And finally……………..

If you got an email from me asking for a “FAVOR” bin it. Someone has made off with my email address book. If you reply, it says I’m in the Ukraine without any money to get home. After six weeks in Canada, probably the last place I would be. Help, I’m a prisoner in Waitrose in Yateley, would have been much nearer the mark!

DSC02272Till the next time, be lucky.

M & M πŸ·πŸ·πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Thursday: bye bye sooty, bye bye.

At leisure in the B.A. lounge. It’s not at all bad; wine, optics and glasses! The meal last night, same restaurant was delicious and that taxi ride back was only seven dollars. Seven dollars! If I’d known that I would have had much more fun at the golf club. 😜

This morning a fond farewell to Jackie and Daphne, (Jackie is on the left!) and we set off like intrepid explorers in the snow showers, towards Calgary. Mary couldn’t say goodbye to the Rockies because unlike last night at dinner, you couldn’t see them!

Totally undecided what to do; park and go in by train, drive into town or ditch the car and the bags at the airport and get a bus into the city. In the end, as the weather was very iffy we plumped for ditching the car, leaving the luggage in ‘left luggage’ a phrase one of the many airport folk just didn’t understand. It was a bit of a four candles moment, until we changed left to stow and luggage to baggage. The bus for $10 each took us downtown. We arrived in time for lunch at a fantastic old bank, “Bank and bacon,” it still had the old vault downstairs.

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Such a great place to stumble upon, for stumble upon is what we did, no one had recommended it.

The cloud had cleared a little so we decided to ascend the Calgary Tower and the view was indeed not bad. In fact probably slightly better visibility than the disappointment the day before of the Gondola.

Again no one told us about it, except our lovely neighbour Mike (my partner in crime for neighbourhood watch!) who said it was pretty worth it on a clear day. I can’t remember exactly the cost but it wasn’t an arm and a leg. What he failed to tell me was there was another see through glass floor.😱😱😱 Mary was undaunted!

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Just looking at this picture makes me feel slightly queasy! And no, Mary looks adorable……..so not that! Bus back to Airport, coffee and relax. Check in opened at Β 6-20 and we are now safe in the arms of the B.A. lounge and staff and all the helpers around seem to be cowboys.

So, so long Canada it’s been wonderful. Thank you Audley Travel for such wonderful back up, which we did need at one point, sorry! Thank you the Wedgewood Hotel you are my favourite hotel of all time. Thank you to all the people we met on the way. “You’re welcome. Perfect and awesome, are phrases I will try not to use but after six weeks……😱 It’s going to be a hard habit to kick. Oh yes, and thanks to the bears, the whales, the bald eagles and all the other wildlife; please if someone asks you to keep them safe, believe me………..you should.

Over and out folks, that’s a wrap. Till next time?

M & M πŸπŸπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸΎπŸΎπŸš‚πŸš‚πŸ¦…πŸ¦…πŸ¦…πŸ‹πŸ‹

Wednesday: One more sleep. So long and thanks for all the fish 🐟 and Bison!

 

Away then on Tuesday morning (we will catch up) and off along Highway 40, the highest pass ultimately in Canada. We got quite a way up but not right along, stopping at Kananaskis Village, a winter ski resort and ended up at Kananaskis Lake, where we ate the buns we had purchased in the village. So let’s start with flags at the Nordic Centre, we visited on our first afternoon in Canmore. And then the bars that went with the buns and the phrase “Oh, Matron!” kept springing to mind.

 

Highway 40 was a joy in that it was mass tourist types free. No major groups jostling for position with great big lenses and selfie sticks. Just almost Mary and I once more inhaling the wonderful scenery.

 

And talking of inhaling; the best air in the WORLD came through the bedroom window at the Great Bear Lodge. So many things about that place keep coming back to remind us of the outstanding time we had there, that we are already saying, “You know, maybe we should go back.” Audley N.B.

 

It is odd how the Canadians combine hunting with nature conservancy; it is a strange tightrope they walk, that has many question marks around the whole topic. And boy we have come across some signs we have never seen before.

