I was really excited to cross into Alberta. My family spent some time skiing and hiking in Banff a couple of winters ago and I was looking forward to experiencing the park in another season. After a couple of (beautiful) weeks in the prairies, Aaron and I were both craving a change of scenery. It was a pretty exciting moment when we first spotted mountains on the horizon. But, before we headed into the mountains we had a few days of prairies left to explore.
We began with Medicine Hat, a cool little city in southern Alberta. We spent some time wandering around the city’s downtown, and discovered a few gems. Medicine Hat has taken a very embracing approach to street art, and so there was lots to see and photograph. We even stumbled upon a very cool urban garden in an alleyway, not compleate without it’s own touch of street art, of course.
We took a picnic lunch to Police Point Park, and felt as if we had left the city completely. We wandered through sweetgrass, admired the views and skipped stones on the river.
Before leaving town we made a visit to the Medalta, an old pottery factory in the historic clay district. Out of operation for years, the factory is now a museum and popular venue for local events. There is even a weekly farmers market which takes place inside the museum which boasts live music and (get this) a bar. In other words, it’s the coolest farmers market ever. As we made our way through the museum we got to see all of the equipment used to make all sorts of pottery, and even stepped inside two of the factory’s huge kilns.
The museum also had an exhibit running called “Spoon Me” which was pretty much exactly what it sounds like – artists from across the country and around the world contributed every interpretation of a spoon you can think of. There were spoons carved out of wood, spoons made of felted wool, double-ended spoons, giant spoons bolted to the wall and tiny spoons that could fit on your fingertip. I loved the concept of the exhibit. I think it’s so cool how radically different every piece was.
Aaron was less interested in all the spoons, but patiently waited while I obsessed over them… 🙂
In Lethbridge, we explored the park at Henderson Lake, but missed out on the Japanese gardens which were closed off for a wedding. From there we headed to High Level Bridge; Canada’s largest railroad structure, and the longest, tallest bridge of its kind in the world. We were particularly interested in the bridge because of this song. (Naturally, Rural Alberta Advantage has been on repeat since we left Saskatchewan!) We walked one of the trails up to the bridge, and took plenty of photos of the massive and beautiful structure.
Next we headed off to Vulcan. On the road, we stopped for a few photos. Those shadowy blue mountains on the horizon put big smiles on our faces! If you’re a Trekkie, Vulcan Alberta is a place you must visit. I’m not, but I still had fun checking out the county’s claim to fame, their spaceship monument. Inside the visitor centre there are rows upon rows of action figures as well as loads of other Star Trek paraphernalia.
From there we headed to Calgary, were we spent a couple days planning and preparing for the next big leg of our trip, Banff to Jasper. But I’ll leave that for next time…