Grouse Mountain – One of the Peaks in Greater Vancouver

I knew that Canada has a lot of wonderful mountains to offer that you can’t even count. I learned that since I went to Banff in Alberta province. While traveling in Greater Vancouver area, there were lots of places to visit that involves mountains as well and Grouse Mountain was just one of them.

Grouse Mountain is located at North Shore in North Vancouver, strategically located at the heart of Greater Vancouver. I learned that this mountain is popular for skiing during winter season and popular for tourist in any season. The great thing about this mountain is the overlooking of Greater Vancouver while at the top of it. It has skyrides where people enjoyed the surrounding scenic views without doing the difficult option of trekking the mountain.

Grouse Mountain skyride station
Grouse Mountain Skyride Station
Chain Saw Arts
Chain Saw Arts

The mountain was the last of the four places that we visited in North Vancouver as part of my more than half day tour, before my late night flight that day back to Manila. After the bus tour dropped us at Skyrides station, I hopped on in the Red Skyrides. During my rides to the top, I had a chance to see North Vancouver area. Like what I felt when I was in Whistler when riding gondola I got excited as I saw Capilano Lake, some part of Cypress Mountain and North Vancouver.

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After reaching the top of the mountain, I felt cold as I saw the surrounding with snow and iced which was a sign of winter season just over recently. Then I went where the grizzly bear can be seen, all people and myself had difficulty to see them clearly because they just keep hiding and hibernating in some branch of trees and logs in their cage, but I still I had a chance to see them though it’s just a quick one.

I spent sometime walking around the area and then I went back as per the timing we had in the mountain. I enjoyed my short trip in Grouse Mountain as another great places added to my discoveries. I rode the skyrides again to go back to my bus tour.

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Stanley Park – Vancouver’s First Park

It was Monday, June 16, 2008. I went to the office at Burnaby for a day of work and training. Then I met new people whom a friend of my colleague in my team. Without any careful plan that night I went out together with new friends that I met after inviting me to a walk in Stanley Park. I can’t be in a tour on that day because I’m still officially in business trip. These new friends invited us in a walk as they were aware that I just arrived few days ago and they knew that myself and my colleague were flying back to Manila the next day.

I remembered that our walk in Stanley Park took us few hours as the park is huge. Most of stroll that we did was walking around the edges of the park.

At the entrance of Stanley Park Aquarium

At the entrance of Stanley Park Aquarium

There were many things and scenic views that we saw while walking in the park. We started our journey from Stanley Park Aquarium which is the largest aquarium in Canada. We never went inside as we planned was to walk around the park and not inside the aquarium. We just took photos at the entrance of the aquarium as a memories in the place. Then we moved forward towards the walking trail facing Coal Harbour where Vancouver Downtown was visible. When I saw the area, I loved it. I got excited in the walk with a thought that the walk we were doing that time leads to some more discovery in the park.

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After enjoying sometime of panoramic views of Vancouver Downtown with Coal Harbor, we passed the 9 O’clock Gun and approach it shortly to had a glimpse of it since it was housed with rocks and metals which transparent to be visible outside for people who wanted to see what it looks like. We also stopped at Brockton Point Lighthouse where we spent some time to appreciate the place and played around the area.

Totem at Stanley Park
Totem-pole Display

Next, we found the Totem-pole display in the park. Staying for a while in Canada made me learn that even though most population in Canada come from Europe countries, in their history, they respect the local people before European discoverer came along. They call these first local people as First Nation and totem pole is one of the symbol of showing allegiance of the whole country to their culture.

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The walk continues and we had a beautiful sceneries of Vancouver Harbour and North Vancouver area. At this side of the park, I got a chance to see from a far one of the historic bridge in Vancouver which is the Lions Gate Bridge.

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At the walking trail at the Seawall in Stanley Park, we found Water Playground, which is a great place for fun not just for kids but for adults as well.

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We kept on walking at the edges or seawall of the park until we reached the bottom of Lions Gate Bridge. In this walk I had a chance to have up close and personal to the bridge. And I can say that the bridge is one of the magnificent bridge existing in the world today. The stroll continues until we witness the sunset at Burrard Inlet. After passing the bridge, we were facing West Vancouver and Vancouver Downtown.

