North Saskatchewan River – Edmonton (Part 5)

I booked an Edmonton Queen Riverboat cruise. My main reason for doing it was to experience North Saskatchewan river. From the time I arrived in Edmonton, I was fascinated already by this river.

I took a cab from Legislature Building to Edmonton Queen Riverboat center at 98Th avenue. I gave my reservation booking to one of the crew and they gave me my entrance and dinner ticket. But on my way to the rafters landing area where I am going to ride the boat, I lost my ticket somewhere. So, I have to go back and look for my ticket or else, I will not be admitted to the entrance and I will not have my dinner (this situation made me felt bad). I went back to the center where I get my ticket. On my way, to the center, other tourist that coming approached me and asked if I lost my ticket, and I told them that I was. After saying that, they showed my ticket and gave it to me. Then, I felt lucky and thanked them. Next, I went back to the boat and showed my ticket. I was relieved when I got myself inside the boat.I walked to the front deck of the boat and approached one of the table then grab a chair for me. Then, I saw a couple sitting to the table next to mine. Then, I stood up and approached the couple and asked them if they mind if I can join them in their table. I told them I was alone and I added that it was better to give my table to the other group of people. They agreed and I joined them in their table.

Shaw Conference Centre (with flags)
and Canada Place (pink building)
from Queen Riverboat at North Saskatchewan River
Fairmont Hotel MacDonald (Castle like building) and
TELUS (former highest building in Edmonton)
from Queen Riverboat at North Saskatchewan River
Downtown Skyline from Queen Riverboat at North Saskatchewan River

The couple started a conversation with me. They introduce their selves and I did the same thing. Right now, I cannot remember their name. I was informed that the reason why they were cruising and having dinner in Edmonton Queen Riverboat was to celebrate their 10Th anniversary. For me that was really wonderful. And the idea of dating or cruising in a river is kind of sweet thing. Then I told them where I came from, why I was in Edmonton and until when I am staying in the city. I had a great time with them. They were very friendly. And when the boat crew announced that we can go inside the boat for our dinner, we went down and shared the dinner table. I never felt alone in my cruise in Edmonton Queen Riverboat since I was accompanied by the couple I met.

After dinner, that was the only time the cruise started. I requested a permission to the couple to leave the table to enjoy the scenery outside. I told them that I have to take my chances to take pictures of the river. While cruising the river, I were able to view the downtown skyline. Even though I used to see downtown, what I saw from the river still amazed me. I loved what I saw. And I loved to feel the air in the river which was quite cold.


Different photos with North Saskatchewan River

Another angle for Downtown skyline

Downtown skyline





Mixed photos of Downtown
from Queen Riverboat at North Saskatchewan River

The sail started from the Rafter’s landing area then cruised before the high level bridge. Then, the boat turned around and sailed up to area before Dawson Bridge. The cruise was enjoyable and I had a great night.



Wonderful North Saskatchewan River

Before leaving the boat, I approached the couple and thanked them again for letting me joined them to celebrate their anniversary. Next, the couple asked me how I will be able to get home and I told them that I am going to take a cab since I am not sure which bus will take me to downtown and if there were still bus around that time. To my surprise, the couple offered me that they will drive me home. And I cannot reject their offer that was why I accepted it. Before they dropped me home, they drove me around downtown and nearby places so that I can see more about Edmonton. We even stopped at Starbucks and they bought me an iced coffee that was really thoughtful of both of them. I really enjoyed their company, they were so kind to me to think they just met me.

Edmonton Queen River Boat

I really enjoyed my Sunday.

Remembering Banff – Part 1

One of the astonishing and surprising place that I had a chance to visit in Canada is Banff. Banff is one of the municipality in Alberta which located within National Park. From my previous blog, I described my first day in Banff and introduced all the places that I had been. Right now, I am remembering my second day in Banff together with all the places I had a chance to see.While traveling around Banff National Park, I cannot deny that I love mountains around this park. Names of the mountain has its own reasons while they call them as that. For example, Castle Mountain, anyone will immediately understand after seeing this mountain and heard its name why it was called as Castle Mountain, the reason is, mountain looks like a castle.

Castle Mountain

There is Cascade Mountain which can be easily found along Banff Avenue. I thought at first that this mountain is located at the end of Banff Avenue but it is not. Its peak is really fantastic. Seeing this mountain and some snow on its top overwhelm me. The picture I have for Cascade mountain also portrayed that Banff Avenue seems to be busy during spring season and there were lots of tourist coming by to visit Banff.

