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Calgary to Vancouver - April 2007

 

 

On April 22 2007 we took a trip to Calgary with the plan of driving up to

Edmonton then over to Jasper down to Banff, then through the mountains to  Kamloops and on to  Vancouver from where we would fly home.

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US Airways, our carrier of choice would allow us to travel free from Toronto to Calgary, but to do so we would have to travel through Las Vegas or Phoenix doubling the time in the air, plus US customs hassles .

So we got an "ID90" ticket on Air Canada flying Toronto to Calgary direct

The cost of the ticket was a surprising $1, or $27 when you add the taxes.

This included our return ticket from Vancouver.

We thought US Airways may have made a mistake, but we'll check on that later. (If we can get an ID90 at that price, our future plans will change dramatically)

We also didn't want to bother anyone with a ride to the airport at that hour so we got an airport limo, which cost $50 (Twice the cost of traveling the length of the country) (don't you love it)

The added bonus was that the aircraft was almost full and the nice Air Canada lady with the Scottish accent put us up front in business class, so we had a nice first class breakfast with an omelet and sausage, and service in an instant. 

We had seen, or didn't wish to see any of the movies available, so I just watched an episode of "2 and a half men" and slept.

Because I had DJ'ed until 2am, and got up at 4am I was tired.

We arrived at Calgary an hour or so before we had planned.

We didn't pick a car at the airport as it cost an extra $140 more than the downtown location. So we took a $35 taxi ride downtown to the Avis Rental. Because we were dropping the car in Vancouver and not returning it to Calgary, most of the other companies wanted to charge an extra $500, but Avis didn't.

The "final" game of the Stanley Cup was on for the Calgary Flames that night, so we stopped a couple of places looking for a room.

Ended up at Super 8 Motel in the south end

After a nap we went to the movies to see "Fracture" a very good movie,

then we ate at Tony Roma's for the ribs. Ate way too much.

 

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Day 8 - Vancouver Whale Watch

 

Our Boat

Fisherman Wharf

Family Time

A Couple of Bald Eagles

California Seals having a nap

Leslie our whale expert from Vancouver Aquarium who can talk a mile a minute about

whales, never seen someone so excited by them

Passing the ferry was an exciting ride

 

 

 

 

 

A lot harder to see than on the east coast, a lot less spectacular but a great boat ride

 

 

 

 

Boat was way to wide for the camera

 

A boat load of flattened cars

 

The steam clock in Gastown Vancouver

 

 

I would like to go in this boat, but I like to have a bathroom if I'm bobbing on water

for 4 hours

 

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Day 7 - Victoria

 

Coming into port

 

The worlds largest hockey stick in Duncan

 

Victoria

 

The Provincial Parliament in Victoria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the belly of the boat

 

 

 

 

 

Selling fresh fish , still jumping

 

Line up at the 4 hour ferry wait.

Almost ran out of gas, bought a $37 worth of gas off another driver plus his pop

bottle to use as a spout 

 

 

 

 

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Day 6 -Vancouver

 

Millie in Stanley Park Vancouver

Can't remember where but maybe Grouse mountain

 

 

 

Grouse Mountain Line up to go down

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lions Gate Bridge Vancouver

On the way back later I had a issue with an idiot who wanted to push in,

 your average Vancouver road rage

Another average driver

Big ships going to sea

Granville Island Market

 

Our Water Taxi

View from the water taxi into downtown

 

 

 

 

Downtown Sidewalk

 

Vancouver  Tower - $13 to go up

but free to go to the restaurant a great deal we had lunch for $40 and went around the view

 

Long Island "Vancouver " Ice Tea

 

 

 

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Day 5 - revelstoke b.c To Abbotsford B.C

 

Didn't get all the way today, we stopped in Chilliwack, then Abbotsford where we

 thought we would get something to eat. Saw a Super 8, Rain, rush hour traffic, and decided to stay the night .

 

These nets looked so good to me, but I couldn't take the photo right

 

 

Stopped for a nap in Kamloops, but too hot to nap (booked a job there too)

A messy drive

The Rental Car Buick Allure (looking cleaner after some rain)

One of the CN workers

 

Bad enough but cropped to hide my legs

 

The" last spike" painted gold

 

The Bridge was closed (too early)

 

I looked up "nebulous"

 

 

 

 

 

This is right next to the road and the big rigs were pumping gas as they passed

Did a mini video here just to hear the water

 

 

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Day 4 - the crossing to revelstoke b.c

 

 

Lake Louise still kind of frozen but not too cold

A lot of Japanese there

We stopped to take photo, much to the annoyance of the truck driver behind us

even he could see there was a train stopping traffic anyway

The hotel we had originally planned to stay at in Lake Louise, but we were traveling too fast

The Banff Springs Hotel (Millie's Photo)

The Banff Springs Hotel (Web Photo)

 

They must have been training for the summer  as there were 20 valet parking guys

 

 

After we left Banff we turned north again to head towards Golden BC

A new bridge coming in BC

I liked the rental, a Buick Allure CX with OnStar and XM Satellite radio nice size for oversize people.

When picking it up I checked all the usual stuff, seats mirror, major controls, etc.

I noticed it had auto lights, same as Millie's car so I didn't think about them, until...

After going through a few short tunnels that had lights we came across a long black tunnel with no lights. It was then I realized that the lights were not on.