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With Lions Gate Bridge Sceneries

After passing the Lions Gate Bridge, we got a chance to witness the sunset while walking the park. Along the way, we saw Siwash Rock and then we reached the Third Beach where we found many displays of stacked rocks nearby.

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Sunset from Stanley Park, looking towards West Vancouver

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Metropolitan Vancouver From Cypress Mountain

After Shannon Falls, we had an almost an hour in the road enjoying the sceneries along Sea To Sky Highway on our way back to Vancouver.

 

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Scenic Views along Sea To Sky Highway after coming from Shannon Falls

I thought that Shannon Falls was the last stop for my Whistler tour on that day. And yet we had another stop which was the last stop for the tour. We ended at Cypress Mountain Provincial Park. At first I did not know what to expect until I saw beautiful sceneries in the area. I can call the place a great lookout for the main reason that it has amazing location to appreciate the skyline and surrounding area of Metropolitan of Vancouver. The area we stopped in the park has a picnic area to enjoy time and great views. The provincial park is part of Cypress Mountain itself and located in West Vancouver near at Howe Sound.

 

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My Saturday ends so great for me. I had an amazing time for all the places that I had been to. I was satisfied that I had seen so much for one day. And I was really thankful for the wonderful chance that I had because I know I may not be able to do the same tour again in the future as I’m allowed to enter Canada once. I wish I will be to come back in the future in this beautiful nature country such as Canada.

Brackendale Forest and Shannon Falls

We went back in the bus after spending sometime viewing Tantalus mountain ranges at Tantalus Lookout along Sea to Sky Highway road. We hit the road again and after few minutes we stopped at Brackendale, which still part of Squamish.

We went out for a nature walk which is actually a forest walk. The forest we went in are actually part of a unique school in British Columbia, it is North Vancouver Outdoor School. Based from our tourist guide, the school introduces and teaches all about nature to young kids where the child experience outdoor fun activities. After hearing that from the guide, I wished that I was able to do the same thing when I was young since I love activities with nature.

treeSequoia Tree

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North Vancouver Outdoor School

Inside the forest, we saw mostly of sequoia trees, some were at the ground, some are standing tall. We also found some flora and fauna along our trail while walking under tall trees. We also saw a narrow stream of water which looks canal and swamp like.

I enjoyed the walk in the forest, walking in the forest is one of the things that I really love to do. The forest is one of the place that you can get yourself technically inside or between natures. Every time I am inside the forest I feel relax, calm and serene which rejuvenate my mind. The ambiance of the nature felt so refreshing and the green surrounding made me felt so alive.

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Views near Stawamus Chief on our way back to Vancouver along Sea To Sky Highway

After walking tour in Brackendale, the next stop was at Shannon Falls. I consider this stop as similar to Tantalus Lookout, wherein a great scenery was really amazing. I can’t believe what my eyes saw. The falls was really beautiful and the water flows were quite extraordinary and I can imagine the great force on it that looks like the streams of water tried to race to each other to go down to the ground.

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Shannon Falls

Squamish – With The Chief, Canyon and Tantalus

Squamish was one of the significant place that we passed while we were on our way to Whistler. Before reaching the town of Squamish, we’re able to have a short glimpse of Stawamus Chief (or The Chief), The Chief is a granite dome and considered to be one of the largest granite monolith in the world.

DSC05022Stawamus Chief (The Chief)

Next, to Stawamus Chief is Squamish town. Since I was inside the train and just passing by, I had a quick look at the nearby port and its surrounding area.

Squamish Port

Squamish Port

 

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Around Squamish Town

Few more minutes passed and we reached the beautiful spot which later I learned that it is Cheakamus Canyon. The first time I saw some parts of the canyon, I was already amazed. There is a river beside the train tracks and discovered that it is Cheakamus river. Aside from the river, I never thought that I will find a beautiful canyon. The train followed the tracks within Cheakamus Canyon. I got excited when the train slowed down and I got a better view of the canyon. Around the vicinity, we crossed river, creek and lake, all the sceneries that I witnessed fascinated me. The water flow in the streams in the canyon was breathtaking and I felt great with the beauty of the nature that surrounds the train.

 

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Cheakamus Canyon

 

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 Around Cheakamus Canyon

I honestly admired all the people involved in building the tracks in the early times. They made a great effort where to put the tracks of the train because I never disappointed for everything that I saw while traveling with Whistler train. They knew exactly the best spot where to be able to see the wonderful nature in Squamish.