Cascade Mountain

First destination – the Bow Falls and the Bow River which located at the bottom of Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel. I both admired the Bow Falls and Bow River after we drove and stopped over at the River Avenue.

Bow Falls

Bow River

Then, we ascended to Tunnel Mountain and stopped at lookout view-point in Buffalo Street, from there, we were able to glimpsed the famous Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel that looks like a castle in the middle of the valley.

Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel

Next, we turned around and followed the path of Tunnel Mountain Road where we found Hoodoos at the bottom of the road and above the Bow River. We had also got a chance to view Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain on a different angle from Tunnel Mountain Road and I cannot deny to myself that I am still surprised on the scenery that I saw. I also found out that Tunnel Mountain near in Banff town site is a mountain in the middle of the Bow Valley.

Mount Rundle

Sulphur Mountain

We paid visit to Cave and Basin, a historic place that is being preserve and now a tourist spot. Cave and Basin are famous of its stinky hot spring which located inside the cave. The reason it is stinky, because of the stinky smell of sulphur within the hot spring. Right now, no one is using the hot spring because there is an endangered species living in the hot spring, they call it as Banff Spring Snail, a snail that can be only found in Cave and Basin. Cave and Basin also displays historic stuff in a museum and it has a movie house that shows history or documentary films. We also found an empty pool – based on history, it was a swimming pool to heal sick people.

Cave and Basin Historic Site

The Cave


Inside the Museum


Old Pool

After Cave and Basin, we went to Lake Minnewanka. I had to admit that the panoramic view of this lake really astounded me. I never expected a lake with its beautiful color. The water is so clear at the side of the lake and has a light blue color in the middle. My heart is really fulfilled with happiness after I saw this lake.

Lake Minnewanka

We also tried to visit another two lakes: Moraine Lake and Lake Louise. While on our way to Moraine Lake, we thought that the lake was still closed but we were lucky that it was open and we were able to see Moraine Lake. Next, we stop over in Lake Louise. There were many people in the lake. Lake Louise is bigger than Lake Moraine and I cannot compare its beauty to Moraine Lake because the two lakes are well-known of its fascinating lake views. And I think whatever the season, they are both stunning. When I paid visit to the two lakes, both of them has still icy water due to winter just recently over but, I still found them as wonderful as it can be. Another note, Lake Louise was named after Princess Louise, one of the daughter of Queen Victoria.

Lake Louise

Moraine Lake

Last destination in my second day tour, we went up to Mount Norquay, one of the famous mountain that is popular in skiing activities. From Mount Norquay, we were able to see the Bow Valley as a whole. We saw Banff town site in another perspective, same with Tunnel Mountain, Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain.

Banff View from Mount Norquay

I really feel like the nature is very close to me while I am at Banff.

High Level Bridge – Edmonton (Part 4)

What interests me in riding a High Level street car? First, it will be a first time experience and second my curiosity started on the things that I may be able to see while riding a High Level street car.

Riding a High Level Bridge street car was the first thing I did that day. Before I went to Jasper Terminal which located in Jasper Avenue, I called their customer service and I did inquire how I will be able to buy a ticket. Similar to my other adventure tour in Edmonton City, I brought my map and figured out how to go the High Level street car station. The station in Jasper is located between 109Th and 110Th street in Jasper Avenue. I decided to walked from 104Th street to 109Th street. While on my way, I realized how many establishments exists in Jasper Avenue and I understood why the avenue is famous in Edmonton. Then I continue walking, I thought that I will be having a short walk since I thought that it was just few meters away but I made mistake on estimation, it was quite too far.

When I arrived at the station I did not see a street car and because of that, I thought that the street car left already. But I checked my watched and the time was still early. I tried to find a small building that will serve as ticketing station, but the station that I saw are open place with few waiting chairs and the High Level street car trail. I wondered that time, “Where I will buy my ticket?”. That question in my mind had been answered when the High Level street car arrived. Some of the tourist went out the street car Then, the tourist guide went out too. The tourist guide was also the one who will collect our payment for the ride. Well that explains why there was no ticketing station because there is no need for it.

