Well it’s hard to believe that we’re half way through our stay in Calgary. We have seen a massive transition in the landscape, from the golden leaves of fall to everything being covered in snow, as it is today.
That said, it hasn’t really been a smooth transition into winter. The temperatures here can be highly variable. One day it can be 20 degrees and the next it can be snowing.
We were lucky enough to have a visit from my parents a couple of weeks ago. On their way to Washington DC for business, it wasn’t hard to convince them to stopover and see where we’re living. We met up in Banff on the Friday of Thanksgiving weekend and spent the long weekend driving the Icelands Parkway, which is a highway that traverses the Rocky Mountains at Alpine level. The Parkway took us up past a couple of glaciers and who knows how many alpine lakes to the town of Jasper. We then followed the highway back to the famous Lake Louise. We covered a fair distance over the three days, but this is rated as one of the most spectacular drives in the world and it didn’t disappoint.
One of the must dos in Calgary is of course ice skating, so we thought we would take the folks to the Olympic Oval speed skating track for a bit of a skate… with an expert instructor present of course. We established that it must be at least 15 years since either Mum or Dad had been skating, but there were no falls or crashes, only some great skating improvements over the week.
After a great road trip up through the Rockies we decided we would take a smaller day trip out to The Badlands. This is an area out to the Northeast of Calgary that is a totally different landscape altogether. This area is as flat and barren as the Rockies are tall. Despite this it is quite a significant area for fossils and dinosaur bones. The small town in the centre of it all is Drumheller, which is home to a fantastic dinosaur museum, a number of spectacular canyons and the airy Hoodoos.
Although we did see some spectacular scenery and do some pretty cool things while Mum and Dad were here, more than anything it was great to spend some time hanging out.
With recent loses from almost every NZ sporting team, we have made the decision to temporarily transfer our support to the Calgary Flames Ice Hockey team. We have been lucky enough to get hold of some tickets to a few of their home games. We have now been along to support our new favorite team on three occasions. Now our team haven’t been successful on every occasion, but they have far from embarrassed themselves. Of course the locals are crazy about hockey and the Flames, so the atmosphere is always amazing, even if they lose.
We have been trying to make the most of the last of the good weather, so yesterday we hired a car and headed back up into the Rockies to hike the Grotto Canyon. We followed a largely dry river bed up through the canyon and managed to catch glimpses of a few frozen waterfalls.
We are quite glad we took the opportunity to get out hiking one more time as it has snowed quite heavily over night, and they may prove to be our last time hiking… That is until we find ourselves some snowshoes of course.