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North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary
July 3rd 2008
Published: April 3rd 2009
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Soon after Nicola’s Mum had left to head back to England, my parents arrived from NZ. After their lenghty flight they were justifiably a little jet lagged so were napping when we got a phone call from Scott’s friend Chad. He informed us that there were moose, which are seen rarely, just down the road from our house. So I woke Mum and Dad and we sped down to see them. There were two and they were quite happy chilling in the grass on the outskirts of town. They are a strange looking creature with what I would describe as a fat head.

The following day after Mum and Dad had been afforded a chance to readjust their body clocks we drove downtown to check out the centre of the city. As we walked along the river we were surprised by the hordes of people that were out running and walking, probably in their lunch breaks. (As I write this, it is snowing outside and I can’t even imagine people running in this city - bring on summer).

Mum and Dad commented on how clean the city was and how little graffiti there was. I wonder if that’s because the gangs are out shooting each other rather than graffiting? It is quite common to hear of gang shootings, thankfully they seem to happen in one of the suburbs out of the central city. In the main, I have always felt safe in the city. There are quite a lot of homeless, but they seem to keep to themselves. Most of them have a shopping trolley and hoon round trying to find bottles and cans because they get 10 cents for recycling them. I guess it’s a win-win as the homeless get money, and it’s good for the environment. The only thing is that usually directly across the road from a recycling plant is a low-cost alcohol store. Quite funny in an ironic way I guess.

Whilst strolling through the city we stumbled upon a fashion show. We watched that for a while before being lured into a bar for a free lunch. I guess I should mention that Stampede was on in Calgary. It is a huge festival with all sorts of fanfare such as rodeo’s, chuck wagon racing, fairs, rides, the list goes on. Anyway around this time of year loads of places give away free food. Sadly, I don’t think it was good for business as the bar we were in had no other patrons and so the band playing was performing for us only… and then no one, when we left. Wonder if they stopped playing?

After lunch Dad and I decided that seeing as it was a nice day we’d go up the Calgary tower to check out the view. As we made the ascent in the lift, we were informed that it was the highest viewing tower in the world … above sea level, sneaky bastards. As we walked out from the lift, we got great panoramic views all the way out to the rockies. I’m not a huge fan of heights so it was with trepidation that I edged out onto the see through floor. After a while, and a lot of palm sweat, I was ok with it and enjoyed the bizarre sensation. After taking an excessive amount of photos (I think I have a problem) we headed down and found the girls.

Once back home we had a practice run at putting up our tents for our upcoming trip through the rockies. If we were to believe the story Dad would reveal a few days later, we probably should have practiced running from the tent to the car in case of bear sightings.



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