Next thing I was aware was I was inside the high level street car and the tour started. First, we passed the Legislature building. Then, we passed North Saskatchewan river, three tunnels, the Fort Hill, C&E Station Museum until we ended at Strathcona Terminal. What I like best on this rides, was the time when we were at the top of the bridge and below is the North Saskatchewan River. The view was wonderful. I see Edmonton in different angle. And the bottom of street car trail was a bridge passing by a real cars and other vehicles. The feeling was different and a little bit exciting while on top of the bridge.

High Level Street car

Inside the street car
Edmonton View from High Level Street Car

North Saskatchewan River

Another Angle for Downtown View
Kinsmen Park
North Saskatchewan River from high level bridge
River Valley Road beside North Saskatchewan River
Legislature Building from high level bridge

The street car will be on its way to Jasper Terminal. And because of that I decided to get out myself of the street car at the station near in Legislature Building for my next tour.

That ended my experience in High Level street car with a quick tour.

Provincial Legislature Building – Edmonton (Part 3)

If someone reading my blog probably noticed that I have a lots of blog for Edmonton. To be honest, if I will not divide it to each topic, my Edmonton City blog might be very long . I wanted to shorten my story as much as possible. Because every time I write my blog. I tend to tell all the details. Because when I am remembering something, there are lots going on in my mind.
Anyway, I have to stop explaining my reason.My next feature is the Provincial Legislature Building. When I am asking some of my colleague at work what are the places that I can visit in Edmonton, they told me the Legislature Building. After I heard it, I searched it in Internet and tried to plan how I will be able to go to this place.I went to this building last June 1 2008, Sunday with an actual tour plan of the following: High Level Bridge tour, Provincial Legislature Building tour and Edmonton Queen River Boat tour. I guess I have a whole busy Sunday that time.
Legislature Building
The Magnificent Fountain

At first, when I arrived at the vicinity of the Legislature Building, I thought I can just get inside and have my own tour since it was free. When I approached one of the guard in the building, he told me that I have to go to the Interpretive Centre and Gift Shop. So I followed his instructions. I found out that the tour guide are waiting for us in that place. I was grouped with other tourist.

Next thing happened, the tourist guide started to give us a building tour outline to give us idea what we are expecting in the tour. From Interpretive Centre we went to the Legislature Building. Then, our guide started talking about all information of the building and some historical information of Canada related to the building. When I saw the first floor of the building I see an awesome fountain in the middle and the Grand Staircase.

Rotunda
Grand Staircase


Wonderful Ceiling

The guide showed us important statues such as Princess Louise Caroline Alberta – fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Chief Crowfoot. When I heard the name of Princess Louise, I asked the guide if it is the same person of Princess named after famous Lake Louise and the guide agreed. Well, I learned that information from the tourist guide in Banff. I remember that Princess Louise was small lady. And I can see that in her statue in the Legislature Building.

Princess Louise Caroline Alberta

Chief Crowfoot


Next thing that the tourist guide showed us are the portraits of the person who became Alberta’s Premiers (head of the government). As of this writing I cannot remember anymore the names of the Premiers that was mentioned by the guide. Next, portraits that was showed to us are pictures of Alberta’s Lieutenant Governors (representative of the Queen). Then, the guide led us to the Mace Case. We saw two mace. One is the original mace and based from the guide it was made from scrap materials which was amazing. And I learned that the mace is a symbol of Legislative Assembly authority to make laws. The other mace was the current mace being used.

Mace case

Then, the guide led us the Legislative Chamber, but before that, we saw the picture of King George V and Queen Mary. One thing that the tourist guide emphasize in these two portraits of the King and Queen. The guide mentioned to us to look into their eyes and try to walk in either direction and we will see what is it. I followed the instruction of the guide and I found out that it seems that their eyes are following us like they are looking to us. I just realized how great that painting was.

King George V

Queen Mary

After the portraits, we went inside the Legislative Chamber. I was amazed on what I saw. The lightnings of the chamber was fantastic. The main door of the chamber seems to be fully crafted and the same thing with the Speaker’s chair. Inside the chamber, I saw the portrait of Queen Victoria.

Speaker’s Chair

Inside the Legislature Chamber

Last but not the least, I spent few minutes outside the building premises by taking lots of picture of the pool, fountain and the Legislature building itself.

Legislature Building with the pool

Zooming the front structure of Legislature Building

Left side of Legislature Building

The Fountain and Legislature Building


In the end, I had a great time inside and outside the Legislature Building.