Friday, December 27, 2019

Alberta Road Trip, Canada. Day 5. Jasper to Banff.

Day 5
(Link to Day 4)

After a much needed rest we woke up quite late on Day 5. Our original plan was considerably delayed but considering what happened on Day 4 we just wanted to make sure we reached home safe and sound.

We left Edson at 1100 hrs and started for the second most famous town in the Rockies, Jasper. The first being Banff. We made a brief stop at Hinton which looked like a 'touristy' place. People usually prefer to stay here when they are looking for cheap accommodation as it gets quite expensive inside the Jasper and Banff National Parks.

We entered Jasper National Park at 1330 Hrs and reached the town of Jasper around 1440 Hrs. Here our party split into 3 different groups. The families and couples wanted some privacy so I was left alone which was a welcome relief for me. I wandered around town going wherever I wished to go. Because of my interest in trains I walked along a train track nearby hoping that a train would pass by and sure enough a train appeared far away. I got my camera ready and took my position. As the train passed I took pics to my heart's content. When the train left I ventured back into the town and went in a direction opposite to the more touristy side of the town. I wanted to see how the normal areas of the town looked like. This was my second visit to Jasper and this time I wanted to see a different side of the town. It was stunning to the say the least. Each view it offered was stunning and worth framing. At the far end of the town I spotted a Museum. I love museums so I entered and had a look around. There were lots of interesting exhibits and info about the local places. Also there was a sale going on a few books and I found a good deal. I bought a coffee table book about the Railways in Canada.

Soon my casual jaunt had to be ended as I got a call to regroup near our car. It was time to leave.We left Jasper at 1700 Hrs. We were seriously late and I was sure that by the time we reached Lake Louise it would be dark and we will miss the views. Nevertheless I did not have much say in things so I just played along, happy to see whatever was coming my way.

The drive from Jasper to Banff is believed to be one of the most beautiful in the world and sure enough it threw up one spectacular landscape after another. The views were spellbinding. Nothing like I've ever seen. And I have been to the Himalayas multiple times. We made multiple stops on our way taking in the views. Our next major stop was the Athabasca Glacier. When I was a kid I had read a book called 'Athabasca' by Alistair MacLean. It was set in the regions surrounding these areas. To be near the setting of one of my favorite books was like a dream come true.

After spending some time here we resumed our journey. We made more stops including one at the Crawfoot Glacier. It was getting dark  and the sky was giving off a bluish tint. With the glacier in front of me, the low hanging clouds which surrounded the mountains like a necklace and in that receding light the whole place had almost a surreal feel to it. It was magical.

We finally reached Lake Louise at 2300 Hrs when it was totally dark as I had suspected. There was no point going near the lake so we marched on and finally reached our Hotel in Invermere, the cheapest option we got near Banff. Thus ended the best day of the our trip so far.

(Note - This a deviation from my usual style of writing as its been almost 4 months since I went on this trip and I also have a backlog of posts to write. Hence keeping it short and brief.)

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Alberta Road Trip, Canada. Day 4. Whitecourt

Day 4 Whitecourt
(Link to Day 3)

The plan for today was to visit a friend in a town called Whitecourt. Its located around 177 km north of Edmonton.

We left Edmonton at 1100 Hrs. On the way stopped at a picturesque spot where we had lunch at the side of the road. It was wonderful.

The way to Whitecourt was lined with Grassy fields dotted with barns and pretty houses. Above, the clouds were spread out into blocks of alternating white and grey. It was a wonderful day.

We reached Poorna's House at 1500 Hrs. After sometime Poorna took us to show his workplace. We went around the whole facility and took a lots of pics. We returned to Poorna's home by 1900 Hrs.

At around 2000 Hrs we decided to leave. When we reached near our car, we found out that there was a leak in the petrol tank. I tired to clean the area of the leak when the debris which were stuck at the area came out into my hand and the leak increased. With this leak it was not possible to proceed. So we decided to go to the nearest Canadian Tyre Branch and try to get it fixed. When we reached one, we found out that the garage services were closed for the day and just the store was open. Finding no help there we just bought a few adhesives and tried to fix the leak ourselves. We first emptied the whole tank and tried to apply the paste but to no avail. Then Poorna, who thankfully, was still with us, took us back to his plant and got some supplies from there. This time things worked out and we could finally arrest the leakage. We went back to Poorna's home and decided to leave the car for an hour to test out the leak. Fortunately, it worked. Our work was fine. We departed from Poorna's home late at night and reached Edson where we had booked our Hotel. Thus ended a tense day for us.

(Note - This a deviation from my usual style of writing as its been almost 4 months since I went on this trip and I also have a backlog of posts to write. Hence keeping it short and brief.)

(Link to Day 5)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Alberta Road Trip, Canada. Day 3. Edmonton.

Day 3
(Link to Day 2)

On Day 3 We checked out from our Hotel at 0730 Hrs and started for Edmonton. The drive from Calgary to Edmonton was nothing much to write about, just endless grassy plains on both sides of the road. We reached Edmonton around 1200 Hrs and we directly headed to the West Edmonton Mall, which is sometimes called North America's Largest Mall.

A game in progress inside the Mall

We reached our Hotel in Edmonton, Hotel Days Inn, at 1500 Hrs and after taking a short break we went out for a stroll.

A cool breeze was blowing, the sky bore a serene tint of blue and the roads looked deserted. Perfect for a walk. At first we wandered around aimlessly going from one block to another. Around 1800 Hrs we decided to check out the Alberta Legislative Assembly Building. Its a beautiful building with Greek and Roman influences. It was built in 1913 in the Beaux Arts style. Surrounded by well maintained lawns all around it exudes a majestic charm.We walked around here and took in the view.

Around 1900 we went back to out Hotel and around 2000 Hrs we had dinner at Select Hotel. It was a delicious meal. After that refreshing meal we went for a drive around the city. We took a small tour of University of Alberta North Campus and by 2200 Hrs were back in our Hotel rooms.

(Link to Day 4)
(Note - This a deviation from my usual style of writing as its been almost 4 months since I went on this trip and I also have a backlog of posts to write. Hence keeping it short and brief.)

Monday, December 23, 2019

Alberta Road Trip, Canada. Day 2. Calgary.

Day 2 
(Link to Day 1)
After a refreshing night's sleep we were all ready and excited to explore the city of Calgary. After a quick breakfast we made our way to our first stop for the day, Fort Calgary.

Fort Calgary was established in 1875 and is now a part of the National Historic Sites of Canada.

Canada Day Celebrations were going on in full swing in the open grounds in front of the fort. The sun was shining brightly, the skies were clear and overall it was just the perfect day for an outing under the sun. There were lots of people dressed in Canadian flags' colors. There were food stalls, a DJ was playing music and there was a RCMP unit posing for pictures with the visitors.

We left Fort Calgary area and soon reached our second stop of the day, Prince Island Park, at 1400 Hrs. Here the atmoshphere was even better. There was some nice dance music blasting off the some huge speakers. People clearly were enjoying the music. And the park was packed! There were people everywhere. Not the kind of place I usually visit but I was with a group so I went along. 

At around 1930 Hrs we met one of Namendra's friends who lived nearby and finally left for our hotel at around 2030 Hrs.

(Note - This a deviation from my usual style of writing as its been almost 4 months since I went on this trip and I also have a backlog of posts to write. Hence keeping it short and brief.)