August 5th and 6th ~ Calgary, Canada
We took our time driving to Calgary after a long day of dinosaur hunting and a late night at Wal-Mart. The drive was beautiful and we soaked up the scenery.
Calgary is much larger than I remembered from my visit back around 1981 when I attended the Calgary Stampede. We managed to find an RV park on the west side of town. Not much to choose from here.
After a restful night and lazy morning, we headed out to see a few sights in Calgary. Our RV park was very close to the home of the 1988 Winter Olympics, and we could see the massive ski jump and what I think was the bob sled course high on the hill.
I had marked the Peace Bridge as one thing I wanted to see, but somehow the directions on our GPS took us to the wrong place. I was a bit frustrated, but as we started to backtrack, Tim spotted a black squirrel. This is a lousy picture of it, but wanted to document it as I did not know that they were found anywhere outside of Palo Alto, California. I’ll have to do a bit of research when I have better Internet to see if I am remembering accurately.
Driving through the downtown section, I was amazed and impressed by how modern and beautiful it was.
Back on track, we found a place to park near the Peace Bridge, only to learn that the parking garage was completely empty (spooky), and that if we went out the door, we would have been locked out and our car locked in.
I was beginning to think that this day was not being very co-operative 😦
After exiting the structure, we found street parking, and since it was a three-day holiday in Canada, threw caution to the wind, and parked in a 15-minute-only spot. The way our day was starting out, perhaps not the wisest move.
Peace Bridge ~ According to Wikipedia, it has the “popular nickname “Finger Trap Bridge” due to its visual similarity to the finger trap puzzle”.
The Peace Bridge was great to see though, and after walking across it, taking a few photos, we further pressed our luck on the parking spot, and found a quiet place for a late lunch right downtown.
Something else that caught my eye is their lending library. Right in a park, near what was probably some apartment buildings, as well as downtown office buildings, we saw this tiny wooden structure on a post.
By now it was mid afternoon, and we headed off toward Heritage Park. I had envisioned a large park, kind of like the Golden Gate Park, where we could drive through and perhaps get out and stroll through some pretty gardens.
Boy was I wrong.
I had failed to see the words, “Historical Village” tacked onto the name. It was more like a combination of Knott’s Berry Farm meets Old Town. By the time we got parked and got our tickets we only had 90 minutes to try to cover a LOT of ground. A couple local people, upon us asking them for some guidelines on how to make the most of our limited time, highly recommended that we take the boat cruise on the lake, so off we went in that direction.
Hmmm, it was OK, and perhaps for this land-locked town, a thrill, but for us who are used to water activities, it was a bit of a snore.
For us, the highlights were the old historical buildings that had been relocated here, furnished to the time period and were open for inspection. Sadly, by the time we got to many of them they were already closing.
- Allow more time. You could easily spend at least a half day or more there to see the highlights.
- You can download a 1/2 coupon online before you go.
- Skip the boat ride unless you rarely get to see water or have extra time on your hands
- Get to Gasoline Alley. We ran out of time but it was supposed to be great.
We did enjoy what we did get to see and just kicked ourselves for not allowing enough time.
The answer to what that paper bag was doing over the door? In fact they were found over many of the doors in the park. The reason is that they have a problem with hornets building nests here. The paper bag is similar enough in appearance to mimic a hornets nest and the invaders think that someone else has already claimed that territory, so will leave it alone. Problem solved!
GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that although all did not go smoothly, we were still able to make some good memories. The Peace Bridge stands out, as well as the beauty of downtown Calgary. We did not get to see near as much of the Heritage Park as we would have liked to, but had a good time regardless.
NEXT STOP: Banff National Park
We invite you to tag along…