 

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Cheakamus River

Another scenic view in the area that I saw was after we came from Whistler. The bus tour where I hopped on from Whistler Village stopped at Tantalus Lookout. The lookout is located exactly along Sea to Sky Highway (major road) from Vancouver to Whistler and vice versa. The lookout viewpoint is towards Tantalus Provincial Park where Tantalus ranges can be seen. The sceneries we’re all breathtaking, I never expected that few minutes stop in the highway was great indeed.

 

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Tantalus Lookout and Tantalus mountain ranges

Whistler – Warm Haven in Cold Paradise

Whistler becomes a buzz word while I was in Canada because the next Winter Olympics which will be happening in 2010 will be held in Whistler. I was so happy that I will be able to visit Whistler because I knew that I will not be around during the Olympic season. Before I even arrived in Vancouver, I had been planning my tour since I had only two full day weekends, two nights and half-day (just almost 5 days) to travel around British Columbia and I don’t want to waste my time just being at the hotel.

I was booked for Whistler Mountain and Forest Tour via Whistler Glacier Dome train last June 14, 2008. I booked the tour with Vancouver Landsea Tours and Adventures. Because the location of my hotel (Ramada Hotel) was in Burnaby, the tour company told me that they will not be able to pick me up from the hotel that I was staying. I was advised to go to Hyatt Regency hotel at Burrard Street. Therefore, I woke up early and went to the said hotel to join the group tour. After meeting my group, I was dropped off at the Whistler train station since my tour includes Whistler train.

Inside the Glacier Dome of Whister Mountauneer TrainInside the Glacier Dome of Whistler Mountaineer Train (quite blurred)

DSC04966 Lions Gate Bridge view from North Vancouver DistrictLions Gate Bridge (From North Vancouver District)

Vancouver View from West VancouverVancouver view from West Vancouver

Bowen Island view from West Vancouver Bowen Island view from West Vancouver

Whistler train station is in North Vancouver railway station, this was where the Whistler train left Vancouver. From the station, we passed  Lions Gate Bridge a suspension bridge that connects Vancouver to North Shore of North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

The train route follows the coastline of North Vancouver to West Vancouver near Marine Drive, then the rest of the tracks is almost parallel to Sea to Sky Highway. The trail seemed designed for a great train ride. The panoramic views along the Strait of Georgia, sceneries together with Bowen and Gambier Island from Lions Bay, Furry Creek and Squamish were really amazing.

Falls view from Moutaineer Train Falls view from Moutaineer TrainFalls view from Whistler trainDSC04990 View from Lions BaySome photos while on our way to Whistler (along Sea To Sky Highway)

DSC05013 Mountains near Squamish (on our way to Whistler) DSC05016Scenic view near in Squamish

Riding in a train like that seems like a cruise because the dome train I took was more luxurious than the other carriage of the Whistler train. The travel was comfortable and enjoyable. I admired everything that I saw all the way from Vancouver to Whistler.

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Almost at Whistler

Whistler Village

Finally, we arrived at Whistler Village. Because I booked Whistler tour via train, I was separated in my group tour on the way to Whistler, they came to Whistler via tourist bus. I met the whole group and the tourist guide again in the village. I remembered that our guide told us that while we’re in the village, we have free time to spend and try things that we like. The group agreed to come back at the meeting place in a specific time.

Whistler Mountaineer StationWhistler Train Station

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Some snapshots in Whistler Village

While in Whistler, I grabbed the opportunity to walk within the village. I was able to reach lake called Green Lake and found out that it was the Whistler airport station. Yes, it is the airport because it’s not the same like common airport we used to, it is an airport for a sea float plane, where small plane flies but lands in water either in harbor or lakes.

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Whistler Airport at Green Lake (and its surrounding area)

Since the area is being prepared for the upcoming Winter Olympics in 2010, there were constructions going on in different parts of the village, but the construction activities did not hinder the normal operations in the village and tourist keeps on coming.

Blackcomb Mountain

After walking for sometime around Whistler Village, I decided to ride gondolas to reach the mountain summit. I saw Blackcomb mountain booth. I bought the ticket and went on queue for gondola. The gondola that I saw in the area are open type gondola because it is the rides of people who does the skiing in the mountain during winter season and because the winter was over,  the same gondola brings tourist like me to reach the top of the mountain.

