Edmonton – Silent Capital City of Alberta

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Discovery : Snow Shoe (From Royal Alberta Museum)

Discovery (Post#4): Snow Shoe (From Royal Alberta Museum)

As I am looking for photo to post that belongs to my project – photo themes, while reading again my old post for the month of February which entitled Royal Alberta Museum – Edmonton (Part 8) I saw again the snapshot that I captured inside the museum. When I saw the old version of snow shoe I was amazed how people really creative and intelligent just to address what it needs to survive. This image was shot last June 2008 and this is part of my Edmonton photo collection.

Old Ski Shoe 2

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Athabasca Glacier

Columbia Icefield 1

Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#23) : Athabasca Glacier

As I live in tropical country, snowy mountains and glaciers are rare places to me. When I visited Canada, I had an opportunity to see glacier. And the most memorable experience I had was when I was able to walk at the top of one of the most famous glacier in Columbia Icefields part of rocky mountains in Canada which is Athabasca Glacier. And another notable thing I will never forget was the experience of numbing of my hand  after I tried to create snow ball and very thankful I brought gloves. Photo captured last May 2008.

Discovery : Banff Spring Snail Pond

Hot Spring Pool at Cave and Basin

Discovery (Post#2) : Banff Spring Snail Pond

The photo above is previously a hot spring pool that people used before but because of endangered species of Banff Spring Snail, it has been preserved since then for the benefit to preserve the said species. Banff Spring Snail is only to be found here in Cave and Basin National Park Historical Site located in town of Banff in Alberta Province of Canada. This national park is one of the great place to discover whether you are in Banff or just around the corner of Canadian Rocky Mountains. Photo captured last May 2008.

Panoramic View : Waterfowl Lake And Surrounding Mountains

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Panoramic View (Post#21) : Waterfowl Lake And Surrounding Mountains

When I visited Banff National Park it inspired me and awakens me that deep in my heart I love nature and specifically I love mountains. Banff for me was like a real paradise wherein every part of it were almost perfect with its natural beauty. Mountains together with the glacier and icy lakes made the surrounding so uniquely wonderful. The photo above was one of the pristine icy lakes that I found while passing Icefields Parkway which captured last May 2008.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Through My Lens – Jun 20, 2016
Our World Tuesday – Jun 21, 2016
Travel Tuesday – Jun 21, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – Jun 22, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – Jun 22, 2016
Watery Wednesday – Jun 22, 2016
Skywatch Friday – Jun 24, 2016
Scenic Weekends – Jun 25, 2016
In Heaven – Jun 25, 2016

Panoramic View : Lake Louise

Lake Louise with Victoria Glacier

Panoramic View (Post#12): Lake Louise

I visited Banff in Alberta province in Canada during the time where the winter was over recently. At that time, the switching of Winter to Spring season were still in progress, I got a chance to see Lake Louise in Banff where majority of its water are still solid as ice. The name of the lake was named after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta which was the 6th child and 4th daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. For what I know up to this moment, Queen Victoria still holds the title of the longest reigning queen of England unless the current queen which is Queen Elizabeth II able to break which she just need 2 or 3 more years to be able to hold the title. The middle in the photo is what they call Victoria Glacier. Photo captured last May 2008.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Skywatch Friday – April 22, 2016
Scenic Weekends – April 22, 2016
In Heaven – April 23, 2016
Through My Lens – April 25, 2016
Our World Tuesday – April 26, 2016
Travel Tuesday – April 26, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – April 27, 2016
Water World Wednesday – April 27, 2016
Watery Wednesday – April 27, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – April 27, 2016

Name Of The Place : Canada

Just a thought

Name of The Place (Post#8) : Canada

Before flying back to Manila, while roaming around in Vancouver International Airport, I saw an interesting thought which says “thinking canada”. It was true that while we were waiting for our flight schedule we already missing Canada. For a short period of time, I saw a lot of beautiful places that inspires me to continue exploring the beauty of nature that existing in our world. I never regret starting traveling and discovering the world we live in.

I have many posts that tackles my travel experience in Canada, both in Alberta and British Columbia province. As too many posts just visit Countries page to check one of them.

