Day 2 - Exploring Calgary

Like all good days this one started with breakfast - well, actually it started with showers, but you're not getting photos of that!

We'd heard and seen the C-Train (Calgary Rapid Transit) running up and down the other side of the road, so we packed up and walked a couple of hundred metres up to the station - only to discover that we needed the fares in coins. Raising $20 in coins so early in the trip was beyond us, so we returned to the hotel and picked up the Jeep and drove into town.

Luckily the traffic wasn't too bad, and we easily found our way up Center Street to it's junction with 9th Ave SW, where we parked. Alright, it cost $17 but it was no more than the tram. And it was this close to the Calgary Tower...

As witnessed when we looked through the glass floor down onto our car.

We all tried the glass floor, Rosie being probably the most adventurous.

Despite it trying to rain, the view from the top was still good, the grandeur of the mountains on the skyline contrasting with the man-made splendour of this very modern city.

Looking south is the saddledome and the stampede ground.

From the tower we went just a few metres up the road to the Glenbow Museum, stopping for refreshments in their coffee shop first. They had a major exhibition about southern Asia, largely on their religion and religious celebrations, with Hindu and Buddhist statues and costumes. There was also a living altar made of everyday things:

In the Discovery Room there were activities for children (and Meld), including origami

The girls made pieces for a peace quilt being sent to Thailand to people affected by the tsunami at the end of last year.

On the 3rd floor was an extensive exhibition of the history of western Canada. This included the first nation peoples, the European settlers and trappers, and the mixed race mtis, up to the modern day.

Out of the museum (via the coffee shop for a late lunch and the museum shop) we stopped at a sculpture celebrating 5 women who fought for women's rights.

We then walked along a pedestrianised street lined with a mixture of relatively old shops and office buildings and ultra modern buildings like TD Square. We visited The Bay (the department store successor of the Hudson Bay Company) before returning to the car, having got the maximum out of our allotted time in the car park.

The route back along 9th St SW runs parallel to the railway, but this loco is retired to sit outside an office building (and no, I didn't brave 4 lanes of rush hour traffic to read the plaque).

A bit of trial and error round the one-way streets took us to the "circle of friends" sculpture.

We then drove across the river and down to the zoo to get the "classic" view of downtown Calgary.

And then back along the north side of the river and up to our hotel (via Safeways for supplies), out for dinner, and home exhausted to bed!

The skies are clearing - maybe the weather won't be so bad for our walk up Nihahi Ridge tomorrow after all.