During my ascent to the summit of the Blackcomb mountain, I was able to see the panoramic views of mountains around the area. If I saw Rocky Mountains in Banff from the ground, I was overwhelmed because I witness different angle of mountains from the top. And because it was Spring season I saw some parts of the Blackcomb mountain that still have snow and iced which a leftover by Winter season. I was lucky that I was wearing winter jacket at that time because I experience the cold wind from the ground up to the summit. I spent some time at the peak of the mountain by taking photos, by just looking around 360 degrees and by appreciating all the things that my eyes reached. I never experienced a mountain like that before where it felt like the other surrounding mountains were so close to me. It seems they were all reachable and I could just grab them with my bare hands with the blink of an eye. I told myself how beautiful and great the place where I was standing.

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Panoramic Views at Blackcomb Mountain

I looked at my watch and decided to descend the mountain. I reached the ground of the mountain the same way that I reached the summit.

It was great to see a beautiful village surrounded by mountains. I was ecstatic and I never thought that a remote place like Whistler is a beautiful community covered by natures wonders. It was really a wonderful place for me. I really enjoyed my walk along the village and my rides in gondola. Discovering the place from the ground, from the sky and from summit made my experience memorable.

My group tour met together again. And in few minutes we left Whistler Village and we started driving back to Vancouver.

White Rock In British Columbia ?

I arrived in Vancouver the next day, Friday June 13, 2008. From the airport, I went straight to the hotel (Ramada Hotel in Kingsway Burnaby) then rested for a while. After sometime passed, I went to the company branch office in Burnaby Vancouver where I had a chance to meet the whole team there. Here I also met my colleague from who was assigned in Vancouver while I was assigned in Edmonton. After meeting people, my colleague and I undergone some hours of knowledge and training sessions with few people in the team. The day finished so fast and I never realised that it was almost evening.

Because there was Filipino team member in Vancouver and we somewhat closed to him since he was the one came to Manila and interviewed us, he offered us some time to see places nearby. We went to Surrey City and  drove down to Vancouver-Blaine Highway. At first, I never realized that we were going to the border between US and Canada until we arrived at Peach Arch Provincial Park, the area wherein anyone can be in two countries in one time. There is a part of the park called Peach Arch that once you stand on it, it means you are standing in two countries at the same time. When I learned that fact, I was really excited, I never been to US and that was my chance to be in US for a short period of time. Once we cross the arch, we were already in US and once we cross back again, we were in Canada immediately. We spent some time for photos around the area until we decided to leave the place.

Peach Arch Provincial Park

Peach Arch Provincial Park

Peach Arch Provincial Park

Peace Arch Provincial Park

Road to USA

Road to USA

Road to USA

Canada Flag Garden at Canada (Surrey, BC) and USA (Washington, DC) BorderCanada Flag Garden

USA Flag Garden at Canada (Surrey, BC) and USA (Washington, DC) BorderUSA Flag Garden

Peach Arch GardenPeace Arch Garden

Crow in Canada and USA borderCrow found in Peace Arch Garden

Peach Arch

Peach ArchPeace Arch

Next, we drove down along Marine Drive in White Rock, where we saw scenic bay views in the area. Here we saw Semiahmoo Bay, Pier, the city itself and even the legendary historic White Rock while walking around the area. The place is a western coastal area where there is a main road near the coast and along the road are restaurant lane that people can enjoy seafood with beautiful bay views. I like the place because the city that located near in any body of water such as sea, lakes or rivers has different atmosphere compared to urban cities.

Marine Drive

Marine Drive

Marine DriveMarine Drive at White Rock

Semiahmoo Bay

Semiahmoo Bay

Semiahmoo Bay

Semiahmoo Bay

the sea

the sea

Semiahmoo Bay

Semiahmoo Bay

Semiahmoo Bay Snapshots

The Pier from Semiahmoo Bay

The Pier from Semiahmoo Bay
Semiahmoo Pier from Marine Drive

Semiahmoo Bay

Semiahmoo Bay

Side Views Snapshot from Semiahmoo Pier

The PierAt Semiahmoo Pier looking towards the bay

Some boat at the Pier

Some boat at the Pier

Some boat at the Pier

Some small boats and yachts at Semiahmoo Pier

Semiahmoo Bay from The Pier

Semiahmoo Bay

Semiahmoo Bay

White Rock City View from Semiahmoo Pier

Semiahmoo Bay with the train passing by and the white rock

White Rock City View from Semiahmoo Pier with train passing by

Historical White RockLegendary and historical White Rock

The Pier

Semiahmoo Bay from the PierAt Semiahmoo Pier looking towards White Rock

Maple TreeMaple Tree (Famous Trees in Canada and why Canada has Maple Leaf on its flag)