Panoramic View : Sulphur Mountain and Vermilion Lakes

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Panoramic View (Post#6) : Sulphur Mountain and Vermilion Lakes

Sulphur Mountain is just one of the beautiful mountains that can be found in Banff National Park which named after its hot spring on its lower slopes. Vermillion Lakes as per Wikipedia are series of Lakes formed in the Bow River valley, in the Banff National Park and at the foot of Mount Norquay. I had a chance to visit this place last May 2008 when I went in Edmonton at Alberta Province in Canada for work.

I created an old post regarding my tour in Banff National Park few years ago.
Birthday At Banff
Remembering Banff – Part 1
Remembering Banff – Part 2

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Skywatch Friday – March 11, 2016
Scenic Weekends – March 12, 2016
In Heaven – March 12, 2016
Through My Lens
Our World Tuesday – March 15, 2016
Travel Tuesday – Mar ch 15, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – March  16, 2016
Water World Wednesday – March 16, 2016
Watery Wednesday – Mar 16, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – Mar 16, 2016

View At My Window : North Saskatchewan River

DSC04550View At My Window (Post#6) : North Saskatchewan River

During my stay in Edmonton, one of the things that I tried in the city as experience and another way to look around Edmonton was riding the High Level Bridge Streetcar. The said bridge is located near Alberta Provincial Legislature Building. The photo captured when I got a chance to visit the capital city of Alberta which is Edmonton last June 2008. The bridge is now one of the tourist spot in the city because of its significant history.

As per Wikipedia, High Level Bridge links separate communities of Edmonton and Strathcona which combined to become Edmonton City today. The bridge was designed to accommodate rail, streetcar, automobile and pedestrian.

Other post related to North Saskatchewan River which published few years back
North Saskatchewan River – Edmonton (Part 5)

Name Of The Place : Fort Edmonton Park

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Name Of The Place (Post#6) : Fort Edmonton Park

As I am looking for next photos to be posted in this series of categories under “Name Of The Place”, I found this photo which just right here.

Fort Edmonton Park is located in Edmonton City, Capital City of Alberta Province in Canada, I captured this photo when I visited the park last May 2008. The park is heritage park which opens late spring season to show case the old days of Edmonton from its beginning up to the times it became a city.

I wrote a post years ago about my visit in the park in other blog site and I transferred it here.

Fort Edmonton Park – Back To The Past Tour – Edmonton (Part 6)

Panoramic View : Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewenka 2

Panoramic View (Post#5): Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka was one of the most beautiful lakes that I saw while touring in Canada. The view was really breathtaking. Photo captured last May 2008 during my three days visit in Banff.

Some of my Banff Adventure Stories:
Birthday At Banff
Remembering Banff – Part 1
Remembering Banff – Part 2

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in the following:
Skywatch Friday – March 4, 2016
Scenic Weekends – March 4, 2016
In Heaven – March 5, 2016
Blue Monday – March 7, 2016
Our World Tuesday – March 8, 2016
Travel Tuesday – Mar ch 08, 2016
Outdoor Wednesday – March  09, 2016
Water World Wednesday – March 09, 2016
Watery Wednesday – Mar 09, 2016
Wednesday Around The World – Mar 09, 2016

Panoramic View : Cascade Mountain

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Panoramic View (Post#2) : Cascade Mountain

The photo above is Cascade Mountain Side View which captured while I was near in Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park last May 2008 when I got a chance to visit Canada in short period of time. I can’t forget this park as this awaken myself to one of the things that I really love since I was in college which is mountain. Every time I saw mountains, I always think how beautiful the mountain is and wondering whats on it to experience. I love climbing mountain but never had a chance to climb an alpine mountain as I live in tropical country and what we have are tropical mountains.

