I stayed at at the Green Hotel which was just across the road from the station and only about 2km's walk to the wharf. The hotel was old but very clean and the non english speaking customer service guy was extremely accommodating in telling me where I could get dinner. A very pleasant stay in fact.
Early the next morning I get up, catch the bus (in the snow - still thrilled by that snow) down to the dock ready for my foray out into the arctic. Very excited too I might add. Unfortunately all drift ice trips for that day were cancelled due to bad weather. WTF?? Its an Ice Breaker! Pretty sure some snow isn't going to stop that. I was so disappointed and almost in tears I wandered over to the tourist info centre to see if I could do anything else for the day. The lady there was so nice and explained to me that there was 9 foot swell (so what! I wanted to say) that meant the boats weren't running. In the long run I suspect it was the state of the passengers they were concerned about, not the boats ability to weather the weather so to speak. Bummer as I would have had prime photo position on the front rail while all the others were inside throwing up but Cest La Vie - next time I guess.
The prison is presented really well and I actually enjoyed my few hours wandering around. They had some great propaganda posters which I loved but sadly they aren't available for purchase, which would be ideal. Its hard to explain when you don't speak the language how we westerners love that stuff.... Again, Cest La Vie. An afternoon well spent.
I headed back to the hotel and found that the restaurant opposite that was closed last night was now open for dinner and expecting not too much I headed over there.
Why do we always expect that food in country towns is going to be not as good as the city? I don't know why I do that but somehow I always do. I have never been proved more wrong. I ordered the set menu for a grand total of around $13 AUD and was treated to a full traditional Japanese dinner. Spectacular food, exceptional service at an amazing price. Perfect way to top up a disappointing day. Instead of it being the day my ice tour got cancelled, it turned into the day I had the best food I've ever eaten. Life's like that hey?