It was a quick tour since we sneak out some time after work and the last stop we had that night was at restaurant (I can’t recall the name because the surrounding area are full of seafood restaurants) located at Fisherman’s Wharf in Steveston Richmond, where we enjoyed seafood as our dinner and bay wharf views.

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.

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

Almost one year passed but my visit in Canada still memorable with me, maybe because I loved the places that I saw in this country. For the last weeks that I stayed in Edmonton, I considered visiting a famous park during spring and summer season. I remembered that I planned to go to Fort Edmonton Park last May 24 2008, Saturday but what happened that day was I took a bus going to the park and the bus stopped at the park bus stop but suddenly I changed my plan and I went home.
Fort Edmonton Photo mixed
The actual tour at Fort Edmonton Park did materialized last May 31 2008, Saturday. That time, I was firm in my decision to see the park or else I will not be able to visit it anymore. I went at the park in the afternoon. But before going to the park, there was incident that I waited for an hour for the bus going directly to the park. I was in Alberta University bus stop station that time because I got a pamphlet of bus saying that it goes to the park every weekend, but my mistake was that, the bus schedule was only Sunday and not Saturday. After waiting for an hour, I decided to take a bus going to West Edmonton Mall since it will stop either in Whitemud or Fox Drive bus stop which near in the park.
Almost near at the entrance gate? Not yet..c”,)
After arriving at the bus stop, I thought the entrance gate was near, but I walked for a while until I reached it. My curiosity to visit this historical park started when someone from the office mentioned to me that what I can see at the parkland are the old days of Edmonton, 18Th to early 19Th century period of the city. And another one told me that I will see people wherein they will reenact the old century time and for me that was amazing.

First thing that greets me after I bought my entrance ticket to the park was the old train and they call it steam train. Honestly, I only saw this kind of train from the classic movies that I watched and I was kind of thrilled after I saw it. And I told to myself, “I think I am going to enjoy this tour.”

The People and the Streetcar
Inside the Streetcar
Egge’s Barn and Bunkhouse at 1920 Street
Blatchford Field Air Hangar at 1920 Street
Hotel Selkirk at 1920 Street
Fire Hall & Town Hall & Police Station at 1905 Street
Ernest Brown Studio at 1905 Street
Fire Hall & Town Hall & Police Station at 1905 Street
Reeds Bazaar & Tea Shop with Ernest Brown Studio at 1905 Street
At 1905 Street
Next, I went to the streetcar station near the steam train station. And I waited for the approaching streetcar. I saw a lot of people inside it. And I knew they enjoyed the trip. I checked my park map and found the trail of the street car. I decided to take a ride because I knew I do not have enough time to stroll around the parkland. While riding with the streetcar, I saw 1920’s and 1905’s street together with the houses and building structures during those time. And I felt like I was living in the past for a moment. Since it was a short ride, I grabbed all my chance to take pictures. Based on the pamphlets that I was holding, 1905 is called as Municipal Era wherein I found few churches, post office, Bank of Montreal, Fire Hall and Police Station.
On my way to steam train station
Steam train
Steam train
Hotel Selkirk and Blachford Air Field Hangar
1920’s Midway and Exhibition
Inside the steam train
After the streetcar rides, I went back to the steam train station to experience the classic train. What do I expect in the steam train? One was the whistle sound of the train which the same of what I heard in the movies. Before I hopped in to the train, I approached one woman dressed in 18Th century and I requested if I can take picture with her and she agreed. There were lots of people inside the train. Mostly were families, parents and their kids. The last stop of the train was near at “The Fort” (Fur Trading Area), I walked for few minutes until I reached “The Fort” gate. “The Fort” was a place for fur trading and what I saw was a place in its earlier time from late 17Th to 18Th century. “The Fort” showcased what the community looks like during the old centuries. The place also shows the architectural design of home which made of woods and houses with small windows. Most of the houses has its brick fireplace and chimney. Not only the walls shows its era, but also the flooring, the tables, chairs and beds. While looking inside the houses I felt like I was living in the past again. While wandering the other part of “The Fort”, I am wondering the purpose of fur and I realized that Edmonton is located near North wherein the weather is winter more than a half year round. I can imagine that people living in this place needs fur for the winter season. And Canada has its native people which they call it “First Nation” which are Indians and their life used to hunt animals and the skin animals are being used as a fur. After “The Fort” area, I continued the exploration of this historical park. I found Native Camp wherein I saw an Indian lady (which represents first nation of Canada). I had my photo with her as my souvenir. I found an open store and I bought a boat display to remember Fort Edmonton Park.
Fort Blacksmith Shop
Fort Blacksmith Shop
Inside Clerk’s Quarter
Fort Indian Trade Store
Sundial at Fort Courtyard
Chess at Rowand House
One of the guest room at Rowand House
Kitchen at Rowand House
One of the guest room at Rowand House
Kitchen at Rowand House
Indian trade Store
Native Camp
Native Camp
Next destination was the 1885 street. The street called as Settlement Era. From this place I found school, carpentry shop, jewelry, Methodist church, drug store and bakery. I checked almost all building structure in this avenue. I was amazed for all the things that I saw. A truly 1885 street. The avenue, shows that during this time, the people lived that time showed that their lives improved compared with fur trading time.
1885 Street
Raymer’s Jewellery

