"Our doctor is South African"

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Where I stayed
Calgary West Campground

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Monday, July 16, 2012

While we have been in Western Canada, on a surprising number of occasions locals we have been in contact with have said..."Oh, you are South African....! My doctor is from South Africa"... Pity that they have decided to leave South Africa as we are in such need of their expertise... But they are held in high esteem here.
We are now in Calgary.  We are catching the C Train ( a rapid transit system here in Calgary) into the city centre tomorrow to explore the city. Thank goodness the annual Calgary Stampede finished yesterday otherwise we wouldn't have found RV places.  It is a big rodeo, and the Canadians love it.  
Our trip through the Canadian Rocky Mountains National Parks was amazing. It is a beautiful part of the world.  Jasper alone, has over 300 miles of biking/multi-use trails from easy to advanced.  At Maligne Lake we watched kyakers taking off (with all their supplies) for either 13kms or 21kms to set camping areas, only accessible by boat.
We took a picnic to one of the lakes and found a nice "bankie" - so peaceful and beautiful, but the mosquitoes just ate us up.  We had to leave....
From Jasper we travelled along the Icefield Parkway, and stopped at the Athabasca Glacier.   So beautiful... And so many other glaciers along the way. 
(We were going to go to the Fairmont hot springs about 100kms from there, south of Kootenay,  but there was a huge landslide there yesterday.... with several deaths. It's a big RV destination, so lucky that we weren't there...)
So we spent the night at Lake Louise, and stopped at Banff today.   Both spectacular places.  They have such an alpine feel about them,  and the little towns reminded me of little French villages. Banff is particularly beautiful. The main street is so quaint with window boxes and hanging baskets of bright flowers.  The shops' names are discretely put up... Even McDonalds doesn't look like the usual McDonalds, it just blends in...
Banff has a beautiful outdoor amphitheatre, something like Kirstenbosch. They also have a summer arts festival... "Rocking' the Rockies". I see that Johnny Clegg is performing there on July 29....
Lots of the national parks in this part of the world have  invited artists to stay in the park, where they are free to create.  In Denali there were inspiring artworks displayed at the main observation centre, done by the invited artists.  In Banff they have their inaugural artist in residence.  His speciality is oils. 

Over the freeway at various points there were lots of wide arch bridges planted with trees. These were built especially for the animals to use so that they don't get hit by cars. Observation of these animal ways (by camera) have found that grizzlies, moose, elk, wolves and coyotes choose the overpass bridges. They also have underpass bridges, and black bears and cougars seem to choose these... Interesting.  They proudly say that they have reduced collisions with cars by 80% but they have also erected a strong fence on the freeway, which must help.....!
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Comments

Gill on

Looks beautiful there, Ann. Please send birthday wishes to Andy from all of us. xx

siyaya
siyaya on

Xxx

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