E is for Edmonton

Photo Credit

Welcome back, to the letter E of this year's A-Z challenge! 

Yesterday we explored Denver, CO, and today's destination Edmonton, AB, is not too far away, considering we already covered South Africa earlier this week!

As SWISS, our airline's only direct Canadian destination is Montreal, we thought it'd be best to fly Air Canada to Toronto!

After one of those nights (finally collapsing on our hotel bed after enduring a long-haul and a domestic flight, picking up our bags and rental car, installing our GPS, checking into our hotel and grabbing a bite to eat next door) during which we woke up at 1am, 3 am and 5am, it was finally 7am, a decent time to get up and take a shower. I knew it was almost 7 because I had quickly checked my watch. I was going to go about my business when I somehow felt I needed to consult it another time, and I did. This is what it said:

This must be a joke or a mistake!

Of course traveling to Canada in October does not guarantee perfect fall weather, and we came prepared and brought our warm jackets and shoes, but frankly I didn't expect a winder wonderland on our first day of our vacation!

Well, let's prove my watch wrong, this should be easy: with a quick move I opened the curtain only to basically freeze in my own movement. The street lamps shed enough light to confirm that there was actually snow falling.

It didn't even look like it was going to stick, but as we made our way to the car after breakfast we actually had to use an ice scraper to clean our windshield.

And it wasn't just the snow. Severe northerly winds were blowing, forcing us to explore Edmonton in short time instalments, meaning we basically went from coffee to coffee. Or pancakes. Or donuts. Tim Hortons' chilli bowl with grilled cheese sandwich quickly became our new go-to comfort lunch.

So on our first day we visited Rogers Place, home to the Edmonton Oilers. It conveniently hosts not only a hockey arena, but a casino and a coffee place :-)

Hello, Mr Gretzky, #99, the Great one!

Later we moved on to West Edmonton Mall, the largest shopping mall in North America, and it doesn't stop at shopping: there is an ice rink, a water park, a miniature golf course, a sea life cavern, movie theatres, bowling, you name it! 

You might spend en entire week there without getting bored!

The next day the snow had disappeared from most areas, the nasty wind had calmed down, the sun had come out, but temps had dropped even lower. Time for even the hubby to buy a hat!! 

After checking out Edmonton some more (read my separate post on bridges if you're interested) This one is the Walter Dale Bridge.

We made our way to Calgary where of course Colin insisted we'd check out the Flames' arena, called Saddledome, you can see it from the Calgary Tower:

Can you see the Rockies in the background?

We were strolling around in Downtown where we encountered the Wonderland Statue.

and later made our way to the Bow River and crossed it by using the Peace Bridge.

Next up Banff National Park. We still had to settle a score with this supposedly gorgeous area because 10 or 11 years ago when we visited it was ugly, so very foggy we couldn't see a thing. This time we got super lucky, look at this! Lake Louise at its best!

Banff village, so pretty!

Bow falls (looks like we followed this river or the other way round!) We even took up an old hobby and went on a geocache hunt!

Somewhere on our way, Kamloops bound. What a view!

I remember having had a hard time finding a place for dinner that wasn't a fast food restaurant. In the meantime, to my pleasant surprise, they opened an E is for  Earls Kitchen and Bar where you can have a nice meal in a cozy environment and a hockey  game - perfect!

How did that happen? I said I was gonna tell you about Edmonton, and we ended up in Earl's, Kamloops? Well, it's just another road trip with TheThreeGerbers as we call our family. I hope you enjoy tagging along and you'll be back because tomorrow I'm gonna take you to Florence, Italy! 

In the meantime find out what my fellow bloggers wrote about for their letter E!

No, wait!!!

Before you leave, you've got to attend this Canadian English lesson! Unless you can tell me what loonies, toonies, double-doubles, two-fours, KDs and tuques are! No? 

But if you've read this post attentively you do know what a Timmie is, ey?