Travel Report Canada
Sunday, may 30 2010
Despite all the problems in the forehand (ash in the air because of a volcano on Iceland, strike at British Airways) our flight to London-Heathrow and Vancouver was regular. Flight time from Zurich to London was only 1h 25 min. We sat beside a Canadian from Victoria, working for the Fairmont Group.
At Heathrow we had to change the terminal by bus. After a long waiting time we traveled with a Boeing 777-300 for the next 9 hours. We had no window-seat, but since the windows where kept shut all the time it did’not matter. We had the feeling that in a closed cabin like in the plain you are so close to other passengers that you register what ever they do. One goes to his seat using the GPS-system on his phone, another on is directing an orchestra while listening to the music in the headphones.
We take a taxi to the hotel http://www.empirelandmarkhotel.com/. Our room is at the 33. floor, with a view over stanley park. After the first shopping-tour to the supermarket for shower gel, drinking water and some fruit we loose the battle against jetlag and go to sleep.
Monday, may 31 2010
For breakfast we go up to 42. floor. Here is the panorama-restaurant. But it’s raining at Vancouver. We take our raincoats and umbrellas, leave the cameras back at the hotel, and go for a shoppingtour throu the underground shopping centers. Then we have a look at the steam-clock, visit Dr. Sun Yat Sen-Chinese-Garden http://www.vancouverchinesegarden.com/ , stroll throu the souvenir shops. At the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Shop http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ a t-shirt gets stuck at Marcel’s backbag, but we realise that only 500 meters later at an other shop. We have passed the seller, a policeman, a lot of people on the road, but no one realised that a t-shirt attached at a backbag in the rain is not normal. Well, the seller was happy when we braught the shirt back.
Finally there are less clouds, and we walk along the riverfront, coal harbour, have views over the gardens, the harbour, see the totem poles at stanley park. Then we get really whet in a new havy rain and have to turn back to the hotel.
There’s a wide choice of food, from fast-food to chinese, japanese, korean, arabic to grill or italian, all within 3 blocks from the hotel.
Tuesday, june 1 2010
It’s raining again, and so we spend the day in the public transport system of the city http://www.translink.ca/ . We take the Skytrain to the Fraser-river, the Seabus to North-Vancouver. At Metrotown we find a huge mall. Here we spent hours, looking throu the shopps, happy about the possibility to have a roof over our head.
Wednesday, june 2 2010
We get our rental car. It’s raining again, and so we have to change plans. At Cypress Lookout http://vancouver-canada.ca/cypress/vancouverbc.htm it’s like if we where in the clouds, we see just a gray sky. So we decide to visit the antropological muesum http://www.moa.ubc.ca/ , where we can see totempoles (the smallest one as tall as a toothstick) and other things from the first nations and other people over the world.
After lunch in the car we get on the ferry at Tsawwassen http://www.bcferries.com/ . We stay on the 6. deck for the whole trip to Vancouver Island. And we have the chance to sea orcas, small islands, sea lions, sea gulls and orcas again.
At Swartz Bay we reach Vancouver Island. At Sidney http://www.sidneybc.com/ we have booked 3 nights at a B&B. Finally we get some sunshine, so we go far a walk on the shore and the main street.
Thursday, june 4 2010
Our B&B is near the airport of Victoria, planes fly over the house only 100 meters above ground. During night it was quiet, and we like planes, so it’s not a problem. The house was built in 1914, which is very old for Canada, and at Vancouver Island it’s one of the first houses.
For breakfast weg et omletts with salmon, toast, freshly baked muffins, blue berrys.
Victoria http://www.tourismvictoria.com/ with sunlight is beautifull. A lot of buildings are typical british. We go on a whalewatchtour, hope to sea orcas. Obviously a family of 90 whales lives here, in 3 large groups. They feed on salmon, no mammals enymore, have no contact to other orcas. On our tour we have a calm sea, sunshine, sea a lot of animals, even jumping or clapping on the surface with the tale.
