The first week or so
Trip Start Nov 26, 2007
141Trip End Nov 04, 2009
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Where I stayed
As I have only just decided to document my adventure through this blog I have a bit of catch up to do....prepare yourself....
Thought it was about time I sent you a bit of an update of my first week or so in Canada!
I have a mobile number over here now which is good for text messages - I can't believe that I have pay for receiving calls as well as making them, how ridiculous!
Where to start....my first few days in Calgary were great. I met Sam and Mark (sister and brother) from Adelaide and spent a few days checking things out with them. Amazingly Sam played volleyball on Monday nights at the same place as me and lived really close in Adelaide and we happen to meet in Calgary, Canada!
Our days were pretty much filled with trying to find our way around the shopping malls there, getting lost and using the store directories A LOT! Very, very funny... Sam's birthday happened to be on Wednesday, so we decided that was worthy of dinner out and a few drinks. We called on Patrick, a Canadian I met on my first day, to take us out along with a couple of his friends.
It got pretty damn cold too. One day we decided we wanted to find this outdoor shop that was located at shop number 7500 and something. We started on the street at the number 1 end... we walked and walked and gave up at number 1500...at that stage our fingers and toes were feeling pretty numb, even though we were wearing good socks and gloves. Hmmm... The positive to this is that we saw an amazing frozen lake along the way...
I have experienced weather down to -27C since I have arrived, perhaps even lower - it's insane. It is a different sort of cold though, doesn't seem to be as "sharp" as our winters.
Numerous funny things were said over my first few days in Calgary, one being the quote of the stay... 'CANADIANS ARE GOOD' - you had to be there, but just the fact that I said it as part of a sentence is pretty funny.
I started getting a cold on about Wednesday, which I thought would just be a passing thing incorporating a bit of jet-lag, etc... I was a little wrong with that assumption!
I got in touch with my friend, Alicia, who is over here and we arranged for me to meet her in the town of Banff on Saturday. Banff is a real tourist town and I believe a lot of it was build to accommodate tourists, it is overpopulated and now you can't purchase property there unless you work or own a business there or something - crazy. Anyway, it snowed all the way there on Saturday - which was great.
Seeing Alicia was really good and we stayed at a backpackers hostel, which was ok but I guess it is always hard to get a decent nights sleep when you are sharing a room with 4 other people and sleeping in bunk beds! We had a look around Banff on Sunday and Alicia was on a mission to buy a snowboard and all necessary equipment, so we visited quite a few shops! It was an absolutely freezing day - long johns were definitely worn for the first time. The parts of the body that we covered were ok, it was the face (nose and ears in particular) that suffered the most. We found many excuses to go into shops, even if we had no real intention of going there in the first place.
Our bus out of Banff only left at 7.40pm, so we had quite a bit of time to kill. It snowed all day Sunday, which I found pretty exciting and tried to get some photos of during the day, quite unsuccessfully. As Alicia lives at Panorama Mountain Village (ski resort) she wanted to do a big grocery shop to take back with her and seeing as I was to be joining her for a while we went a bit crazy.... We decided we needed to catch a taxi to the bus station to transport her new snowboard, numerous bags of shopping and our luggage. Oblivious to the fact that the actual bus station part closed at 6pm we turned up at around 6.10pm to wait it out for the bus.... At least we found it amusing that we would have to wait for over an hour outside while it was snowing with our hideous amounts of baggage!! (there was undercover shelter for our stuff).
I have decided that the vast majority of Canadians are really lovely! That night a couple pulled up and offered for us to wait it out with them inside the warmth of their vehicle. Heavenly! But only after Alicia managed to get some good photos of me actually standing out while it was snowing! The couple was from a town 20kms away called Canmore and were waiting to surprise their daughter who was in transit to Vancouver - her bus had been delayed due to the heavy snowfall. We all decided that Greyhound buses should really service their customers better and keep their station open for longer, especially at this time of year.
We got to Invermere (Alicia's closest town) after about a 1.5hr bus ride, where one of Alicia's friends from the mountain picked us up. It was about another 20mins to get to her accommodation on the hill. I spent the next couple of days pretty much in bed with the cold/flu. I am still trying to shake whatever it is that I have and I am just really grateful that I have had a place to stay that has allowed me to have a bit of rest - hostels don't really accommodate for travelers with sickness. Yesterday I ventured out with Alicia and some friends and we went to a town called Cranbrook for a look. We got there pretty late in the day and only had the chance to go to a couple of shops, so not too much of a look around. We went to one of the village bars last night for a couple of drinks too. We did manage to see some pretty amazing scenery on the way there though.
Today I am feeling a bit average again, so didn't get up to much. I did pay a visit to the Employee Experience team (HR) here at Panorama to see what jobs they have available. There are a few positions, but the problem is that they don't have any staff accommodation available at the moment, so I would have to try and source my own. I have applied to a few more resorts online too, so I guess I'll have to wait and see if I hear back from them and also keep on researching and applying at more places.
Sometime next week (around Tuesday or Wednesday) I will head back to Calgary as I have to pick up my SIN (social insurance number) card from the office there. After that I really am not too sure what is in store for me.
It is a bugger that i have suffered a bit from this cold, but I am still having a good time and enjoying spending some time in the snow!