Friday, 30 September 2011

I missed my sister

A lovely and quaint hotel in Beiseker
In the past I have been on several holidays with my sister. We went to Belgium and Luxembourg, we went to Ireland, we went cycling in the Netherlands. We think very much alike, we like a lot of the same things and we know each other quite well. And I missed her today. Because I knew she would have just loved what I got to see courtesy of Kay! It was absolutely stunning! I had heard about the Alberta Badlands, but hadn't really seen any photographs, so didn't really know what to expect. Which of course was right up to Kay's street, since she was watching me closely to see how I would react when I saw the Badlands.

A coulee
We started off driving through farmland. Mile after mile of corn grain (which had been harvested by the way): yellow fields that stretched as far as the eye could see. And after a while those coulees started to appear. Hollows between the fields where nothing was planted or harvested. Probably because it would flood during the spring when all the snow would melt and it would take a while to drain away again (this is purely what I am thinking, not what I know). And I thought those coulees were beautiful and tried to take photo after photo.

The Badlands
But I was quite stunned when I saw the badlands. It was like driving in the mountains but completely different. Because where the mountains push up from the earth, the badlands are basically below the earth. Over tens of thousands of years of rivers flowing and eating away at the sides and natural erosion eating away from the top, the prairie that once was had great wide valleys running in it. You could see the layers that make up the earth, you could see the coal (coal mining was very prominent during the early and middle part of the 20th century) and it was so unlike anything I had ever seen.

A hoodoo
Part of that erosion had also created the hoodoos. Basically it's the outside that is being eaten away by rain, snow, wind and unfortunately in more recent years humans, while at the same time, the top which is made of rock stays. Until the whole hoodoo has been eroded and the rock falls off. The ones we saw were a lot bigger a century ago and I guess that if people were to come back in a hundred years time the would be gone altogether. However, we also saw new hoodoos being formed! So, it's not all bad.

Me holding on tightly on that supsension bridge
Another thing we did was go and see and pass some bridges. The first bridge was a suspension bridge. I had never crossed one before and I can't say whether it was a success or not. It was very windy and even though I was all alone on that bridge, I held on tight with both hands because it was moving and swaying! And then we went to see the eleven bridges towards Wayne (a small village). They are actually in the Guinness Book of World Records for some reason (the most bridges on the shortest stretch of road covering the same river?), so we had to go and see them. As we were nearing the 9th bridge I happened to see a Dutch flag! The odds...

I might even get to work here some day!
After having crossed all eleven bridges we decided to go and have a bite to eat at the Last Chance Saloon. And when I asked who lived in the house with the Dutch flag, it turned out to be the owner of the Last Chance Saloon, whose mother had come over from the Netherlands in 1926! Anyway, we had a nice meal (buffalo burger) and a nice chat, I left my details and got some details back and then we drove back to Airdrie because Kay had to drive home again as well.

From its mouth it was supposed to be a great view of the Badlands!
There was only one little drawback to the day: I couldn't get into the largest dinosaur in the world (in Drumheller), because the stairs had just been painted and weren't dry yet! So, I will have to come back some day...


  1. I could tell by the look on your face that you and your sister would love the badlands!
    Imagine, readers of Mara's blog, anybody seeing Banff and Lake Louise one day, then the badlands the next, and preferring the hoodoos to the turquoise glacier-fed lake.
    Well, if you can imagine that person, that would be Mara, who has a mind of her own.
    We had a wonderful couple of days, Mara and I, along with my dog Lindy, exploring just a little of what the Canadian province of Alberta has to offer.
    I can hardly wait until she sees British Columbia!
    Thanks, Mara, for the photos.
    Let's go explore someplace else some day. I'll bring the dog, you bring your sister!
    Luv, K

  2. the HooDoos are amazing. We have a beautiful place called "Garden Of The Gods" and my favorite is "The Seven Falls"
    Is that the same dinosaur that PeeWee Herman was in looking out at the stars wihthe waitress.(not sure if you have watched it,its an older movie,stupid but funny)

  3. With the 11 bridges and the saloon, you got around there more than we did.

    People don't always travel well together as they have different agendas, so I hope you get to travel more with your sister.

    Who has seen a hoodoo?
    Mara has seen a hoodoo.

  4. I love the badlands It is many years since we visited there. So different from anything I saw when growing up.

  5. Wow, it's beautiful. So glad you had such a wonderful tour guide.
    Just think about how much you will miss your sister when you move :(

  6. I know the Badlands in the States which are a must for tourists, but now I learned that there are even Badlands in Canada. How interesting ! If ever you want to see a similar landscape again, just go to Turkey that's not bad either. It seems that you enjoy your holidays very much of course in such a good company !


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!