Crossing the border to Canada was a bit tricky. We had to stop and change our cell phone plan to avoid horrendous roaming charges. Then we met with Canadian customs. Once they took a look at our matching QKA shirts they probably saw us as low terrorist risks. And we were in without much ado.
As we headed north, the territory was all vast farm lands with mountains in the distance, the Canadian Rockies.
We passed a few small towns, oil rigs, and lots of high-voltage power lines. The speed limit is 110! But that’s kilometers/hour. Gas is 122.9. That’s Canadian cents per liter, a little over $4 US/gallon. Not too many people between towns, but we were made very welcome.
Calgary is known for the 10-day Stampede in July, full of rodeo events and concerts. Although there are statues of horses everywhere, it’s far more than a cow town…or horse town.
We had very good authentic Chinese food in Chinatown. The sprawling city has over a million people and a beautiful downtown with a pedestrianized walkway outside and enclosed overhead walkways to connect buildings in the cold winters. From our hotel, we could walk inside to 60 buildings (one of the selling points on its Expedia listing).
Just as we found ourselves looking up to the mountains over the last two weeks, we looked up here in Calgary, seeing majestic buildings in the skyline.
We found more animals climbing the heights, right in the city. This time they were the two-legged variety.
This job is not for anyone uncomfortable with heights. (Right, Gail?) The window washer on the right was having difficulty. His support line was caught on a ledge 20 stories above and he couldn’t reach his assigned windows without swinging back and forth. It looked like he was having a great time, with a little extra fun during his workday.
Calgary hosted the 1988 winter Olympics.
The downtown Olympic Plaza includes a monument showing the “Famous Five” Canadian women who led Canada’s women’s suffragette movement, with women finally being recognized as persons in 1929.
Olympic sites line the road from Calgary to Banff, about a 1.5-hour drive. One of the first indoor speed skating tracks is here, probably not just to guarantee consistent ice, but also to make sure spectators could stay warm. Just north of town, it was on this ski jump that Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards from the UK became famous for his consistent losing, barely making the safe steep part of the downhill landing area. Bravery or madness?
We drove west, through more farmlands, coming ever closer to the Canadian Rockies.