This post has been updated to add the link of and to participate in Skywatch Friday – February 12, 2016 and Scenic Weekends – February 14, 2016

Alberta Aviation Museum – Edmonton (Part 9)

When I arrived in Edmonton last April 2008, I used to passKingsway Avenue every time I travel from my place where I live in Downtown in Edmonton to anywhere, I used to see an airport beside this road. Before I thought it’s the city’s or town’s commercial airport,  but it seems it’s kind of small for that purpose. And one thing that I noticed, few planes are landing to or flying from this airport.Then, I asked some of my colleagues that time about the place until I understand that it’s city’s airport that I used to see is not the international airport that I was thinking of. And as far as I recall, I had a long trip from Edmonton International Airport to Downtown Edmonton, and the airport that I saw is just near in Kingsway Avenue which is just a few minutes from the place  where I lived.
Edmonton City Centre Airport is also known as Blatchfold Field Airport where Alberta  Aviation Museum which I visited is located. At the front of the museum, you can see some of plane displays as a sign that the place is an aviation museum.
 I can’t recall the name for the above plane
but the small one on its right bottom is
Boeing CIM-10B BOMARC (1958)
McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo (1957)
Most of the photos I got seems I am part of the photo, and because of that I tried to crop and modified  (see some blurry part of the photo?) photo so that things that I saw inside or outside the museum are more visible.
 Canadair CL-13 Sabre I
Beech D18S-3NM Expeditor (1952)
De Havilland Mosquito B.35 (representing FB.VI) (1943)
There are more planes that I saw but I haven’t got of their pictures to show here. One of the unique things I experienced was when my buddy and I enter in Boeing 737-200 (1972), airplane, it is similar to the commercial plane we used to ride. And we were able to get inside the pilots area.
Inside Wester AirPlane (Boeing 737-200 (1972))
This plane above, I can’t recall the name, so spare me for this one.
There are more planes to see in the aviation museum, and the great thing about it, it displays earlier airplanes that we may not be able to see flying anymore in our current time because they are now just part of aviation history.

After enjoying the tour inside the museum I bought some souvenirs as my remembrance from this museum.

I hope you enjoy this little story of mine about my tour in Aviation Museum in Edmonton Alberta, Canada which happened last June 7, 2008.

Royal Alberta Museum – Edmonton (Part 8)

I started to write my story about this place, it’s almost a year that had been passed. But was not able to publish it in my blog immediately.
I visited Royal Alberta Museum same day when I went around Edmonton City, it was Saturday – June 7, 2008 . The tour I had that day started early in the morning, I also visited that day were Muttart Conservatory (just the vicinity area since it still under renovation), West Edmonton Mall, Alberta Aviation Museum, Government House and some historic places in Edmonton such as 24th Street. Well I considered that day as my Edmonton Day Tour.
Captured outside the museum
Captured inside the museum

For this article I will be focusing what I did and what I found in Royal Alberta Museum. Just additional information before I continue telling my story, after I visited two royal museums such as Alberta and British Columbia (in Vancouver), I quite understand that it seems that there might be another province in Canada that have their own royal museums. After checking in internet, I just found out that there is one in Saskatchewan and Ontario province. After I learned that, I felt good that at least I was able to visit two royal museums in Canada.

As far as I remember, it was more than an hour left when we went to Royal Alberta museum and it will be closed (the reason was, we visited other places and I never realized that museum’s will be closing that so soon). Because of tight schedule, we were so aware about the time but honestly, while looking to each exhibit in that museum, how I wish I have more time.

There are two levels in Royal Alberta museum. First level has portion where you can see lots of wild animals that had been preserved in some ways, they call it “Wild Alberta”. And for me, seeing those animals in up close and personal (although they are not moving anymore) was one of my amazing experience in that museum. There are lots of animals I saw in that gallery. I wish I can take pictures of all of them but that is impossible with short period of time that we had. The second level, composed of the gallery of Aboriginal Culture where you can see the earlier history of Canada. While in another room, you can view the Natural History Gallery for their beautiful stones and historic fossils.

Without further ado, lets begin my short journey in one of the beautiful museum I visited in Canada.

Wild Alberta

There are different kinds of zones in Wild Alberta.The following zones are: Borreal Forest Zone, Prairie Zone, Parkland Zone, Mountain Zone and Water Zone.

