The Canadian Rockies
Trip Start Mar 19, 2008
15Trip End Aug 16, 2008
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Where I stayed
Blackstone Lodge, Canmore, Alberta
I've had a really fantastic two weeks here so far. The day after we arrived we went to a dinner/comedy show called "Oh Canada eh"*, which was a very entertaining introduction to Canadiana for my family. The performers also serve your food, which is a selection of dishes from accross the confederate. *In Canada everyone ends their sentences with 'eh'...and it's catching!
July 1st was Canada Day, a national holiday, during which the centre of Canmore is closed off for a very impressive parade. The spectacle included about a dozen brass bands, horse riders, mounties, tiny cars and more! Canadian flags were handed out to everyone in the crowds and everywhere children were frantically scooping up sweets thrown by the performers.
Canmore is a fantastic location to really make the most of all the outdoor activities available in the rockies. There are many places to hike and take part in watersports (white water rafting and canoeing are fun!). The number of potential animals you get to see here is also pretty exciting. We've seen cheeky ground squirrels, elk, eagles, deer and even brief glimpses of bears (from the safety of the car)! There are also cougars, big horned sheep and mountain goats, but I haven't see any of those yet.
Needless to say my camera is full of pictures of lakes, mountains, more mountains, some more lakes, many rivers and even the odd glacier! I'll try and upload a couple of the good'ns! A really memorable experience was walking on the enormous Athabasca Glacier on the Columbia Icefields near Jasper. This was a really impressive sight and well worth the journey along the beautiful Icefield Parkway through Banff National Park.
Also worth a mention is the Calgary Stampede a huge 10 day outdoor rodeo event. There aren't many places in the world you can walk around in a cowboy hat and not get some funny looks! The rodeo itself was pretty gripping to watch, these cowboys are seriously tough! Unfortunately it rained hard for most of the day, but not before we got to take a look at the native camp and the indoor exhibits.
So Mum, Dad and Amanda left for the airport this morning and I've got to spend a week kicking around in the rockies (it's a hard life!) until Emma arrives to meet me in Calgary. Now that I'm sufficiently rested and 'fattened-up' I'm looking forward to another month of travelling.