Back we take the scenic marine drive along the coast. We see beautifull bays with logs on the beach, big houses, very nice gardens, but also wild animal as rabbits and deers.
At Sidney, there is a summer market. We see local handcraft, but also a very tasty looking salmonburger, which we take for dinner.
Friday, june 5 2010
The morning is gray and wet. So we visit the Sidney Ocean Discovery Center. We can see the animals living here, seastars, salmon, jelly fish, shark. Then we follow the westcoast of Saanich-Peninsula towards Victoria. At Fort Rodd Hill http://www.fortroddhill.com/we have a look over the bay, find Fisgard-Lighthouse, and of course the fort which was in use from 1878 to 1956.
At Goldstream Provincial Parc we hike throu the forest with old ceder trees, find a little waterfall in the rainforest. After a stopp at Thetis Provicial Park where we walk around the small like we drive back to Sidney.
Saturday, june 6 2010
We say god by to our hosts. The where happy to have someone who stayed more than one night, and we got a lot of information about Canada and it’s people. They would have booked just the firs B&B, and then they would have asked the first hosts for tipps.
We visit famous Butchard Gardens http://www.butchartgardens.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1 . It’s a huge area. 10 People are busy to show the drivers where to park there car. We find a japanese garden, a sunken garden, a rose garden, an italian garden, a mediterran garden. The plants are beautifull, different sizes and colors and smells, and then we find hummingbirds.
Then we traveel on the transcanada highway to the north. At Malahat Summit we have a view over the bay, Saanich Peninsula and the mainland with the US-State Washington. Over us we see a bald eagle. We dont have a possibility to take a photo, but at least we have seen our first bald eagle. It is almost on top of our animals-we-would-like-to-see-list.
We stop at Cowichan Bay http://www.cowichanbay.com/ . It’s a small place. A lot of houses are built on sticks in the water. With there colours it’s just a pittoresque place.
At Chemainus a lot of the walls are covered with a wall-paintig. We follow the footprints on the road and see the big paintings.
Ladysmith is on the 49 latitude. On mainland here’s the frontier between the United States and Canada. But on Vancouver Island ther’s no frontier. We can enjoy a coffebreak on the sun.
Finally we have dinner at the english Pub in the middle of nowhere.
At our B&B for this night we have a living room. Thats great for our equipement. We go for a short walk to Nanaimo River and litteraly stumble over a garden snake.
Sunday, june 7 2010
We get an englisch breakfast: sausages, bacon, scrubled eggs, toast, fresh baked scoones, tee, coffee. Our host is very busy. But she tells us that she’s originally from Great Britain, came to Canada with her husband in the 70tis, because economy in England was very low at that time. „In England you had to work both a lifetime and would not have been able to buy a house“. They lived ad Calgary first, remember well the Olympic Wintergames 1988.
At the end she tells us that she wants to go tu church, we should close the house when we leave.
It’s another cloudy day. We drive to Parkville, where we stop at the beach. We see a bald eagle in the trees. And on the beach a lot of driftwood is on the sand, a seal is in the water.
On Highway no. 4 we drive to the west, over the mountains. At Little Qualicum Falls we walk along the river, see water falls. At Cathedral Grove we find giant trees, a rainforest with a lot of small plants.
At Port Alberni we can buy all we might need for the next few days. We have dinner at the chinese restaurant. Most of the guest have buffet all you can eat, but we take smaller menus.
At this B&B we are kind of part of the family. We are invited to spent the evening in the living room with the hosts and other guests, where they serve coffee, tea and biscuits.
Monday, june 8 2010
This house is european stile which means built of bricks, and on a quiet place. We have slept good. For breakfast we had 5 menus to choose, and at the end we got a map of the national park and a lot of information. Our host are grown up in Canada, but they like european houses with tiles on the roof and stone or brickwalls.