In Borreal Zone, I was quite exciting because I saw beaver that I felt like they were so real. I saw beaver while traveling in Banff but I am very far from it. Unlike in the exhibit I saw them closely and found how cute they are c”,). I also found some caribou, wolf, moose, pelican and grouse. And even I have less time to see it, I still take my time to take pictures of some animals there.

Beaver

In Prairie Zone, I had fun enjoying the view of eagles. The museum exhibits different kinds of eagles. And eagles are the raptors that I really admire. The other animals I saw were: coyote, mule deer and prong horn. I also post with huge bison, the animal that I can’t believe with an amazing size.

Coyote
Bison


Brown Bear

In Parkland Zone, I found birds and swans. This is the zone where the animals you can see in Borreal and Prairie were mixed. In this place, I enjoy the different sounds of birds tweeting in my ears. And most of the sounds soothes my ears. It’s really different in a place like nature, the only difference of the museum to the nature, animals through dioramas are enclosed in glasses and not in motion.

In Mountain Zone, I found the mountain lion which similarly look like a tiger. Honestly without notes at the front of diorama there, I will really think they are tiger. Other animals that I saw were bighorn sheep, grizzly bear and mountain goat.

Lion

Bighorn Sheep
Mountain Goat Kid

And in Water Zone, I saw different fishes that was enjoyable to watch but since I have limited time, I was not able to capture some photos from this area.

Syncrude Gallery of Aboriginal Culture

When I visited this part of the museum, I totally understand who were the first people lived in Canada. They call them “First People” or “First Nation”. While in this gallery it reminds me that this huge country of Canada has similarities in my own country Philippines when it comes to the first people. The way they live their life, like hunting is amazing. And the way they survive in the winter season. I saw a lot of unique stuff of Canada history.

snow shoe
Husky during winter season

I saw the old snow shoe and that was awesome. Then I saw the clothes that the “First Nation are wearing during winter. I was able to see the ancient tools they used for living like rocks. The life that first people did to survive during ancient times such as Bison hunting. Even the kind of shelter that they live in. I remember when I visited Fort Edmonton Park, and thinking the Fur Trading Era. It connects everything. Seeing a very old and unique stuff were wonderful. The gallery showcased the artifacts of history from Ice Age up to the modern times of Canada specially in Alberta. It’s really worth to know the Alberta history and of Canada as a whole.

Natural History Gallery


Since we just have few minutes left before the museum close, we tried to visit this gallery as much as we can. But even I tried to view all those stuff displayed, I still amazed and I can’t stop admiring the things I saw in this gallery. I took a lot of time, viewing the wonderful stones displayed. Every stones displayed there, struck me and I can’t believe I am seeing it.






Photos above are snapshot of different stones from a video since
I don’t have good photos of these magnificent rocks

Then, I saw the fossils display in the gallery where you can find the dinosaur bones located at the side of the room.




Dinosaurs bones and fossils

Photo snapshot from video
to see inside the gallery

For me everything I saw in the museums are made of artwork and passion for history. I hope you enjoy the little story I had when I visited Royal Alberta Museum last June 2008.

West Edmonton Mall – Edmonton (Part 7)

I do not have so much stories about West Edmonton Mall during my visit on this place. But one thing reminds me about this mall, I thought at first, that people living in Edmonton does not like going to the mall, because I have this impression in malls in Edmonton City. For instance, Bay Mall and City Centre which are both located in downtown but it seems like a ghost town mall for me. Why? One reason – I found few people visiting this place.
To my surprise, when I went to West Edmonton Mall for the very first time, there were lots of people inside it. When I realized that, I tried to find out why. Before I able to answer my own question, I need to stroll inside the mall.First reason, West Edmonton Mall is really huge, based on information that I got, this mall used to be the largest mall in the world, but China built two huge malls, West Edmonton Mall are now the third largest mall in the world and largest mall in North America. Can someone imagine how big this mall is? What will be your reaction if you will find out that there is a beach like resort inside this mall? When I heard this, I was shocked. I cannot imagine a beach inside the mall. I knew I need to visit West Edmonton Mall.