It was black, and I was doing 110km, all I could see was "the light at the end of the tunnel"

I didn't want to stop in case the traffic behind didn't see me with no lights, so I just aimed at the light

We obviously came out ok, stopped and read the handbook about how to turn on the lights, a very complex operation that took us a while to sort out

 

 

 

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Day 3 - Jasper to  the crossing

 

This is the start of realizing you can't take photos of some things

and show what your seeing

After a breakfast buffet in which I only had one plateful  (a first I think) we started west towards Jasper. The car had a coating of dirt all over it that wasn't

 there the night before, maybe there was a shower that made it look a lot

worst, but you realized how dirty the air is, construction everywhere.

Coming from Edmonton you see the Rockies in the distance with

the snow a brilliant white in the sun

When you take a photo its shrinks a huge piece of rock  into something you can place in your hand

 

 

Surprised by the lack of wildlife, although they had a lot of space other than besides the road

Weird looking dog I thought

Still wearing my sandals (with socks) and shorts)

New 4X shirt the only one I own, and hopefully the only one I will ever own

Bought a new wallet made from Buffalo hide

View from Jasper

Funny stick in Jasper

To enter the "Park Area" cost $35 for the week

They have spot checks to see if you have paid, checking your windshield sticker

 

View up the Gondola Ride, which I couldn't talk Millie into doing, and didn't want to go by myself (too much trouble)

The guy was Montreal, recently retired from CN Rail, touring the country by rail

(He made a comment about my lack of a coat, and I said real men from Toronto don't get cold in this warm weather) 10 minutes later I went inside. I was getting cold)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Millie's Photo of the day

Millie took a lot of the photos

 

Some of the "WOW" photos were on spots you couldn't  stop, and defiantly  couldn't capture to do them justice

 

 

 

 

 

This may show the scale

The Snowcoach above is a fair size

There are 2 in the photo below

I can't see them myself anymore as they were just 2 specks on the glacier

 

Millie throws snowballs while I take photos from the car

View from our room

We stayed at "The Crossing"

$95. including $20 to have the "Mountain View"

View from our room

View from our room

 

 

Our room, the view in the cheaper rooms was good as well

They had a bar that I'm sure would do great business in the Summer

Plus Spa, Gift shop, and Gas

 

A good day for the diet overall

We bought some trail mix, and fruit for traveling

A sandwich with fries for lunch

Ice Cream for supper

Tomorrow onto Banff, Lake Louise, and maybe as far as Kamloops 

 

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Day 2 - Edmonton

 

 

I guess the main attraction of Edmonton is a shopping Mall

The West Edmonton Mall looks like any other older tired mall from the outside with the exception of the two tiered parking all the way around

Then as you walk you start to notice a few differences.

 To start with you do need a map if you ever want to see your car again

 

That's  the roller coaster in the distance, in the fairground

 

It was a Tuesday morning so the ice / hockey rink was quite

I could see it being busier

The little balcony on the right was the Tim Horton's we sat in later

Millie wouldn't get in the whales mouth

 

 

 

I don't know if this "pat" (I looked it up) of flamingos are normally altogether in this little space, or maybe just because of the movie being filmed

A school day so not many kids about, except Millie

 

 

 

The lighting guy was working on the movie

 "Christmas in Wonderland"

a comedy staring Leslie Nielsen.

It explained why all the Xmas decorations were still up,

as the movie was supposed to start filming in January

 

The wave pool was the largest I have seen, and must cost a fortune

to heat the room in winter

Doesn't show the waves

My favourite whale

She had her iPod on skating slowly practicing changing direction smoothly

As everyone knows we are huge hockey fans, but still couldn't pass

up going down Wayne Gretzky Pkwy to see his statue at the

Rexall Place

 

Malcolm on the left

 

 

Downtown Edmonton in the evening

 

 

 

 

She moved

A really really good day on the diet

 (more thanks to Millie than Malcolm) lots of fruit,

(Gave a ride so a guy "whose truck had broken down", who ate our bananas)

Malcolm had a chicken wrap at Tim Horton's, and a fruit explosion, but otherwise ok

No supper, just an orange

Stayed at the Super 8 near the mall, rooms $98 which is cheap around here

 

 

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Day 1 - Calgary

 

Between our hotel and downtown was the Exhibition grounds of the Calgary Stampede, and the Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames.

Nothing was open and the car park lady let us take a ride around

Millie's taking more photos

The Saddledome

Reminds me of how the CNE used to look

The Calgary Tower  - Looking down through the glass floor

FAT GUY TESTED to 300lbs plus

A shot of my feet is always complete with my belly in it

Millie thinking of stepping out

The tower is nowhere near as high as Toronto but it seemed scarier because it didn't have the tower underneath it

We had eaten too much the night before. and ate our last meal in the revolving restaurant

(Salad which included grilled lettuce, Big Burger and fries, wine, self made shandy)

After that we recommitted to a new diet, totally stuffed, feeling fatter than ever, 

The weather was perfect around 18C

This is Stevens Avenue a pedestrian mall downtown Calgary

 

 

I liked the sky

 

 

 

Millie talking to a naked man on the street, he didn't say much

 

 

 

 

We always enjoy watching Spruce Meadows events on the TV, so we had a drive around

 

 

Old English boxes painted green

 

We didn't eat after lunch except a little fruit

Stopped at the fat man store and bought some shorts which I hadn't brought with me

Went back to the hotel and died