Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Calgary: the Tucson of the North

I mentioned it in my last post, but I did some more traveling!

One of the best perks of my job is the great places it sends me. This time? Calgary, Alberta Canada!

It was yet another whirlwind trip with flying Day 1, working Day 2, cushion Day 3, and flying back Day 4. Fortunately, the work went smoothly so Day 3 was for exploring.

My coworker and I stayed at the Delta Bow Valley in downtown Calgary. The view from my 21st floor hotel room was amazing. The blur of light at the bottom of the picture was a fire truck. My room was directly above a very active fire house. I probably wouldn't recommend staying here if you aren't an incredibly deep sleeper.

It is quite amazing how clean and artistic downtown Calgary is. I feel like it's what Tucson wishes it could be. Tall, beautiful buildings. Clean, polite pedestrians. Actual things to do and see. And lots of weird, large-scale art.

With our bonus day, we hopped in the rental car and drove an hour and a half west to Banff. I was really excited to visit Banff after attending their traveling film festival the last couple of years.

I didn't really knot what to expect, though. Is it a town? Is it a national park? Is it a tourist site? It's kind of all of them. We arrived in the town of Banff, grabbed some lunch, and headed to the visitors' center to figure out where to head. Such a quaint town, stuffed to the brim with tourists.

Our first stop was to head to the base of Sulfur Mountain to catch a gondola ride to the top. 

The views from the top were amazing. It was almost hard to believe it's real. Mind boggling.

Off in the distance, you can see Lake Minnewanka. After heading down the mountain, we crossed the town of Banff to the lake and signed up for a boat cruise tour. I had just enough time to get an ice cream cone beforehand and spill it all over myself. It was worth it, though. Delicious Rolo ice cream...


Before our flight left on Day 4, we had just enough time to view Calgary from 525 feet up. From the observation deck of the Calgary Tower. I can't say I like heights, but the glass floor was trippy in a fun way.

I can't say Calgary was one of those dream vacations on my bucket list, but it was a great place to visit.

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