One of inside view of the mall (This photo was cropped,
there is a big fish sculpture and I was inside it)

I visited West Edmonton Mall twice. The first one was just to stroll around the place but I never able to take photos that time because I was not comfortable and there are lots of people walking around the place. After strolling around, I decided to watch one of the scheduled shows. I watched sea lions show. This show was the second sea-lion show that I watched. The first one was the time I had a vacation in Singapore. I recorded a video of the show as my souvenir, I was entertained while watching it. I was fascinated by the people who controlled the sea lions. For me, it takes a lot of effort on their side to have a show with special animals. And I can say that it is one of the distinct talent of human. The show can be found at Sea Lions Rock at Deep Sea Adventure inside West Edmonton Mall.
Sea Lion at Sea Life Cavern
Photos above is place to watch a sea lion show
Bridge at Sea Life Cavern
After sea-lion show, I visit Sea Life Cavern, wherein I saw a lot of underwater species. And I enjoyed watching creatures such as fish, sharks, sting rays, penguin and reptiles. During the time I visited the place, their was ongoing presentation done by one of the crew and she was explaining something about reptile bone.
The second time I visited this huge mall was happened last June 7, 2008 – Saturday, last Saturday I spent in Edmonton. I toured the mall together with my buddy at work. This buddy of mine likes a sister to me. She is also a Filipina who migrated in Canada together with her all family. Since she was with me, I got a lot of chance to take pictures of famous spot of the mall. Honestly, I tried to find photos inside this mall without myself and to my surprise all pictures that I have in this mall I was there.
All the pictures that I have are memories of this huge mall. Here are some of the famous place to be found inside West Edmonton Mall: Ice Palace, World Waterpark, Deep Sea Adventure and Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf. I also found the Chinatown place, The Galaxyland Amusement Park and Bourbon Street.

Ice Palace is a place to watch hockey game. When I visited this part of the mall, there are young kids (both guys and gals) were playing.

Ice Palace
I never tried to get inside “The Galaxyland Amusement Park” since I am too old to play in this place.

World Waterpark is the indoor beach-like resort where you can swim and just enjoy water. I actually like the slides built beside the resort. This resort has man-made waves wherein you will feel like you are totally in a beach. Edmonton has no beach because it is surrounded by land areas and this is the right place if you want to enjoy the beach like atmosphere. The people who enjoy the place are also the same people who enjoy the beach outside. They just either stay beside the water and enjoy the sun rays passing the glass ceilings of water park.


Inside World Waterpark
Parking beside Waterpark

I also found a bungee jump beside the world water park. I had fun watching the kids enjoying the jump. Next, we found the Deep Sea Adventure wherein I saw Santa Maria – a sea fleet with exact replica of Christoper Columbus Santa Maria. For me its a real classic boat. I also found some people who dine at the docking area of the fleet. Well, it is indeed quite cute for me as a place for a dating with someone.



Christpher Columbus Santa Maria fleet replica

My buddy and I continued strolling around the place until we found an awesome golf course place, Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf. This golf course is a mini golf course with lot of small areas to allow different players to play golf.

Professors Wem’s Adventure Golf

Chinatown is a place for Chinese restaurants and stores. While Bourbon Street is a place mostly for western restaurants and diners.

There were lots of things I saw in this mall and I did enjoy strolling around the place. But for someone who really wanted to explore the place, one day is not enough. Before I forgot, I also found the Fantasyland Hotel wherein I saw an architectural design which similar to Europe.

Fantasyland Hotel

That is all I have to say about West Edmonton Mall.

Remembering Banff – Part 2

If you read my second blog about Banff, now I am going to cite the story about my third and last day tour in Banff. I had been so excited for the past two days of my tour in Banff, but the excitement that I have still not perished in my last day tour. The main reason why I am still excited, I am going to Columbia Icefield in Jasper.

Ice and snow are the things that are not familiar to me because I am living in a tropical country. And I have been dreaming to experience snow or walk in ice.

