Saturday, 1 October 2011

Going it alone

View from the glass platform of Calgary Tower
I stepped on very very carefully and didn't really like it!
Since Kay went home yesterday, I had to do things by myself today and I had decided on seeing Calgary. I had asked for directions to the center of town because I wanted to do one of those hop on/hop off tours of the city. The girl at reception was very kind and had printed me the route to Calgary Tower and its information office. I would just have to find somewhere to park.

You can see the Rocky Mountains in the distance
Apparently it is quite expensive to park in downtown Calgary, but since I didn't have a clue as to where I should park (it wasn't that well signposted for someone who is still getting used to Canadian signs and traffic rules), I ended up quite far away at a spot where I wasn't allowed to park. But in my best British accent I think I might have sweet talked the attendant and he told me I could leave the car there. And it was free as well! However, since I parked quite far away from the tower, I had to walk all the way back.

Fort Calgary Museum
Once I got to the information office, I found out the Cowboy tours hadn't been running for a few months! Which meant no tour of the city, I just would have to do everything myself. Fortunately the girl behind the counter was very helpful and told me where to go and what to see. My first stop was going to be a sports shop, because I wanted to get tickets to tomorrow's football game between the Calgary Stampeders and some team from Saskatchewan. It was sold out! I was told I might find them at the stadium, but the game was a very big game (Real Madrid against Manchester United big) and chances were slim. So, now I had not only missed the chance to see a hockey (the skating variety) game, I also missed a football game!

Traffic lights and signs. Quite confusing at times!
But I didn't let that dampen my spirits and I made my way slowly towards Fort Calgary Museum which basically showed the humble beginnings of the town. Mounties, Canoes, Trains and a lot more. It was really interesting and I spent about 2 hours there. After that I walked along the Bow River for about half an hour until I reached Prince's Edward Island. I then turned back to get something to eat, before heading back up the Calgary Tower for another look of Calgary's surroundings. After that it was quite a trek back to the car, but it was still there! I knew how to get out of Calgary (sort of), but did manage to take a few wrong turns before finally making it back onto the motorway and back to the hotel!


  1. You are very adventurous to do all this alone in a strange country -- though your English is excellent, judging by your writing. Keep up the explorations!

  2. Bravo, Mara, bravo!
    I wouldn't have done that. I'd have taken a bus from Airdrie and used public transit in Calgary. If there even IS a bus from Airdrie.
    Very brave to do the tower thing. Couldn't drag me up there, I'd be kicking and screaming and maybe even cussing like my mother used to: "Hell's bells and buckets of blood!" was one of her favourites.
    Dreadful about the Stampeders game. Playing Regina, harrumph. Lindy has been seen posing in Regina regalia, in defiance of her Alberta roots. I'll e-mail you the picture.
    Interesting to see if you go back to Drum or all the way east to Dinosaur Park. It's the real thing, where real dinosaurs have been found by scientists, and Rob says the scenery rocks (pun).
    Luv, K

  3. It's always better to leave the car outside a big town and use the public transports. It's too bad that there was no sightseeing tour, that's what I always take when I am in a big city. First I do the whole tour and then I hop on and off where I want to have a closer look. In Oxford I even took a ticket for two days instead of taking the public bus. In the end it was cheaper and it only went to interesting points.

  4. Sounds like a good day with lots of exercise for you! Sorry about the buses not running and the games you missed getting tickets too. Enjoy the rest of your stay.

  5. When we were there, my daughter's place was directly south of the Tower. It seemed close at the time, but the tower is fairly large, so it could have been farther than I had thought.

  6. Nice to see you having a good time in Alberta, Mara. I came over from Kay's blog to read your version of your fun get-together. Lovely narratives and photos you have here. Hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly.

  7. Mara you did GREAT !
    It took me a while to work up my courage to drive in the Netherlands .. just around our areas for work and shopping .. new countries are tough cookies to crack when driving , especially on your own !
    Joy : )
    PS .. 4 years spent in South Limburg province .. working in Brunssum and living in Schinveld .. I will never forget it : )


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