In Port Alberni we visit Stamp-Falls. The salmon have to jump here when they go up the river. Or they can use the fishladder. But know there’s just to much water, they can swimm upstream. We see just a few salmon in the water.
Then we drive by the water bomber base. This planes can take 27‘000 liters of water in 22 seconds and are great for bushfires.
Finally we are on the way to Pacific Rim National Park http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/pacificrim/index.aspx . The road is winding, and we take our time, have a picknick on the way. Then we walk on Wickannish Beach, on the Rainforest-Trail throu a forest with giant trees, fern and a lot of birds. We see very different landscapes. On Schooner Trail we walk to the beach, where we see small islands, the bay, Vancouver Island with snow on the top, mussels, driftwood, and finally a couple of bald eagles close enough to take fotos.
After a short stop at Radar Hill we walk throu the souvenir shops of Tofino http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tofino,_British_Columbia , specially the ones selling art and handcraft made by the first nations.
We have booked a B&B at Uclulet. Our room is big, with friendly colours, a fire place, modern and nice in one.
Tuesday, june 9 2010
Breakfast is not included. So we pack our things, drive to the far end of the peninsula. At the light house we find a bit of the Wild Pacific Trail. On the trail we have a view over different bays, and suddenly we are in the forest again.
We have breakfast on a picknickplace near the aquarium. Bald eagles are flying over the place or sit down on top of the roof of a storage building.
We go back into the national park. This time we stop at the famous Long Beach. Again we enjoy sun, the wide land, the sound of the waves, the romance of the driftwood on the beach, and again we see bald eagles.
Then it‘s time to leave the westcoast. Over two passes (240 and 442 m above sealevel) we drive back to the eastcoast. We find a driveway along the shore, can avoid the center of Nanaimo. Our B&B is close to the ferry terminal. We have a view over the bay, a terrace with a little fountain, a fireplace in the room. We can walk to the indian restaurant for dinner.
Wednesday, june 10 2010
Breakfast was amazing: fresh strawberries, melons, mangoes, rasperrys, orange, pinapple, muesli, joghurt, muffins, bread, bagels, toast, 6 different kinds of jam, tea, coffee. Our host is originally from England. With 24 years she came to Canada, because her sister lived here. She would have gone back, but she was determined to stay for a year. Then she met her husband and stayed for good.
We have enough time on the way to the ferry. This one is even bigger. We stay on the 7. Deck. And we are on the ferry with the special painting for the olympic winter games of Vancouver 2010. It’s clowdy, with some rain, but we see a bald eagle, dolfins and get a view of the city of Vancouver.
From Horsshoe Bay we drive on highway 99 to the north. The highway is almost new, also rebuilt for the olympic games.
As expected Shannon Falls http://www.shannonfalls.com/ have plenty of water. We can not clim Stawamus Chief, it’s just to wet.
At Alice Lake Provincial Park http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/alice_lk/trails.html we meet a group of boyscouts. The try to canoe on Alice Lake. So we hike up to Stump Lake where it’s quieter. On the way to Whistler a black bear runs over the highway. He eats flowers and grass on the board of the highway.
Whistler http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistler,_British_Columbia is even bigger than last time Gerda was here. There are lots of new restaurants and hotels. We stroll throu the towncenter.
At Pemberton they dont expect us. Something went wrong with the booking. But yes, we can stay. For dinner we go to the local golf course. Some people see a bear with cobs, but we missed him. We enjoy the hot pool on the deck before going to sleep. Another exeptional day in Canada finds it‘s end.
Thursday, june 11 2010
Heribert, our host, is originally from Austria. He has still a strong accent in german, but he does’nt speek often german and has to think for certain words. We eat omeletts from the own chicken and follow then highway 99 to the north. It’s raining, and so we dont stop at nairn falls, we dont walkt to Joffrey lakes, we have just a foto stop at Duffey Lake and eat a Sandwich at the german bakery at Lillooet.