Inside Jasper Hotel
Inside Jasper Hotel



Kenneth McDonald House
1885 Street


Peter Erasmus House

Lauder’s Bakeshop & Residence at 1885 Street
Inside the Methodist Church at 1885 Street
1885 Street
Jasper House Hotel
Daily Drug Store & Dr. Wilsons Office at 1885 Street
Kelly’s Sallon at 1885 Street
Henderson Round Barn

After 1885 street, I continue strolling up to 1905 street, I found a barn and farm house. Then, some of the stores which already closed because its past 6PM. It made me sad but I can not do anything about. There was no train anymore and because of that I have to walk from 1905 to the exit gate. I passed again the 1920 lane. And what I did was capture scenery as many as I can.

At the entrance / exit – Steam Train Station
Edmonton Park Entrance


Fort Edmonton Park

The trip was great and I titled it as “Back To The Past Tour”.

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

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.

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.

Downtown / City Center – Edmonton (Part 2)

Downtown was the place that excites me when I was on my way to my hotel from the first day I arrived in Edmonton. I planned to go out that night after I checked-in to my hotel at Crown Plaza which located in downtown and rested for a few hours.
Edmonton Downtown (mixed photos)

When I heard the word downtown, the impression to me was that this is a place where most of the people go. This means that this is a busy place. I went outside the hotel to walk around the downtown at past 9PM. That night I saw City Centre Mall, Bell Tower and other shopping store. But to my surprise, most of the establishments were closed and I did not expect it. I was surprised because downtown looks dull to me that night and I saw few people around. I cannot stop myself to compare this place to cities we have in Philippines. Weekend made the cities busy too. There are lots of people outside, malls are open until 11 PM. When I was in downtown, I was a little bit shocked. Since mall were closed that time, I had difficulty to find a restaurant that I can have my dinner. I stopped at the front of Bell Tower and decided to take a cab and asked the driver to drive me to the nearest open restaurant. The cab driver brought me to a Chinese restaurant. I was glad because I can eat rice. The driver waited for me and he drove me back to the hotel. First night, was not that pretty much excited but I have a lot of time to enjoy Edmonton.For almost two months of staying in Edmonton, one thing that I can say about downtown is, it is a busy place during weekdays but dull or I can say ghost town during weekend. Weekdays because most of the offices are located here and lots of people are working here.When I met my colleague at work, I had a chance to dine in different restaurants in downtown. The following restaurants are Co co di,Haweli, Sherlock’s Homes and Kids In The Hall Bistro. I had a chance to eat at Courthouse Cafeteria too. There was another place where my colleague used to eat. I can’t remember the name now. It is located in the food court. All I can remember is the name of the owner. They call her Amy. I just like to mention it here because, there is something especial in this eatery. Since it was located in a food court, there are other diner near in Amy’s eatery but to my surprise, most people or I can say all people are falling in line with Amy’s eatery while none will be seen in other diner. Sometimes I pity the other eatery because competition to dining business does not really exist. It is like monopolizing the dining business in that place.Few days passed, some of my colleagues walked me around the Citadel, Canada Place, Sir Winston Churchill Square and City Hall. One thing that I noticed in places in downtown. There are connected ped ways to each building structure. And I learned that its purpose is not to go outside especially during winter season.

