On this trip I am visiting 23rd Elsie Roy Cub Pack to talk about our British Flag, so I thought I would have a practice. A Union Cube, a movable cube and some flags. I have to describe St George, St Andrew and St Patrick’s flags and then tell them about the correct way to fly the flag. The broad white stripe is to the top on the flagpole side of the flag.
Now to pack and get to the airport Heathrow this time via the X26 bus from Cheam.
Arrived in this Canadian City late at night, so started our adventure with a breakfast mango & coconut muffin, which I share with Nick and Susan as it was so big. The lemonade was very refreshing. We then took a leisurely stroll around Vancouver city before picking up a bus out to Stanley Park where we went on a horse drawn carriage trip.
Now for my special visit in David Lam Park to meet Kimberley, Nathan and some Cubs. It was very good to be able to explain The British Flag and how to fly the Flag.
Here are some more pictures from Vancouver.
If you want to know more about Terry Fox and his achievements Details for Terry Fox .
It was now time to board The Rocky Mountaineer for Banff and 2 days of some stunning scenery and wonderful food throughout.
We travelled several hundred miles and crossed a time zone, but our cases had already been transported to our hotel in Banff and the coach met the train, so we were soon at Caribou Lodge our home for the next few days.
Our explorations of the town started the following morning. Travel on the free buses made getting about easy and so first stop was the town. Look at their magnificent washrooms and carved stone outside The First Nations Museum.
The weather was stunning showing the beauty of Banff National Park with all it’s trees and mountains.
The colours of the trees were beautiful & everything looked so clean and fresh. The cars & Vehicles are different out in Canada because they do have severe weather conditions. They need to be able to deal with heavy winter conditions, so many are 4×4. In January it can get as cold as -15 C on average, but it does provide great winter sports facilities.
It would not be reasonable to come to the area and not visit Sulpher Mountain with it’s 8 minutes Gondola ride to the top, where there is a 360 degree viewing platform.
Then you can go even higher to the weather station that has been visited by Norman Sanson over 1000 times by 1931.
We took a wonderful stroll along from The Bow Falls at Banff Spring Hotel to the town and examined some Fir trees & pine cones.
It was now time to join our Sundog tour to Jasper via Lake Louise, Athabasca Falls & the Columbia Icefields. A smaller vehicle than the direct transfer coach, so it was able to pull into less populated viewing points along the trip for some wonderful scenery. The tour guide was also able to give us lots of interesting facts about the two National Parks, forestry and glacial progression.
No forest should ever only have one type of tree. The forests commonly consist of pine, Douglas fir, white spruce, larch and aspens. The different varieties have very unique jobs in the life of the Forest. Some are resistant to fire so stand strong when the fires control the lower shrub growth, while others can ooze sticky resin that stops the pine beetle killing off trees. Planting three of the same fir trees for one cut down does not improve it, but actually weakens the Forest. They are all close together and if one tree gets infected all the same trees in close proximity become infected too. A mixture as nature intended allows the different types to grow strong and beautiful.
At one point I had to put my woolly hat on as the temperature dropped. The area around the Columbia Icefield clearly show the retreat of the glacier over the years as there are great strips of moraine, which is the debris left behind when the glacier moves back as the weather gets warmer.
Jasper is a small town where there will never be more than 5000 people are allowed to live so as to not spoil the National Park. We found some trains and then the tracks for freight haulage and we counted 152 wagons with three engines. The barriers stayed down on the level crossing for 15 minutes as trains crossed in both directions.
I had seen some animals on this trip.
The only one to move though was the bird.
The sculpture of a moose was located outside a hotel of the same name. The furry moose was outside a supermarket. The carved wooden bear were the supports for a seat at a viewing point.
Our final stop was via coach transfer from Banff. was Calgary We were now 970 km from Vancouver, had crossed a time zone and were in the state of Alberta. The River Bow met the river Elbow near the Famous Fort Calgary of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The history of the development of Canada was interestingly laid out for the Tourists to understand.
I also made two new friends a Moose and Benny the Beaver in traditional Canadian Mounted Policeman uniform. I also found lots of different hats to try on. My favourite hobby over the last three years. I have lost count of all the different items of head wear I have tried.
The walk back along the river into the town was so peaceful.
Calgary is a very different city as all it’s shops are located on a skywalk above the street which joins all the tall buildings together so that in the winter you do not have to go outside to get to the next shop. The streets are all set out like a grid with Avenues running an East – West direction while Streets run North to South.
The transit system includes a free tram in the main centre, but was quick and easy. The bus service was also easy to access. The built up area has many squares and plazas that were a sight for sore eyes with beautiful sculptures
Two bears, but again they were quite tame.
From First Nation Chief to metal horses made from scrapped metal objects and stone and bronze sculptures of Parents having fun with their children. The most exciting though was the intricate carved metal horses to represent their free running across the plains of the country.
They were produced by a Canadian sculptor Joe Fafard and unveiled in Calgary, to compliment the twin sculpture in Quebec which was celebrating it’s 400th Anniversary September 2010. They are located in Harley Hotchkiss Gardens.
My final memories of Canada is the trucks and lorries that I saw
and the lovely Calgarian Policewomen and her car.
Thank you for a fantastic introduction to the West Coast of Canada and some wonderful photographs taken by Nick.