At the Marble Canyon Provincial Park we have Lunch.
We follow highway 97 to 100-Mile-House. At the end of the town we follow a unsealed road to a loghouse on top of a hill. Thats our next B&B, far away from everything and quiet. The woodstove is heating the rooms. We have a living room, a big bedroom and the bathroom just for the two of us. We enjoy the warmth after the wet day and stay at home for dinner.
Friday, june 12 2010
Today weather should be better. We have pancakes, homemade bread, fruitsalad for breakfast. Our hosts are from belgium. They built this house on there own.
We drive furhter east, to Wells Gray Provincial Park http://www.wellsgray.ca/ . Finally we get sunshine. So we visit Shaden Lookout, hike to Moul Falls, have picknick on Green Mountain. Here a lot of moskitos are making live more difficult, but with insect repellent it’s o.k. Then we drive to HelmckenFalls. In the afternoon you can get a view of the fall with a rainbow.
On the way back we stop at Dawson Falls. It’s possible to stand right beside the falls. We missed the bear with his cobs, and we did’nt take a picture of the kojote on the road, but it was a beautifull day.
Our B&B is quiet. Our host has two dogs, one who protects the sheep against bears and wolves, and a sheepdoog. They make us feel even better, since they would take away wild animals anyway.
Saturday, june 13 2010
It’s a beautifull day. On the way into the provincial park we see two bears from very close.
We hike the Helmcken Rim Walk, witch gives you a different view of Helmcken Falls. And again we see a rainbow at the fall.
We drive to the far end of the park, Clearwater Lake. On the way we see picknick places. And we walk West Lake Loop Train, wich brings us to Bailys Chute (where salmon jump in August and September), throu the forest, around West Lake, to Myanth- and Marcus Falls. We see bear and mosse-poo, squirrels and frogs.
We stop for dinner at the buffalo ranch. Marcel gets a buffalo steak from the barbeque, Gerda a Salmon steak. And we see hummingbirds fighting for the best place on the feeding station.
Sunday, june 14 2010
Today we have a 350 km drive to Jasper. On highway 5 to the north we have a lot of weather changes. We see a bear with her cob on the other side of the highway.
At Valemount we stop at the Stuart Sanctuary. We see ducks, goose, but also a muskrat, a bold eagle and an other eagle.
Unfortunately we dont see Mount Robson. It’s just to cloudy. We loose an hour for the change of timezone, but we are still early in Jasper.
We have sunshine, so we drive to Patricia Lake, but meanwhile it’s gray.
We walk throu the roads of the town, have a look at the souvenirshops. After dinner we have to hurry, a big thunderstorm is coming and we dont wont to get wet.
Monday, june 15 2010
In the morning weather is better then the forecast. We drive to Medicine Lake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_Lake_(Alberta). During the last days people saw a bear with her two cobs, but we dont see her. At the lake we are lucky: we see a big deer, a lot of chipmunks, a little rabbit called pika. He is fast, whistles like a marmot, eats like a hamster.
At Maligne Lake we want to walk along the lake, but ist raining, almost snowing. So we turn around. We see more deer and a fox. At Maligne Canyon we enjoy the sunshine, can see a underground river, some waterfalls and a 51 meters deep canyon.
We decide to visit Athabasca Falls. So we will have more time for other things wenn we are on the Icefield Parkway. The falls have plenty of water. We take our time, take a lot of fotos, and have a look at Sunwapta Falls afterwords.
On the way back to Jasper we see a blackbear again. A lot of cars stop everywhere, people even leave there car to get closer to the bear. They have just the picture of the bear eating gras and flowers…. We stay just to take a couple of fotos and then we leave.