 

However, back to my remark about how friendly they all seem and I realise I then flagged up a Glaswegian and a lady from Taiwan as an example. Well let me tell you the real Canadians are also truly genuine folk. And I know most people we come across are in the service industry but there is service and there is service and once you accept that when they say, “You’re welcome,” or ,”Perfect!” that they actually mean it then you are in a truly happy place. The scale of what we have seen is beyond description but this photograph of Mary’s does bring it home; if you look closely, there is a tiny path amongst the trees, if only someone had been walking along it in a red coat, a judge at the camera club would say.

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Last nights meal was at a very splendid restaurant called Murrieta’s Bar & Grill and we both plumped for the bison Mary having tasted a little of mine at Baker Creek. The couple on the next table did leave us to believe that the art of dinner time conversation is now absolutely dead.

 

Dawn and it was very misty. Undaunted we headed for our Gondola ride in Banff. Stopping at Minniewanka Lake (Stop it! Just stop it!) in the hope that the sun might break through.

 

It didn’t, so we did go up as the guy at the ticket booth told us that tomorrow would be even worse, especially snow wise.

 

So we went up in the Gondola (why not cable car? No, I’ve already asked that) and couldn’t see much at all except more snow!

So a quick bowl of soup. Two soups! Hello, used that one before too!

And down to the town and quick wander in the rain β˜”οΈ. The fudge shop got a visit, that I had seen one of my LWT chums post about a couple of weeks ago and then back to write the blog and pack.

The ones in the picture are called bears claws! And so Mary found her shop and at last we did see a Mountie and with memories of the Gondola we headed back to Canmore.

That’s it folks. Tomorrow an afternoon at ‘leisure’ in the B.A. Lounge in Calgary. The morning? I’ll think we will just potter in town; our flight isn’t till 10-20. If I can’t post from the B.A. lounge, I will post the last post from the U.K.

Thanks so much for joining us, it has truly been a blast. Mary mused last night and tonight, (back at the same restaurant and with Prosecco, Halibut and a taxi back!) that we have had some great meals, met some awesome people, seen the most spectacular scenery of our lives and we shall return.

Take care….. M & M πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸπŸπŸ·πŸ·

 

Tuesday; Canmore is just amazing, but a look back first!

Now once again where were we? Ah, yes we had arrived in the little wooden house. The bistro on site was fantastic and dinner was Trout for both of us, which was delicious. The following day we tried to visit Lake Louise but it was rammed, absolutely rammed, the car park was full so we just got waved, round the car parks, by operatives in a complete circle and found ourselves driving out again. Of course, it was Sunday and a beautiful day so the whole of Canada thought it was a great day to be there. Undaunted, we agreed to come back the following day but a tad earlier to avoid the rush.

So, we drove along a road towards Silver City, and just consumed and digested the scenery. The cutest little petrol pump, at the village store, topped up the hire car very efficiently.

 

And we ended up at a little falls, where the bridge was out but the water kept on coming, called Numa Falls.

 

Those goods trains that seemed to take at least three minutes to pass by kept on making the views more impressive because you got the scale! And Mary captured a Gray Jay.

 

So that night we had a couple of buffalo gins in the bar before I sat down to enjoy a steak. There was a strange mix up in the kitchen and I ended up by default with a bison steak! 😱 Having already tucked into it when the waitress realised her mistake it was too late to change. I don’t know who got my steak but by golly I can see why the Indians enjoyed their meat so much. It was just beautiful (sorry any vegetarians out there!) and the animals are farmed. Even Stephanie said it was her favourite dish above the steak. Mary had scallops and went directly to food heaven, especially accompanied by a wonderfully chilled Prosecco.

 

Away then towards Canmore, stopping successfully at Lake Louise!

 

It was fairly packed for a dull Monday, so we shuddered to think what it had looked like the day before. We arrived early in Canmore, soΒ we just explored the area and then checked in to our last B&B of the current series; in fact our last stop altogether.

