A Travellerspoint blog

Together Again

Banff

sunny 25 °C
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Hey,

As I leave Calgary on the bus, I am on my laptop uploading pictures, listening to music and also looking at pictures of the last year in Toronto. Three hours later, I arrive in Banff and blown away by seeing mountains! Toronto was so flat back then. Anyways I got a free taxi ride to the hostel and expected to see Kat probably lazing around the hostel. Turns out she wasn't and it wasn't until an hour or two later when Lee (new lad) recognised me and mentioned that Kat was working at the offy until 7 and that really although it was 6 I should see her anyways. So as I'm walking down the hill and onto the parade of three shops that she worked (on some days in all three) she ran out and gave me a huge hug completely forgetting that there was a customer in the store.

So after a brief chat and a few mozzy swatting sessions we were back in Lee's cabin with my laptop checking out my pictures of places she hadn't been to like the east coast and maritime regions of Canada (St. John's, Halifax, etc). Then after a few introductions to some people it was time to hit the bar downstairs in the basement of the hostel where there was a karaoke session going on. So naturally after a few too many drinks, I was up there with my room-mates for that night singing Oasis' "Wonderwall". It was me who signed up for it but was dragged up by Siem (guy from the Netherlands).

So first night over with by 3am and off to bed we went. Woke up around 11ish and headed off to the Banff Gondola. So got the bus into the town of Banff and then another one taking me to the foot of the mountain and then from there a cable car slightly bigger than a smart car would take upto four of us to the Gondola at the top. As soon as I got up there I was blown away by what I could see other than mountains.

So after a couple of hours up there, I grabbed the bus back to the hostel. The bus was so old that we had another encounter of not getting up the hill (like we did in the fiesta mum in Wales). So we walked up the rest of the way. Luckily it wasn't steep or long but I got back to the hostel in one piece and then booked a few things like my rafting experience and after chilling with Kat in the cafe for hours I stayed up all night on my laptop looking up things to do in my next few destinations. Sadly it didn't go too well but still killed the time for my before calling home and then grabbing the shuttle bus to Yoho national park to go rafting. One of the best things I've done! Being thrown about in a dingy by rapids and then a quick swim in +4 degree waters afterwards. Bit stupid really as it didn't help with my cold and cough but oh well all worth it. So after going down the rapids twice we came back to grab our stuff, a hot chocolate and then off to Lake Louise for lunch. Then back to the hostel we went where I just crashed on my bed and fell asleep until Kat woke me up a few horus later asking if I wanted to hit the town with everyone. Naturally and stupidly I said yes! Great night downtown with everyone and a scenic walk back up the mountain to the hostel. The stupid thing about it was that I had to be up at 6am to pack, check out and then grab my bus to town to go to Jasper and we got back to the hostel at 3am so another night of no sleep for David.

So after goodbyes during the night because Kat had a day off and wasn't going to get up she said, so off on the bus I went off to Jasper.

David

Posted by Nibsy_86 17:59 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Fly Like An Eagle

Calgary

sunny 35 °C
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Hey,

I arrived in Calgary around 4ish in the afternoon after catching the charter bus from Edmonton and walked to the hostel which turned out to be about 8 blocks from where I was dropped off and unfortunately everyone was out on the streets. Got a little busy and hectic with me and my poor suitcase.

So checked into the hostel and unpacked before heading out to see what was around downtown Calgary. Went up Calgary tower, into the Eaton Centre and some shops for some stuff for this cold!!! Well, it started like 2 days in Edmonton and so far I hadn't shaken it off so cough syrup, lemsips and sinus tablets, and a couple of concerned faces and I was set.

So next morning I booked to go onto a city tour of Calgary and when the driver got to my pick up location, I thought he was being a smart arse by saying my name before I did but turns out that I was the only person who booked the tour for that day. Luckily for me, another guy from Portugal walked by and jumped on the bus so it was Marco, Bryce (driver) and I for 4 - 5 hours going around Calgary and its sights. We had a brief history of the city and its background whilst driving up to Fort Calgary where we watched a short movie about the set up of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the area and the fur/whiskey trade between to Americans and the natives. Was kind of interesting but had several things that kind of put a dampener on the experience. Firstly we were able to try on Mounty uniforms...there was no sign saying "No David Size" and also after the movie and uniform session the fort hadn't been well maintained and only a couple of buildings stood from its original time.