Tuesday, june 16 2010
This morning it’s raining and cold. We decide to visit the Miette hot Springs http://www.jaspernationalpark.com/jnppool.html . On the way to get there we see kojotees, bighorn-sheep, mountain goat, a bear and a deer. And on the way to the spring we meet a fox. The spring itself smells from sulfur. In the bath water is treated, does’nt smell at all, and temperature is moderate. It’s funny: we stay in the 38°C hot pool, while the lifeguard is wearing a thick coat, gloves… Obviously canadians chat together even if they dont know each other. They talk about economy in different provinces, about raising kids or anything else.
At Jasper the sun is shining again. We have a picknich at Patricia Lake, see ground squirrels. We heare wolfes from far evey, but one seems to be just across the lake. Then we hike along the lake. Back in town we find a highspeed internet, check our mails and put some pictures on our homepage.
Wednesday, june 17 2010
We have great weather today. So we stop very often on Icefield Parkway http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icefields_Parkway to take pictures of the amazing landscape. It’s just beautifull to see the river, the trees, the rocks, the mountains, the blue sky and some white clouds.
We see so many bear on the way that on the end of the day all together it will bee 15 for the hole trip. One is a grizzly, unfortunately on the other side of the valley. We see also bighornsheep, and at the picknickplace ground squirrels come so close we can almost tuch them.
At Columbia Icefield http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbia_Icefield we realise how fast the glacier is getting smaller during the last years. And we dont like how many tourist are here: several guided tours walk on the same time on the glacer, 4 snowmobiles are constantly on the glacier, and at the visitor center we see more then 30 buses. A lot of tourist are here in short trousers and sandals.
The more south we get, the more clouds are on the sky. We enjoy the views. A stop at Peyto Lake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peyto_Lake viewpoint gives us a view over the amazing blue lake. The reason for the colour is that small particles from the glacier are in the water and reflect just the green and blue part of sunlight.
At Lake Louise Transcanada Highway is unter construction, and we have problems to find the way to Yoho National Park. We stop at the Visitor Center. They can tell us witch ways are open or closed fort he season.
Our last stop of the day is at natural bridge. There we meet one of Gerdas collegues. We knew he was on the way from Vancouver to Vancouver and started 3 days after us, but it’s still a coincidence.
At Golden our B&B is far away from the center. Gerda knows it allready from her last trip. The rooms at the mainhouse where already full, so we have the cabin for us. Great: just the two of us, with a fireplace, a kitchen, a gardentable, a barbeque…
Thursday, june 18 2010
After breakfast in the cabin with the things we found in the refrigerator, we went of to Yoho National park. We hike to Wapta-Falls. On the way we meet two of Marcels collegues, wich is a surprise for everyone.
In the afternoon we try to get into a unknown valley. We are on a unsealed road, but already the first river has taken the road down and we have to cross like this. Somehow we get lost and have to turn around.
We use the oppurtunity by a steak at the supermarket end put it on the barbeque for dinner.
Friday, june 19 2010
Today a snowshoerabbit comes to visit us. We have breakfast at the mainhouse with four other gests: a couple from Quebec and a couple from the Netherlands. They want to settle down in Canada, and we find out that they both are police officers. Of cours it’s funny to realise that we are 4 police officers on the table.
We drive on Transcanada Highway to the west. At Glacier National Park http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glacier_National_Park_(Canada) we walk to Balu Pass. We find glacier lillys and marmots, get to the snow.
Also at Glacier National Park, we find some short walks throu the rainforest or to an old railwaybridge, and at Mount Revelstoke National Park http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/pn-np/bc/revelstoke/index.aspx we find again short walks and a picknickplace.
Revelstoke has kind of an old town center. It’s cute. We have dinner at an italian restaurant and can sit outside.
Trafic generally here in Canada: almost everywhere where we are, people drive pickups. On weekends in addition cabriolets and ford mustangs. Campers here are as long as buses, and somtimes they even draw there car behind. Some pickups have a mobile camper on top. And for harley-davidson-fans it seems to bet he perfect contry: we see them everywher, from highway to the parking in front of the bar.
