When I was planning my few solo days in Southern Alberta I knew of the big guns: Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise. I hadn’t known about Johnston Canyon until a few weeks before I left, despite it being one of the busiest trails in the area. As soon as I saw pictures though I knew it had to make it onto my itinerary.
There’s a town in Southern Alberta, Canada where each summer the 1800-odd residents put on pointy rubber ears and welcome hundreds of Trekkies to celebrate the home planet of one, fictional, Mr. Spock. Where you can have your photo taken while dressed as a Klingon or an unlucky Red Shirt and sit in the Captain’s chair, commanding Number One to ‘make it so’. Where you can buy a bag of tea emblazoned with the face of Sir Patrick Stewart. Tea. Earl grey. Hot.
As cliché as it might be there’s just something about Alberta that makes me want to play cowgirl. Jeans, hat, boots, big belt buckle…I want the whole deal. So of course I had to seek out a place to go on a trail ride. The experience certainly didn’t disappoint.
When most people think of Banff, Alberta they think luxury resort town. Sure there are some high end properties in town but there are also excellent affordable offerings too. I was only in Banff for one night this fall and stayed at the Juniper Hotel. It’s actually just outside the main town centre which means that, unlike hotels in town, you get a great view of Banff and a more panoramic view of the mountains.
There’s nothing like a little nostalgia of the year gone by. I’ve always loved looking back at old photos and reliving the memories. It’s almost like you get to experience them all over again. I know I’ve already told you my top travel moments of 2013 but since I’m such a sucker for visuals I want to share some with you some photos that may not have made it to this site or Facebook.
Located in the heart of downtown, the International Hotel Suites Calgary makes for a great stay when you’re in town on business or just need room to spread out. At first glance it looks like a fairly generic mid-range hotel but I was intrigued by their Orchid and Esquire floors and wanted to check it out.
This year felt like it was full of travel but when I got down to details I hadn’t visited a single new country. All the same I had lots of great new experiences. Just proves that it’s not all about ticking off countries on a list. This year seemed to be about basking in nature and also facing some fears.
Red canoes on the teal waters of Lake Louise, Alberta is one of those iconic Canadian scenes that makes me want to put on a Cowichan sweater and a toque. Maybe drink some Tim’s coffee while watching moose cross the road.
As soon as I stepped into the lobby of the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary, Alberta I felt out of my element. The soaring ceilings, giant chandeliers, and marble floors let me know that I was in for a night of luxury. The Palliser isn’t trying to be hip and trendy, but instead has a timeless class and luxury about it. Normally this would be the type of hotel that I would aspire to stay at while I schlepped my stuff to a rental or budget inn, but Fairmont teamed up with PARK (Promoting Artists | Redefining Kulture) to offer some packages that made a weekend of luxury realistically affordable.
I’m surrounded by 9 acres of corn that reaches well over my head and blocks my view. I’ve reached a dead end and can no longer see the tower that was acting as my landmark. I’ve made enough turns this way and that so I no longer even know which direction I’m facing. Crap. I should’ve left a trail of breadcrumbs so I could at least find my way out of the maze like a modern day Gretel in knee-high boots and Ray-Bans.
Peace Bridge is a pedestrian walkway over the Bow River in Calgary, Alberta that also has a dedicated center lane for cyclists. From afar it looks like a futuristic time warp tube (heightened at night when the inside is lit up), although with the criss-cross design, many people say that it reminds them of a Chinese finger trap.
As you’re reading this I’m probably 30,000 feet in the air off on my next adventure. I’m staying domestic this time and am headed to the land of beef, mountains and cowboys. Can you believe I’ve never been to Alberta before? Me neither. So I’m Alberta bound today.