolphins and the occasional seals…and when totally focused on my book thus oblivious to the enthusiastic shouts of excitement spurred by an interesting spotting, my attention was put back on track where it should’ve belonged by a sympathetic neighbour… thou shall not peel your eyes from the glass window !

Isn’t it “Paradise on Earth”?



Well, according to the Captain, it is such for a growing number of people:

⁃ there are many old timers …for some, it’s a yearly ritual. The question that we are constantly asked : is it your first time?

⁃ there are 40 honeymooners

⁃ there are 239 celebrations- 106 anniversaries and 133 birthdays

Taku Glacier

Taku Glacier, a tidewater glacier largely within the Tongrass National Forest, is the deepest and thickest alpine temperate glacier known in the world – 1,477 m (4,845 feet) thick and 58 km (36 m) long



And we had the best salmon ever at Taku Lodge. It’s caught in the Taku River and is truly worth the trip:

⁃ Abu Dhabi-Los Angeles ( 16-hour flight )

⁃ Los Angeles-Seattle (around 3-hour flight )

⁃ Seattle-Juneau (two nights cruise)

⁃ Juneau- Taku Lodge seaplane  (50 minutes)

With these complicated logistics I know I’m not going to enjoy this feast again in the near future and my only consolation is that I don’t need to satisfy any pregnancy cravings

I got the recipe online but I’m certain it wouldn’t taste the same without the beautiful scenery and atmosphere


Taku Glacier Lodge





The Boeing Everett Factory

The Boeing Everett Factory is the largest building in the world by volume 13,385,378 m3 and covers 399,480 m2… equal in size to Disneyland with its parking. Forget the mammoth building, as an avid traveler, I’m interested in the behind the scenes of the mammoth wings that carried me from Abu Dhabi to the US during a 16-hour flight across continents, seas and oceans.

It is here in Everett, Washington, a few kilometers north of Seattle, that the Etihad Airways 777 conveyors – and “siblings” 747, 767 and 787 Dreamliner – are assembled.

It is in these premises that the 20th century flight evolution “took off” with the mighty 747 – AKA Jumbo Jet – and later with the bigger aircrafts that required constantly larger airports. This aviation revolution had a domino effect, triggering a boom in many other sectors …tourism, business…

The highlight of the tour was the unveiling of the newest kid on the block: the last version in the 777 series…this baby will have foldable wings and is expected to join the fleet early next year.

The Boeing 747 Dreamlifter transports Boeing parts from suppliers around the world to Boeing’s assembly plants. We were lucky to see one and were advised to take its picture from the terrace which is the only place allowed to take pictures .


Future of Flight Center : a rainbow of flight attendants