We see also a lot of trains, but almost only freight trains. They can carry two containers on top of each other, have two locomotives at the beginning of the train, then after a few waggons again a locomotiv, and so on, all together up to 5 locomotives. When you have to wait at the railway to cross, you can immagine how long it takes….
Trucks are beautifull, clean and shiny. There are always in a hurry, which means that they get really close behind you, if you try to respect the speed limit.
Saturday, june 19 2010
The sun is shining this morning. We have eggs, toast with marmelade or honey, joghurt and fresh fruit for breakfast. The other guest are from germany. They spent the first week in Canada on a ship from Vancouver to Alaska and back. They are happy to speek german, english is difficult for them.
We want to see the Meadows in the Sky Parkway. From different lookouts we have a view over the town, we see the mountains around and Columbia River. The top of the road is closed for the snow. So we walk as far as we can.
Then we visit Revelstoke Dam http://www.bchydro.com/community/recreation_areas/revelstoke_dam_visitor_centre.html. It’s it’s 25 anniversary, and we can visit the powerhose, can get on top of the dam, get a lot of information about this and oder dams and Columbia River. It’s vorbidden to take fotos and so we can not take pictures of the ground squirrel with his two babies.
We drive into town, walk along the river, passed the sawing mill. In the river we see wrecks of cars, and just beside it people are fishing or swimming.
For dinner we go to the chinese restaurant and eat from the buffet.
Sunday, june 20 2010
It’s a beautifull day, and we drive to the east again. At Rogers Pass we stop for some fotos. Than we drive into Yoho National Park to Emerald Lake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Lake_(British_Columbia). We see another bear near the road. At Emerald Lake a lot of tourists are near the bridge and the souvenir shop. But only a few meters further, at the picknicktables, wer are almost alone. After lunch we walk around the lake. At the beginnig the image of the clouds reflecting in the lake is amazing, but than they get darker. We just reach the parking before the rain starts.
Our next point of interest is Takkakkaw Falls http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takakkaw_Falls . This road was closed until last friday. It has very narrow turns, and the bus in front of us has to drive one part of the road backwards.
The falls are in the sunlight and are amazing. The sound is incomparable. We climb up to the point where the falling water reaches ground.
After seating on a bench, enjoying the sun and looking at a ground squirrel, we drive back to Golden. Here we go to the greek restaurant for dinner.
At the B&B we find a note at the door. Our host is buisy, and we should get comfortable. There is a big kitchen, a hot pool at the balcony, a double shower in the room. Mike tells us later that they even go on holydays without closing the door.
Monday, june 21 2010
For breakfast we have toast, fruitsalat from fresh fruits, homemade scoones (delicious), bananabred and muesli.
It’s another beautiull day. We stop at Natural Bridge to take fotos with more light then last time.
Then we reach Lake Louise, where we visit Moraine Lake http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moraine_Lake. From the moraine we see the lake in the sun, a squirrel which climbes on our backbag. And we take a foto of a couple who had there wedding here last friday with unfriendly weather.
Then we drive to Lake Louise Lake, which is 1730 meters above sealevel. There are definitely too many tourists. We decide to hike up to Lake Agnes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Agnes_(Alberta) , which is 355 meter higher. There are still a lot of people on the path. On the path the view is limited because of the trees. But then we get to the lake, and it’s beautifull with some ice on the surface, reflecions of the mountains. And we can have a picknick in the sun.
A unknown man from Zurich informed us, how fast he got up here and what results the swiss football team got at the world championship in southafrica. Thats really what we wanted to know;)
On the way up we where asked to take pictures of other people. Obviously they had the impression that people carriing a camera like ours should be able to take fotos.
We drive on the Bow Valley Parkway to Banff. It’s in the same direction as Transcanada Highway, but with less trafic and the possibility to see animals. We see just two bighornsheep. After a short stop at Banff http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banff,_Alberta we reach Canmore, where we stay for the night and have dinner.