Canada Place
Shaw Conference Centre

Magnificent Fountain at the front of City Hall

City Hall

100 St

I was lucky when we visit City Hall, the reason was I met one of the councilor of Edmonton City. But unfortunately I did not bring my camera to have a picture with him.

I admired the city hall because it has a great and distinct structure of the building. It has a pyramid glass ceiling and impressive fountain at the front of the building. I remembered that one time, when I planned to stroll again at the downtown, I witnessed a high school graduation event in city hall.

Most of the prestigious hotel in Edmonton can also be found in downtown like Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, The Westin Edmonton, The Sutton Place Hotel, Crown Plaza Chateau Lacombe (where I stayed during my first five nights in this city), Courtyard by Marriott and a lot more.

Fairmont Hotel MacDonald

The condo unit where I stayed is along 104Th street. One Saturday morning, I was surprised when I went outside, there is a market along 104Th street. And people are coming by. Then, I realized after I checked some of the features of Edmonton downtown guide, that 104Th street is what they call city market. I did look around and found a lot of stuff being offered, plants for gardening, foods and souvenir stuff

Bell Tower at Downtown Edmonton

104 St

Grant MacEwan College

102 Avenue

102 Avenue from The Bay Mall

102 Ave corner 102 st

During my last day tour in Edmonton which happened last June 7, 2008 – Saturday, with my buddy at work. I had a chance to see what is inside the Shaw Conference Centre. During the time we went there, there is ongoing convention and to my surprise Shaw Conference Centre is vast and huge place. And like to add also that I cannot forget that my buddy and I tried to ride the slant elevator just for the experience. Well the ride was cool.

When I was strolling around downtown, I met few Filipinos at the front of City Hall. Unlike me, they are in Edmonton for contract working. They were also new in the city that was why they were also touring the place. Because of them, I had a chance to have some pictures of places in downtown with myself. I was really thankful because I met them.

TELUS Plaza, what can I say in this place? Of course, TELUS Tower is great and I like the open plaza, where you can just sit there and enjoy the beauty of the place. But there is one place that I really like, I don’t know what they call on that part of the plaza, most people do smoke in this place but I like the view, because I can see North Saskatchewan river and the panoramic view of south part of Edmonton. It was a really nice view.

Telus Plaza South (2nd Highest Building in Edmonton)

I also had a chance to see the Little Italy. A place where buildings and houses looks like of course in Italy during my unplanned tour in Edmonton together with some friends I met at the church.

Another experience I had in downtown is watching ball games. How can I forget my first ever ball game that I watched in my entire life. I am not really a sports person but when I found out that David Beckham will be visiting Edmonton and will play football game, I bought a ticket and watched his game. I went to Commonwealth Stadium after the office and I had this experience where the LRT station are full of commuters, this was the first time that I saw a lot of people inside the LRT station, because my previous experience most of the time especially during weekend, not so much people riding the train. These people will watched Beckham games. Based on what I heard while inside the stadium, the people dropped by to watched the game was reaching 35000 and for me that was significant number. During the entire game, people are yelling of Beckham games, especially women. They loved David Beckham.

I can say that I have a lot of things that enjoyed in downtown, lots of places that I had been, and a lot of people who I met. And I think this ends my story at Edmonton Downtown.

Telus World of Science – Edmonton (Part 1)

Maybe the people who read this might say “Are you a kid?”. And one thing that I will respond to is a smile. Telus World of Science is a museum where most of the kids and children go. The word science itself is enough to say that it’s a museum to educate children most of the time but adult like me will also benefit to this kind of place. For me, any museum is fascinating, because I know that I will be learning something or I will be discovering something in this place.

