Thursday, August 03, 2006

From Vancouver to Kamloops to Calgary


We are at Calgary where we arrived late 31 July after a trip via Rocky Mountaineer train from Vancouver. We left Vancouver early morning and arrived at Kamloops where we stayed overnight at the local Travel Lodge Motel. We then travelled day two from Kamloops arriving at Calgary late evening. The trip through the Rocky Mountains was delightful although two days was enough of looking at pristine scenery with zillions of pine trees and beautiful running rivers. The photo by Christina shows a freight train running on the opposite track across the river somewhere between Vancouver and Kamloops. There are numbers of lovely little townships, farms etc along the way and the houses display a totally different architecture from that we experience in Australia and are mostly wooden (as would be expected with so much timber about).

Calgary is an absolutely lovely city. The streets are wide, well laid out and clean as a pin. The suburbs are green, green with plenty of parks and gardens between buildings and roads etc. There are apparently around one million people in the region which is prosperous because of the oil income from Alberta oilfields. The Alberta province, unlike the others in Canada apparently has no goods and services tax that it adds to the Federal GST. So there is less tax here, however, locals are disappointed that there are only three hospitals in Calgary and believe there should be more.

Calgarians think of themselves as living in the "New West", which I found a little humerous given that they are hardly living in dusty isolation. Brochures talk about the Calgary Stampede event early in July each year and local cowboys and their white hats. Whatever it is called, it is a lovely place and it must be a delight to live here ... I'm sure I could handle the place for a few years, at least during the summer months. (God knows what the winters are like).

We depart here on 4 August by air for Toronto.

Best wishes

for Robin and Christina

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