Tuesday, june 22 2010
It’s another cloudy day. For breakfast we have fruit, homemade bread and jam, eggs and bacon, cereals, tee and coffee. Our hosts are originally from Trinidad. Marcel got used to English and now he takes to everyone. Our host have seen 4 moose yesterday. Moose is the animal on our „wish-list“ that we have not seen yet. So we drive up to a valley, where we find a kind of wetland which would suit moose well. We dont see moose. But we get the chance to see a woodpecker eye-to-eye, a group of bighornshepp, a marmot, two deer, a single bear and a mother-bear with her two cobs. Wow, we saw 20 bears all together on this trip!
After a stop at a park with ground squirrels we look for the last souvenirs at the shops of banff, have a look from Mount Norquay, where we see deer and bighornsheep again. We stand in the rain, but over Banff theres still sunshine.
It’s time to take all our things out of the car and pack them in a way that we can return the car tomorrow.
Things in Canada that are very unusual for us: fuel for 0.91 CAD/L, cooked and peeled eggs in a bag to buy, electrical lines hanging from house to house, chicken wings 3 times bigger than we are used to, people who live there hose open for 5 weeks while on holiday, but in the same country plates telling you to take out your valuables of the car because of thieves.
Wednesday, june 23 2010
They have great pictures of wildlife at the B&B. Once they walked for almost an hour behind 3 bears, once 5 big deer met just on the meadow behind the house, a karibou came to feed on the plants in the garden, even a grizzly came close enough to take a good picture, and a mother-bear climed a tree with her cobs, wich gives a special foto.
We know that we have not seen enough wildlife of Canada yet!!
We walk to Lake Grassi, just outside of Canmore. Then we drive on Highway 1A to Calgary. Landscape is more open, meadows with horses and cattle, but also industrie are in the area. 25 km before the city center Calgary http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calgary starts. We find the way to the center, leave our luggage at the hotel, and return the car as soon as possible. We have driven 4306 km.
We explore Downtown by feet, from townhall to the island, from pedestrian zone to Calgary Tower. After dinner it was raining again, and we waited for the worst to pass because we dont want to put our things wet into the suitcase.
The parking system of the city is interesting: a lot of parkinglots are limited to 1 or 2 hours. A van with a camera drives along the places and registres the parked cars…
Thursday, june 24 2010
The locals go to a take-away for breakfast. But obviously they bring there own mug and fill them up with brewed coffee. Well, for someone used to drink espresso, it’s difficult to find something like a real espresso in Canada. Coffee is mostley coloured water with taste. But of course it’s a question of what you’re used to.
We take the shuttlebus to the airport. Here everything is different then what we are used to: the agent at the checkin has to check the weight of the luggage by hand. There are just two luggage belts, and one is out of order. After ten minutes waiting we have to go to the other one because also the second one has problems.
With a airbus 319 we fly to Toronto. Here we change the plane. We have planed to have 3 hours. We are happy about this decision, because our first flight is 40 minutes late. We can look for a coffee for Marcel, and then we check the tax-free-shops. But our flight to Zurich is late, arrives only 30 minutes before scheduled departure time.
Finally we sit in the plane, but we have to wait again. It’s an other plane type than planed, and that means that the trolleys are not suitable. They have to been changed. Finally the food is here, but they are unloading luggage of non-show-passengers.
Meanwhile it’s extremely hot in the plane, because the aircondition does’nt work. Obviously 40 meals are missing, but they decide to go and ask passengers to comunicate if they want to eat or not.
But then there is a technical problem: the left engine does’nt start. They bring a aircondition from outside, drinks for everyone, and alow the passengers to use the mobile phones again. The 40 missing meals are delivered, and finaly a technician finds the solution for the problems. 2 ½ hours to late we start. We fly over Lake Ontario, where we see the reflection of the moon, and over Toronto by night. The rest of the flight is unspectacular, but of course our landing is to late.