Monday, 19 October 2009

Homer, Alaska - shopping in a landscape

The Homer Spit boardwalk in southern Alaska is probably the most fascinating shopping (and eating) alley in the world. Wood cabin shops in a fabulous mountain-and-lake scenery make Homer something apart.

Homer is a small community (pop. 5400) at the end of Kachemak Bay, surrounded by mountains, glaciers and volcanoes. Bald eagles fly and fish all around.

Many of the locals are artists from the hippie era that either became fishermen or keep painting, making pottery, sculpture, music and cooking. There are several galleries, a museum and an wildlife visitor's center - the amazing Islands & Ocean Visitor Center ; a large choice of cafés and restaurants is available in town as well as in the Spit.

Mt. Augustine volcano, 1 260 m high, has created its own island of past eruptions’ debris. This is the 2006 eruption. A tsunami is always feared.

By land, air or water, getting to Homer is an odissey - all routes cross a region of extraordinary natural wonders: Kachemak Bay, where snow peaks, glaciers, dense evergreen forests, hundreds of bald eagles and sea puffins, set a scenery few towns can offer.
A lighthouse against the mountain range

The orthodox mission church in Homer

"Cafe cups" is a charming, eclectic restaurant in Homer ; mosaics and large cups are reminiscent of “Alice in Wonderland".

Perhaps the main attraction is the Homer Spit, the exposed part of an underwater moraine from an extinct tidewater glacier. The piece of land juts out 5 miles (7 km) into Kachemak Bay.

Homer Spit boardwalk:

At the end of the spit road, a boardwalk on wooden pillars keeps the buildings above the wave threat.

Shops and restaurants keep the economy alive:

Ivory carver shop

Roadhouse native crafts and giftshop

Homer Clayworks

The Spirit of Alaska

Lazerette gift shop

"Time Bandit" gifts

Spit Sisters cafe

Salty Dawg historic saloon

Whale bone ivory, native craft

The boardwalk at dusk:

A different town in an arctic landscape, Homer deserves a visit from this thulean blog.