Send Aaron and I out on a half day hike and you can be sure that two or three hours later we will return with literally hundreds of photos on our camera and probably a few on each of our phones as well. However, ask to see our photos after a week in a cool new city? Well, if you’re lucky we might be able to come up with one or two instagrams to show you. With that in mind, this post on Alberta’s two largest cities is a little light in the way of visuals, but don’t worry, you can expect lots more photos in our upcoming posts!
We had originally planned to spend Thanksgiving weekend in Jasper National Park, at our perfect campsite in the mountains. I even hoped to make a thanksgiving style dinner over the campfire. On our second day in Jasper I woke up with a bug and our plans quickly changed. Being sick is never fun, but is especially not fun when there is snow on the ground and the only available washroom is an outhouse. We were both sad to leave Jasper so soon, but without much of a choice we set out on the long drive to Edmonton.
As a traveler you quickly learn that sometimes your “plans” are irrelevant. Weather, or illness or any number of things can quickly change those precious plans. It can be frustrating, it can be hard, but it’s also one of the best things about life on the road.
Upon our arrival in Edmonton we realized most things would be closed for thanksgiving. Lucky for us the famous West Edmonton Mall is open 365 days a year. So after a week of hiking and exploring the rocky mountains we found ourselves in a crowded mall, not quite sure what to do with ourselves. We explored an Asian grocery store, saw a family of seals, drank coffees by the indoor ice rink and caught a glimpse of the waterpark. We visited the largest food court I have ever seen, and even did a little shopping.
Calgary kind of became our home base while we were in Alberta. It was the only city on our westward trip that we came back to more than once. Naturally as tourists in Calgary we had to visit the Calgary Tower. It was crazy to see just how far the city sprawls out, and to see the mountains in the distance. The tower also has a glass floor which provided some pretty sweet views of the street below.
Back on the ground, we decided it was time for lunch, and lucky for us Charcut Roast House was just around the corner. With a sweet vibe and a small but well crafted menu, Charcut stole my heart right away. I ordered a super rich, totally over-the-top cheesy gnocchi with wild mushrooms, and Aaron ordered the lunch special which came with a paper bag of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert.
On another visit we decided to check out the farmer’s market where we found incredible doughnuts from Jelly Modern and other tasty treats! That same day we were looking for a place to have dinner that was cheap, delicious and somewhat healthy. A tall order to fill, but with some googling we found White Elephant, a Thai restaurant hidden in the back of a budget hotel. We had to wait a bit to be seated but I’m so glad we did because it ended up being some of the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten.
Stay tuned for Aaron’s account of our time in Drumheller!