Inside the EPCOR Environment Gallery

I visited Telus World of Science last May 30 2008, Friday. I came from the office, then I went home to the condo unit where I stayed and I took a bus to go there. Since I was never been there before, I used my Edmonton Map (it was actually an ETS – Edmonton Transit System map). I found that there was a mall before the museum – its Westmount Centre. I took a bus from downtown to Westmount station and I rode another bus to Telus World of Science. Well, discovering a way to go to somewhere around Edmonton was one of the exciting experiences I had in this city.Since I visited the place during the weekday, there were few visitors inside the museum. And most of the visitors I saw were children together with their parents. I went to the counter and inquired how I will be able to get a tour inside the museum. The officer explained to me, then, I paid a ticket and one of the crew did a brief orientation. I have a map and it helps me to find myself where I am. First, I went to EPCOR Environment Gallery where I discovered where Edmonton is getting the source of their electricity. Next was Allard Family Gallery where I found the “Body Fantastic”. Then, the next thing I did was watched an IMAX movie “MUMMIES – Secrets of the Pharaohs”. Last but not the least I did was, I went inside the Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre (Canada’s largest planetarium dome theatre) where I experienced a 3D star and laser light shows. I am a frustrated dreamer of being astronaut, and when I was able to see the show, all my dreams of being astronaut are all coming back to me.

Main Entrance
Telus World of Science

Before I leave Telus World of Science premises. I also found observatory with lots of telescopes RASC (Royal Astronomical Society of Canada) Edmonton Centre. And I was lucky because I was able to view one of the star named Acturus using one of the huge telescope and I saw a wonderful star that looks like a planet.

One of the Telescope from Observatory

All I can say was I really had a great time visiting Telus World of Science. If I will have children someday and I will be given a chance to go back in Edmonton, I will definitely bring my kids in this place.

Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park

I just like to create a simple blog about Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park which located in North Vancouver, at the province of British Columbia in Canada. Why I admired this park? I admired this park because I like the look and feel of a forest with a sense of tourist friendly. Why? Basic reasons: abundant tall trees, different kind of plants and of course the cold green color of the forest. And why I said it is tourist friendly? Because it has a friendly trails to trek which I knew built for the tourist.
Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park Collage

Entrance

Friendly Trail

While inside the park I found Totems and the area is called as “Spirit Stage”. Based on Canada history, Totems are important to the First Nation people in Canada.

 
Totems at Spirit Stage

Next to Spirit Stage is the popular suspension bridge (although this is not the original suspension bridge built before). It was renovated for the safety of the travelers like me. My favorite part , jumping while crossing the suspension bridge, the feelings were mixed like jittery, breathless yet exciting. Before I forget to mention, the river under the bridge is the Capilano River.

Capilano Suspension Bridge
 
Capilano River

During my visit I discovered that there are plenty of small and narrow suspension bridges inside the forest, these bridges are connected to one another using trees, they called it “Treetops Adventure”. I enjoyed walking in the Cliffhanger Boardwalk and I liked looking at the flowing river – the view was extraordinary. I also found some small swamps inside the park, these swamps made me remember that I am inside the forest. Not to mention also, I did not miss the Canyon Lookout to glanced the Capilano River in a different angle. Visiting this place was really worth for me since I love forest.

Treetops Adventure

Cliffhanger Boardwalk
Capilano River from Cliffhanger Boardwalk
swamp inside the forest

I like buying souvenir stuff that was why I enjoyed the shopping stores located inside the park and I bought post cards. There are also coffee shops and restaurants inside the park, they kept myself glutted.

I highly recommend to visit the park to anyone who loves nature.

Notes:

1. Plan to visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park ? Check more details here.

Address :
3735 Capilano Road
North Vancouver, BC
Canada V7R 4J1

Tours : There are lots of tours available that offers the visit in the park and it can be combination with other tourist spot too.

Not on tours? : The park offers free shuttle bus coming from Vancouver Downtown. For more details, please check here.

2. Directions

Using Bus

From Downtown, take bus #246 and get off at Stop#54391 – NORTHBOUND (NB) CAPILANO RD AT WOODS DR.  Then take, bus#236 and get off at Stop#54304 – NORTHBOUND (NB) CAPILANO RD AT 3600 BLOCK.

Using Seabus

Take the Seabus from Waterfront Station, to Lonsdale Quay Station. Then take, bus#236 and get off at Stop#54304 – NORTHBOUND (NB) CAPILANO RD AT 3600 BLOCK.

For more details visit, Translink.