Before we went to Columbia Icefield, there were other interesting places we visit. While traveling along Icefield Parkway (or Highway 93) – a highway road that you can see both Banff and Jasper National Park, I am stunned because of the rocky mountains in each side of the road. Because of the scenic view I saw, I became a rocky mountain lover. While inside the tourist bus, I took a lot of pictures of rocky mountains and I can say that I shot my digital camera to all mountains that my eyes can see. I cannot stop myself to admire those rocky mountains.

rocky mountains from Icefield Parkway

While on the road, we saw Crowfoot Glacier and I had been lucky because I captured a picture of it while inside the bus. Then, we stop over in Jimmy’s place. Before, I thought that was the real name of the lodge until I found out that it is the famous Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. in Icefield Parkway. The lodge was founded by Jimmy Simpson and it is located near in beautiful Bow Lake where you can see both Bow Glacier and Crowfoot Mountain. We had our hot chocolate inside the Num-Ti-Jah lodge and because of it we had a chance to view some of the arts and crafts created by Jimmy Simpson. We were also informed that the lodge was built by Jimmy with his own bare hands (based on history – he has no knowledge about building house and architecture) and that was really amazing. I also found out that the lodge will be probably become part of Canadian National Historic Site.

Crowfoot Glacier
Icy Bow Lake
Crowfoot Mountain
Bow Glacier
One of the rocky mountain
Num-Ti-Jah Lodge
Inside the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge

After Num-Ti-Jah lodge, we traveled again. We stop at the side of the road and after I got myself out in the bus I was surprised because of panoramic view of Mount Chepren and Waterfowl Lake. Mount Chepren has its own distinct shapes compared to other rocky mountains and the Waterfowl Lake adds beauty to the mountain. Waterfowl lake is amazing too, I saw most part of it as icy water (same like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake).

Mount Chepren and Waterfowl Lake from Icefield Parkway
Waterfowl Lake (with rocky mountains)

The next place we stop was where we had our lunch – the place was near in Saskatchewan River Crossing. We had our table where we were freely enjoyed the great view of North Saskatchewan River. I am wondering why it was called Saskatchewan River Crossing and I just found out from our guide that this great Canadian Heritage River is crossing other river such as Howse River and Mistaya River (but I never got a chance to see the other two rivers). While writing this blog, I remembered North Saskatchewan River is also the same river that I had chance to cruise in Edmonton (what a great surprise!!!).

North Saskatchewan River

After lunch we went back to the bus and started to travel again. And the moment I have been waiting for had arrived, we were in Columbia Icefield Centre. After the bus came into halt, I picked my winter jacket, my gloves and my bonnet hat, then I went outside the bus and of course I looked around and I took pictures as much as I can. We waited for our tourist guide to park our minibus. Then, he led us to the bus driver that will send us to the area where we can transfer and ride an ice explorer. Ice explorer is big wheel vehicle that was made for ice exploration at the top of the glacier. When I saw the ice explorer or the snow coach vehicle, I am surprised because it is so huge, I remember that the wheel is almost the same of my height. And another surprise is that the vehicle can carry a lot of people. After I got myself onboard in the ice explorer, I got my digital cam on and I both took videos and pictures while on our way to the top of Athabasca Glacier. Ice exploration was one of the great memories I had in Jasper and Banff National Park. I am not fully aware how is the feeling while walking at the top of the glacier. Speaking of Athabasca Glacier, I have information that this is the friendliest glacier that people can take to be able to go to the Columbia Icefield. Some glaciers are meant for the adventure extremist but Athabasca Glacier are meant for all type of people. Few minutes passed, we arrived in the top of Athabasca Glacier. The feeling was so great after I got out the ice explorer. There are lots of people at the top of the glacier . I saw different kind of people such as children, young, adult and old ones, all were enjoying the scenery. And my dream came into reality, I was able to walk in the ice that really thrilled me. And I am so glad because of the thought that I was near in the middle of the Columbia Icefield through Althasbasca Glacier. Walking in the icefield was exciting, fun and scary but I had a great time. Some people got fall in the icefield ground because some part of it is slippery due to solid ice, but even that was the case, people were all enjoying. I chose the part of the icefield with snow, then I tried to picked some snow and I made snow ball. After I did that I felt that my hands got numb (because of it, now I understand the feeling in a cold place like glacier). The experience was worthy and I enjoyed Columbia Icefield ice exploration.