So after Fort Calgary we headed to Olympic Park where the Calgary 88 Winter Olympics were held and is home to two artifacts in the museum. Firstly when I walked into the museum on my right was Cool Runnings, which was used in the film "Cool Runnings". So naturally doing the tourist thing I had my picture taken with it and later on with the Union Jack stood on the podium in first place holding the olympic torch and achieved what no Brit did in the 88 games! Secondly we went up to the 90m ski jump tower, which is also the highest point in Calgary and in a glass case sat the helmet of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards. He painted eagle across the helmet in response to the crowd who gave him the name. So after Olympic Park we went back to Calgary and got dropped off in downtown and I went back to the eaton centre to grab a bite to eat before heading back to the hostel for an early night.

Next day, I got up early and headed to one of the continents top 45 zoos. That's right, David went to the Calgary Zoo! Had a great day even though after hours of sunshine and animal madness I started to feel a little rough with the cold and started to get all blocked and hard to breathe etc. So like I said it was a great zoo to visit with everything from elephants to red pandas...yes RED pandas!

So again it was an early rise for David the next day. After checking out by 10am I had to kill some time before jumping on a bus to Banff to see Kat. So I did what I do best just laze on the sofa with a beer and my laptop on the Internet. So that was my Calgary experience and next stop Banff!

David

Posted by Nibsy_86 17:58 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Bring On The World Cup

Edmonton

sunny 34 °C
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Hey,

So the four of us arrive in Edmonton at 8am all very tired and what not after spending 18 hours on the train over night from Winnipeg. The Irish lads and I grabbed a cab to the hostel and found out that we couldn't check in until 3pm. The time was 9am! So off to the storage room to place our suitcases and bags and off into the local area for breakfast. Still by the time we were finished it was 11am and still had time to kill so as nearly every tourist who comes to Edmonton does, we grabbed a map and headed down to the West Edmonton Mall. The map itself placed the mall in our opinion about 45 minutes walk away from the hostel so we decided to walk it thinking nothing of it. By midday the temperature was 36 degrees and we were lost. Turns out we got to the mall three hours after we started and I am in Jeans and long sleave t-shirt, I was quite poofed out by the end of the hike.

So in the mall we went and was greeted by the rides and coasters in the mall! Honestly who puts a theme park near enough in a mall? Seriously? So after a long hike we thoguht we'd treat ourselves to some food so off to the food court for KFC and then we headed down to water world...again in the mall! The only thing that stopped us from taking a chilled and relaxing paddle in the wave pool was that they wanted $35 to get in.

So bugger that we thought and had a quick look around and apart from the water world and theme parks it was just like any other mall! Nothing really special about it so we grabbed the bus back to the hostel where we could check in finally. All grabbed showers after check in and then off onto the internet to grab tickets for the under 20s World Cup, which today was the 1/4 final between Spain and the Czech Republic. Managed to score three tickets by the pitch...well 12 rows from the action so fairly close up. We also ended up joining the party there which was full of Spanish, Mexican, South Americans and everyone else who wasn't eastern block supporting the Spanish team. The first 90 minutes were quite dull with only a few chances that Spain should have put away but then comes extra time. Two goals this time (one on either side of the half way mark) with Spain pulling back a goal just near the end. Again Spain had their chances to finish the Czechs off but failed to under the pressure so off to penalties it went. THe last time I was at a game that went to penalties was at Wembley Stadium with Manchester City Vs Gillingham in the play off finals 8 years ago. As we all suspected the Czech came through to win the shoot-out and a devastated Spanish crowd were almost in tears.

So anyways away from the match, we left the stadium and headed off towards the LRT home when we spotted a few guys walking onto a football field with a football. So for the next few hours we were playing footy with about 10 people for a few hours. All good fun but if only I had a belt for my shorts. Everytime i jumped up for a header or was running on the pitch they started to fall down but not that far to be flashing but enough for me to look like a prat and start running round with one hand holding up the shirts.

The day still wasn't over for us lads when we got back we had yet again another shower with it being a hot day and then straight out to the pubs along "party street". Couple of hours later we had a crowd around us for being foreign especially being English and Irish.

Next day was more of a relaxed day when I got up late and then just jumped on the LRT into the downtown to look around and I stumbled across the street performers festival down at city hall. Not much performances going on but still a party atmosphere down there.

