I hear tell of a heaven in Alberta
Trip Start Jun 26, 2006
11Trip End Dec 15, 2006
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There was about two hours of the drive in the dark when I did not see any city lights, not even a distant glow on the horizon. The only lights were the front porches of farmhouses and the occasional star.
We passed through many small towns and one big one. Edmonton looked beautiful at night and the handful of people I met at the bus terminal were extremely friendly. I don't remember being there before but I would like to go again.
Calgary presented itself to me in a new light when I drove into the city with two people who knew the place well. The skyline looked grand and impressive from a distance, lots of blue and red lights on the buisness towers. Some of the cranes has holiday lights up as decoration.
We met up with some friends from Kananaskis and walked around the downtown area a lot. I never really noticed how crazy busy and urban Calgary is. We parked at the Science Centre and toured around various streets, all very well lit from the office windows. Later that night we drove some people home to different ends of town, this took quite a long time. Again I was surprised at the size of the city.
The next morning I was up early, watching the working world head on with their day from my window. Horns were honking by 7am in the rush hour traffic and it was still dark outside. This early feels like the middle of the night for me so I was apauled to imagine there'd be so much noise at that hour.
I spent the day walking along 8th Avenue mostly. I visited the Devonian gardens, which is on the third floor of a mall. The gardens are indoors, there are lots of fountains and lush greenery. It is peaceful there, many people go to eat their lunch or escape the concrete jungle outside. I got lost a bit even though I had a map and the massive Calgary Tower as a landmark. I stopped into a nearby museum and art gallery mall but didn't have too much time to browse. The Calgary library was well organized administratively only there were not many computer stations ($2 for the internet). The transportation system was fairly straight forward once I checked up my route online but it was quite crowded on the bus. Then again, it was more squished for me wearing a huge backpack with snowpants and shoes latched onto the sides.
*** December 15th from Kingston, Ontario
Well now, you know, nothing seems to put travels into perspective like
coming home. Seeing all that is familiar anew. I am
reminded of who I was before I left, noticing how I have changed.
It's great to see faces from the past and tell them about how I've been
doing. Home is so sweet.
I do miss the west in many ways. The beautiful sunrises over the
mountains and the fresh forrest air were enough to keep a person in
good health. So many rainbows and relaxed time to enjoy them, now
just a precious memory in the city. The crystal ice dust blowing
through the sunshine on the plains was one of the most envigorating
colds I've felt. The friendly people (no wonder they live in 'the
heart' of Canada) were enough to make me want to stay. One day I
will go back, for sure.
In the meantime, I've been pouring over my 1000 photos, wishing I'd
taken more. A lot of conversations seem to lead towards western
topics, or maybe it's just me. I'm trying to convince some
friends I've met over the past months to come east for a visit. I
feel better to know more about the physical and social scenery accross
Cananda. Even though there are pieces of myself I've left in
Alberta and Saskatchewan, I'm taking various elements of cities,
mountains, and praries with me through my on-going travels to share