Athabasca Glacier in Columbia Icefield
ice explorer or snow coach
Views in the glacier icefield
old snow mobile

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.

Birthday At Banff

For the past years, I celebrated my birthday usually with my family and close friends. Previous celebration was held with simple party. What am I trying to say here? The fact is, my birthday is being celebrated with people. I commonly received birthday greetings and gifts from dear friends. But this year, it was different.

Why I said it was different? First, I am out of the country. It means that those people who used to know my birthday was not with me this time. Second, most of them will not be able to contact me because I never gave my number to them (except to my family, my boss and some colleagues). Third, I never mentioned or probably the right word is “reminded” them that my birthday is almost coming or happening in Canada.

But, even this is the case, I have plans. My birthday will be happening in a different country which is totally a different place from what I used to be, I just thought that I have to celebrate it in an extraordinary way.

I was in Canada that time for training purposes and since I have this eagerness to see some places in this country, I planned to go out and see it. I went to Banff, Alberta (I am not sure who might reading this might say, you wanted to see “Canadian Rockies”). But to be honest, I just have this little idea what will I expected to see in that place. All I am expecting is to see beautiful places that are totally different of what I used to see.

Friday – May 16 (I went to work that day – because I have to), but I went home early because my bus schedule to Banff was 6:30 PM. I rode Greyhound bus (and I am very lucky because the bus station was just near the place where I stayed in Edmonton). Total travel time was five hours and there will be two station where the bus will stop: Red Deer and Calgary.

Since I am traveling to Banff alone and no one was with me and I am not familiar with the place, there was incident that I thought that Red Deer was Calgary. I am not listening to the bus driver when he mentioned that we were in Red Deer. One of the passenger just told me we were at Red Deer. From time to time I have been sleeping during my travel from Edmonton to Calgary. I arrived in Calgary around 10:30 PM. The next bus to Banff was 11:30 PM. The Calgary station was in Calgary downtown, I went outside the bus station and looked around the place. I saw the Calgary Downtown that night. It was pretty much similar with Edmonton Downtown. I never able to capture pictures because I am quite shy to the people passing on me. What I did was I remember as much as I can what Calgary Downtown look like that night.

11:00 PM, I went back to the bus station and waited until 11:30 PM (I am surprised because the bus that will be going to Banff will go to Vancouver too (during that time I wish I can go to Vancouver). Another thing, our bus driver was a woman who was surprising for me.

Few minutes after we left Calgary station, the bus got some technical problems and the driver decided that we need to go back to the station where we came from. It was the best decision she can made, and she told us that her most important responsibility was her passengers safety (which was great but I am kind of bit worried because I am supposed to be at my hotel in Banff at 1 AM – May 17, my birthday), we went back to the station and transferred to another bus.

I arrived at Banff station at 2:30 AM and no one was around. I am thankful that my boss in Canada gave me a mobile phone temporarily. I able to call a cab in Banff and the cab picked me up in the Banff station. I am at the front of hotel where I made my reservation and to my surprise they are telling me to go to another hotel, this made me confused and made me worried because it was almost 3AM in the middle of the morning and I am still outside of hotel in a place which I visited first time in my life and I am alone. I went to Ptarmigann Inn and talked to the hotel clerk, and told them that I had been instructed to go there. The friendly old men accommodated me and explained to me that I will check-in in Ptarmigann because the hotel that I made my reservation was full. I did not object anymore and I am thankful that I can go to my room and rest before my day will start.

3:30 AM, I went to bed and slept for four hours.

I woke up at 7:30 AM and prepared myself. The tourist bus picked me up at the hotel at 9 AM. I met Kevin, the tourist guide. Since I never had my dinner before I went to Banff, I am really hungry and requested Kevin if I can still order my breakfast. He agreed to me and he will be back to me after picking up the other tourist.



Around 9:30 AM, we were on our way to Banff National Park. First stop Johnston Canyon. I wondered that time, what we were suppose to be doing in a canyon. Kevin told us that we were going to hike in a canyon.