Apart from that nothing really to say about what else in Edmonton or as someone at Pam's work calls it Deadmonton!

So off to Calgary I go then.

David

Posted by Nibsy_86 17:38 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

After 36 Hours I Am Finally Here

Winnipeg

sunny 32 °C
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Hey,

Okay so after 36 hours, 5 meals and several kips on the train I finally arrived in Winnipeg and hauled my stuff upto the hostel and literally passed out on my bed bc it was 10pm and the train ride really wiped me out.

So I woke up around 11ish and grabbed my stuff and headed out to see what was around in Winnipeg and doing the whole tourist thing with pictures of this and pictures of that. Found myself among the Winnipeg bears and totem poles and then down into the french speaking part of Winnipeg just across the river. Found myself by some old ruins of a church which was nice to walk around apart from not understanding the french signs.

So made it back to the english part of Winnipeg and stopped off at the forks park and the mall there which was full of bars, restaurants and takeouts...it was food, food and more food there... Had a nice break in there I must admit as it was really hot outside and took a look in my travel guide and it said to do this, this and this so naturally, I did.

So starting off with the Manitoba museum and planetarium was good to look around for a few hours, catch a breeze on Pontage and Main (apparently the windiest corner in North America) and then finish the night at the ball park for the Winnipeg Goldeyes against the Fargo Redhawks. Good game to watch and a win for the hometeam 5 - 3 and then afterwards a signed baseball by some of the players and best of all a picture with Goldie the Goldeyes' mascot.

So back to the hostel for another night and got woken up by the house keeping staff saying I needed to have checked out of the room about 45 minutes ago. I wasn't informed what time check out was so luckily she was okay with it so basically just chilled in the lounge at the hostel with my laptop.

Met two Irish guys there and a Canadian girl who were all checked out and waiting for the same train ride to Edmonton so naturally we all latched on to each other and went down to the station and stayed on the train together until we hit Edmonton.

So that was Winnipeg, brief I know but it is a nice place to visit but not to stay there for a long time.

David

Posted by Nibsy_86 09:57 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Slight Hint Of De-Ja-Vu

Montréal

sunny 30 °C
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Hey,

So I arrive in Montréal late as per usual with the likes of long distance trains here in Canada, but atleast I got here and to be honest I wasn't really that worried as I had been here before.

So I was sat on the sofa in the lounge when two guys came into the room and started to chat to me. We had Luke from Australia (Not the Luke from Toronto) and Taylor (A former US Marine sniper from Atlanta). An interesting combination for sure but about an hour later we headed out to Mont Royal and spent about 30 minutes up at the top and watched a storm above the eastern part of the city, which was quite interesting to see as we were above the storm on the hill and in the blistering heat. So after the sightseeing was done from Mont Royal, we did what any group of three guys wanted to do in the heat...grab a drink at the bar!

So after one/two....maybe I can't remember how many we had we got back to the hostel with a few drinks from the store and then was pre-drinking until we headed out at around 10pm to downtown Montréal for more drinking. Luke suggested we try this bar called Mado and much to our surprise it was a drag bar. Must admit it was cheap drinks and well interesting entertainment. Later we hit a karaoke bar just down the road where we met three girls from Ontario and were so glad to hear we 1) spoke english and 2) were not from Canada, meaning 3) we had an "accent". So again after a few drinks and some karaoke fun it was time to head back to the hostel at 4am and then stayed up for sometime before actually hitting the sack.

Next day was more of a chill at the hostel and work on my assignment for uni back home before heading out again downtown but into the Old Montréal area for drinks and paid the most ever for a pint. We were charged $8 for a pint and $6.25 for a half pint so although the choice was good the price didnt quite match the excitement of good beer for once.

So again back at around 1am we again chilled in the lounge when to make it more interesting thre Geordie lads came in to chill and all 6 of us headed out to the store down the road for more beer. It was quite funny that night as the Geordies tried to keep up with Taylor and ended up passing out on the sofas before heading to bed.

So this pretty much wraps it up for Montréal as Luke and I left the next day to head to Toronto. Luke went by bus though as I went on the train but must admit I had a great time in Montréal and the is the end of David in Québec for the time anyways.

David

Posted by Nibsy_86 09:31 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

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