Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First walk "into the wild"

Today we had a resting day in Tom's place, the opportunity for us to explore the surronding for the first time. The weather was good, sunny and -20°C.
According to a local man spring is coming : "before it was so cold that when you spat it froze before it hit the ground".
Here are some pictures of this walk.

Getting started...

After nice, needed rest and first bagel breakfast, we headed to Fairbanks to see the town and getting started with life here.

The first thing we learned was that you could do almost everything by drive-in here. Not just the typical fast food, but also coffee and breakfast, and funny enough, ATM! Opening a bank account wasn't included in drive-in services, so for that we went to bank office and with help from our excellent guide Tom we managed to open a bank account. Service there was very friendly and everybody seemed to be very excited when they heard were we came from :).

After visiting the bank we drove around the UAF (University of Alaska fairbanks) campus area, and saw a moose there! In Finland they are not normally into science but we expected things being different in Alaska anyway :).
Then we visited our work, SNAP (Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning) office to see the people there and to show we managed to arrive in Fairbanks. The office seemed very nice, the atmosphere warm and everybody welcome us with big smiles!

After SNAP we headed at a car rental place since our plan was to rent a car at least for the first months. That turned out to be more difficult than we expected so we are still figuring that out and we'll let you know how it turns out.

After visiting these places our heads were spinning. It seems our heads have a limit of receiving information in English while still feeling jet lag. Lucky for us, but not maybe for him, Tom was with us. Having a local explaining how the systems roll was very helpful, though we found all the people very friendly and helpful too.

So we headed home and had a nice dinner with Melissa and Tom. We spent some time sharing thoughts about our countries and cultural differences and also sharing Chartreuse, French herb alcohol that everybody seemed to enjoy.

After having a walk with the two dog, Elka and Wader, these two travellers were ready for bed and fell asleep feeling happy to be in Alaska.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Welcome in Alaska

Hello from Fairbanks!
We arrived last night in Fairbanks after a 30 hours travel, we saw pretty nice landscape through the windows of the plane, especially above Canada.
We are now at Tom's place which is a nice house in the middle of forest, where we got some rest. The temperature is -15°C and it's a bit snowy. There is lot of snow on the ground, about 40cm.
Heading now to city center to try to find a cheap car and find a bank. So the life here is starting.
See you :D!
Piia and Julien