During the hike, I found out that Johnston Canyon has a very amiable trail. And I like Johnston Creek too because there were still ice at the side of the creek. There were three falls that we found while hiking the canyon. They called it the Lower Falls, first falls that we saw, then unnamed falls, but I call it Middle Falls since it’s between Lower and Upper Falls. The last falls was simply the Upper Falls. During the hike, Kevin talked about the Canyon (and I cannot remember it now). I prepared the hiking activities that was why I brought lots of bottled water and because of this my bag was heavy. During the hike I was accidentally fall while trekking the trail with solid ice at the ground and I was glad that not so much people around that time when it happened to me, even Kevin did not notice it. I enjoyed watching the creek and listening to the sounds of the water flowing into the creek. I like the mist of cold weather in the canyon. I also went to the small passage which similar to a cave passage so that I will be able to see up close and personal the Lower Falls. Then, we continued our hike. We saw the unnamed falls and for me its perfect too. Then we walked upward until we found the Upper Falls. The surrounding of Upper Falls were still ice. And I am thinking that this fall is more beautiful during summer season. After taking pictures around that falls, we descended the canyon. We were at the ground again past 12 PM.

Next, we move to Pilot Mountain lookout which just near the canyon since it was along the Bow Valley Parkway. We drove to the place and had a short walk up to the lookout view-point, I was really amazed in the view of Pilot Pond just near the Pilot Mountain ground. It has dark green color at the middle and light green color at the side. Pilot Mountain is one of the mountain that can be easily recognize due to its shape. Its distinct compare with other Mountains in Banff National Park. This was the mountain that I been looking after when we went out the Banff town site while on our way to Johnston Canyon.





After the tour in the morning till afternoon, I went home and had a short rest at the hotel. Then, at night I went for wildlife safari, I am somewhat curious what animals looks like in Canada. First, we went to Mount Norquay (for what I know this mountain is famous for skiing and other winter related activities). We went there hoping we could see some animals around the place. While on our way to the top, we found Mountain Goad Kid and while moving around we found deer. We stop in a lookout view-point in Mount Norquay wherein we can see the whole Banff town site and the valley itself.

















Next, we move to the Vermilion Lake hoping we can find some animals and we were lucky to find some birds near in the lake. Even though we never saw a lots of animals, I enjoy looking around the Banff National Park. I saw Mount Rundle and Sulphur Mountain while we were enjoying the awesome view of Vermilion Lake. I really enjoyed all the places we visited, I never regret that I decided to visit Banff during my birthday.

I hope I can comeback in Banff in the future.

Edmonton – Silent Capital City of Alberta

Two things I will never forget in this city. First, the people I met and second, the places that I was able to visit for a short period of time.

When I informed by my boss in Manila that I will be sending in Edmonton for training there was a part of me that was unhappy. Why? Because I never heard the name of this city. I never knew that this city was existed. I wish I had been assigned to Vancouver or Toronto, because these two cities are well-known to the whole world. But, it was not my wish that should be followed. It was work that was why I was sent in this city.

I arrived in Edmonton City International Airport at past 6PM or almost 7PM last April 26, 2008 and it was Saturday. I never got a chance to walk around the airport. Once I was out of the plane I looked for my luggage and find a cab that will drive me to Crown Plaza hotel where I stayed for my first five nights.

When I got myself out of the airport, I was excited because I was curious what Edmonton looks like. Along the way, I saw some snow at the side of the road which indicates that winter season just recently over. I saw some oil company buildings and structures and I learned from the cab driver that Edmonton has a lot of it. I also noticed that Edmonton is somewhat a flat place, no mountain or even hills. I also thought that the airport is just near in the city center but it’s not. My excitement decreased when I see nothing for a while aside from a flat land. Few minutes passed again, I saw houses and small buildings which was a sign of community. I was more thrilled when I saw buildings and towers which was a sign of being a city.

I knew to myself that one day was not enough to experience this whole city. I took all my time to go around the whole Edmonton which became an interesting place to discover.

Here are the highlights of Edmonton City that I found while staying here for almost two months.