 

The bed is smaller than the one at home, the glasses in the bathroom are identical to some that we have and you can’t make coffee or tea in the bedroom. (One thing that I really do crave.) What makes me think this is an ideal place to ease us gently back into normality? But the lovely Jacqueline is making us feel very, very welcome and her dog Daphne is a joy. Dinner in the Golf club wasn’t quite so wonderful as we hoped. We sat in a side room with ice hockey blaring out on a huge television. Do I know how to treat a lady or what? You couldn’t write it could you? Don’t ask me why we didn’t just turn round and walk out; I have no idea. The food was reasonable but to be fair, we had been spoilt rotten for two nights before.

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Atmospheric? I thought so but we won’t make that mistake again tonight. We also, I have to confess, got a bit lost going into the car park and managed to drive down a path only suitable for a golf buggy not the hire car! Don’t think I damaged too much of the fairway. Gulp. πŸ˜±πŸŒοΈπŸŒοΈβ€β™€οΈ(Jackie and David are turning very pale!)

So, dear reader, you arrive at Monday evening. That’s probably enough for now, and I’ll try to do Tuesday and Wednesday in one hit tomorrow. Thursday? Well it’s off to Calgary airport πŸ›«βœˆοΈπŸ›¬πŸ›© and the flight home. πŸ™πŸ™ And I’ll let you into another gap in my education; I always thought Calgary was in the states. Please, don’t tell anybody from Canada that I said that.

I can’t leave you with a picture of a naff golf club interior now can I? So:

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Here is one of Mary’s, much more soothing!

Thanks for reading. Please do comment, it’s almost your last chance!

M & M πŸš™πŸŒοΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ˜±πŸπŸπŸπŸΎπŸΎπŸΎ

Monday; hello world! Gosh you missed some scenery.

The one thing I have failed to mention is how polite and friendly the Canadians are. We have met some really lovely people and certainly all of the B&B folk and hotel staff have been lovely. For example, the restaurant on site at Baker Creek, where we were for the last two nights which, by the way, deserves a Michelin star or two, one of the waitresses Stephanie was from Glasgow! She was so, so helpful and polite and one of the others, Yun was from Taiwan and was exactly the same.

But I digress; now where did I leave you? Ah yes, still in Jasper and dinner on Friday night was not on our own, for a change, but with Marilyn from Mary’s Sandhurst Chapel choir, who co-incidentally is over here on holiday as well! She should have been with her husband Michael but it’s a long, long saga as to why they were separated but pleased to report they were reunited for the Rocky Mountaineer on Sunday morning. So Saturday morning we grabbed our final hire car; yet another saga, as their printer wouldn’t work, but we finally headed off on the Icefields Parkway to Baker Creek Mountain Resort, Lake Louise.

The drive was to say the least gob smacking and we stopped en route to do the Glacier Sky Walk and Glacier tour. The skywalk we did quite early but had to wait (fully booked) until 4pm to do the Athabasca Glacier Tour. Both were un…be….liveable and I now have run out of adjectives, honest. So I’ll let the pictures do the talking. First we stopped at the Athabasca falls.

Then onwards to the Skywalk, its glass and you can look straight down. Ha! Ha! Bloody ha! 918 feet above the Sunwapta Canyon.

And finally the Glacier in amazing vehicles with a lovely young Australian guide; Mandy was a mad as a March hare but such fun.

Those tiny dots in the distance are what we all looked like from afar! And I was much happier on ice.

Talk about Tonka Toys, wasn’t in it! Oh yes and here is Mandy.

The drive was out of this world and after getting just a tiny bit lost we arrived at Baker Creek and our little wooden house number 14.

Yet again there was the kitchen sink and what a difficult choice for towels. This place, I know I have used the word before was Utopia and then some.

I’ll post more tomorrow but that kind of gets us a little closer to where we are now but more catch up tomorrow. I’ll leave you with yet another fireplace, this time a real log burning one and Mary firmly back in business with her camera.

And me? I’ll carry on writing and thanks for all your lovely comments; I think we are going to be quite sad to say goodbye to Canada on Thursday…….it’s been a ball.

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Thanks folks, see you all back here tomorrow and keep those comments coming.

M & M πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦πŸπŸπŸ