Destinations: Calgary | Banff | Lake Louise | Icefield Parkway | Jasper | Northwest Territory | NW Alberta | Fort McMurray | Edmonton | Drumheller | Fort Macleod | Buffalo Jump
Picture Pages: Calgary | Devonian Garden | Alberta Map | Canada Map
Well, it was time for another trip - to somewhere. Since we had some frequent flyer miles to use, we decided to fly to Calgary, Alberta, Canada for two weeks. The Canadian Rockies was always on our list of places to explore.
The airline flight was from Tucson to Dallas to Calgary, arriving about 6:30 pm. One thing to mention is that we had NO reservations anywhere for the entire trip. Wanted to "play it by ear." We did reserve a compact car but had a coupon for a free upgrade so drove from the airport in a 2002 Chrysler Concorde - cruise control, digital compass, outside thermometer, CD player and only 3400 km on the speedometer. It was a great car.
Since we can get employee rates at Marriott properties, our first stop was a short distance from the airport at the Residence Inn. (Tried to make reservations couple of weeks before the trip but no employee rate was available.) Now they told us the same thing in person. We were directed to the larger Marriott Hotel downtown and got a great room, on the 17th floor, for $40 US. After getting directions and a street map we went out walking to see the town. The first thing we did was stroll down Stephen Avenue. It's a pedestrian-only street with restaurants, pubs, clubs and theaters. We found our way to the Princes Island Park which had a free Shakespeare-in-the-park play. All one needed was a blanket and picnic food. We also walked through Eau Claire Market which was getting ready to close for the night. It was a nice evening in downtown Calgary.
The next morning we walked across the street from the hotel to visit the 525-foot Calgary Tower. I got some great panoramic pictures of Calgary. We walked back to Stephen Avenue, exchanged good old US dollars into Canadian dollars at a local bank, then tried to find the Devonian Gardens. We saw a few signs but still could not find the gardens. They were actually on the 4th floor of an enclosed shopping mall and business center. The gardens were absolutely fabulous.
Unfortunately, the Marriott Hotel was booked for the next three days - a convention in town. The hotel is connected to the convention center via an enclosed walkway and tunnel. We checked out of the hotel in late morning and were on our way to the Rocky Mountains (105 km west).
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