Our journey this time took us to the wonderful city of Calgary, Alberta. We decided to visit Calgary for one reason, Calgary Stampede. It has alway been a bucket list item of mine to visit the stampede and when I had read that by the end of 2016 you needed to spend all your airmiles or lose them, I figured this was the place I wanted to go. Spending time and travelling in my home country of Canada is always a must do.
Now that we have decided to travel to Calgary we had to get our flight and we decided to fly from Sudbury to Toronto and connect there to go to Calgary. The airmiles is the same regardless if you are travelling from Sudbury or Toronto so we decided to save a night in a hotel and go from our home town. We flew Air Canada which was extremely convenient because we could drop our luggage in Sudbury and get it in Calgary.
Upon arriving in Calgary we were picked up at the airport by a friend who I haven’t seen in ages and we went for a quick drink before heading to the hotel. After we checked into the hotel we decided to venture the city and see what was up. Keep in mind this is Thursday and the Stampede doesn’t officially begin until Friday. We ended up staying at the Delta Calgary Downtown and it was a great hotel. We did pay a little over $300 a night and according to the taxi guy on the way to the airport it was double or triple of what it usually is. That being said comparing to downtown Toronto meh, it was reasonable.
Now we decided to hit the town. We ventured out with no particular plans whatsoever and we were on foot so we explored. The view from our hotel room was of the beautiful Calgary Tower so we decided to head that way to see what else we could find. We first went to the park across the street from the hotel and marvelled at the statues they had. I found to my surprise that this downtown was extremely artsy. I never would have thought that to be the case so I was really surprised.
Nonetheless once we had finished up looking at that stuff we took a walk down to Stephen Avenue Walk. This is an area of downtown Calgary that you cannot drive, only walk and its filled with restaurants and street venders. We really had no clue where to go so we decided to stop at Thomsons Restaurant which is attached to the Hyatt. While there I had an amazing beer called the Wild Rose Czeck Pilsner which was excellent. Normally I don’t drink the no namers but it was a good guess. For my food I had the salt and pepper chicken wings, another great choice.
After having some food and a couple drinks we decided to head out to do more exploring. We ended up walking to the Calgary Tower to see what the views of the city were like. This was probably the most expensive thing we did but at the end of the day it was a must do thing. So we took the elevator to the top and gazed out over the Calgary skyline. The view was spectacular as the mountains where just visible because of the weather but it was an amazing view. If you are ever in Calgary its a must do.
Now that our night was finishing up we decided to find ourselves some cowboy hats. Myself and my wife took a stroll back to Stephens Avenue to find a store that would have some at a reasonable price. The one thing I found about this trip is this, Calgarian’s don’t rip off there tourists and for that I think they are awesome. We went and found a store where my wife could find a hat for roughly $35 and mine was about $120. It was the real deal and not a plastic one so honestly I didn’t mind paying. Our hats were purchased at Lammles at the Stephens Walk.
Now that we had found what we were looking for we decided to head back to our hotel. I had a friend who was working in Calgary who we were meeting up with for dinner and we would be meeting at Joey Eau Claires in the Eau Claire Market. This restaurant was perfect really, not to fancy but very good. So what I had there was Steak and Sushi and I also had a potato wrapped in what appeared to be a spring roll. I am not sure what its called but awesome.
Now that we finished there we decided to head back to the hotel which was about a 15 minute walk. When we arrived at the hotel we were walking in and I spotted someone who looked like the Premiere of the Province, Rachel Notley sitting in the lobby restaurant. To my surprise it was and I asked her for a picture and she kindly accepted, to my surprise. She said go get a cowboy hat after taking the picture and to be honest her security looked super annoyed but oh well. I got a good laugh on Facebook after.
So this is the end of Day 1 for me in Calgary at the Calgary Stampede and continue reading on because we spent two more wonderful days that were fun filled. Such an amazing city and group of people.
More great pictures can be found at this Facebook Link HERE