Our final stop on our Canada 2013 tour was Calgary, Alberta, home of the famous Calgary Stampede. This event occurs in July, so we didn’t get to experience the excitement (and crowds) of the rodeo.
Calgary’s location near the Canadian Rockies makes it a popular destination for winter sports, and in 1988, Calgary hosted the Winter Olympics, a very notable honor, since Canada had petitioned to host several earlier Winter Olympics.
Calgary is much more cosmopolitan than we expected. We visited the Calgary Tower to get a 360 degree view of the city, including the Saddledome, Olympic Plaza, Chinatown, the Arts District, and the impressive municipal building.
Prince’s Island Park sits in the middle of the Bow River, which flows through the middle of Calgary, and is a wonderful place to have lunch and a few moments of rest from the busy workday world just across the bridge from the Eau Claire district .
The International Hotel where we stayed is in the downtown area and afforded us the opportunity to walk along the eclectic conglomeration of shops and restaurants, public squares and high rises.
Calgary was a wonderful final destination for our trip. It was much more “city” than we expected and an interesting contrast to the smaller communities of Jasper and Banff.
Touring Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies gives a wonderful impression of the northwest area of North America. There is so much to see, one trip may not be enough!