437. Sunday 14th June 2015. From Edmonton, family & friends to Cold Lake to Calgary…

Monday 8th June

Today was spent visiting school friends who Donnis has kept in touch with. One visit we had dinner at the famous West Edmonton Mall.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Edmonton_Mall   After dinner we took a walk through the centre. Given that it was near 9pm closing time, a Monday night and still a cool time of year, the mall was not overrun with shoppers.

One wing of the mall is designed to look like a Neapolitan street... complete with coffee shops and yes even a couple of men playing chess or checkers.

One wing of the mall is designed to look like a Neapolitan street… complete with coffee shops and yes even a couple of men playing chess or checkers.

We did see the Waterpark with a wave machine,

Wave pool at the mall. Entry fee, just as a spectator is $30.

Wave pool at the mall. Entry fee, just as a spectator is $30.

an ice skating rink,

Skating Rink at the mall.

Skating Rink at the mall.

a roller coaster park,

Galaxy World inside West Edmonton Mall. It is compact but none the less exciting  for children.

Galaxy World inside West Edmonton Mall. It is compact but none the less exciting for children.

giant mini golf, an indoor lake complete with pirate ship

A pirate ship on an lake inside the mall. the water is so clear it looks almost empty. Each tile on the bottom is seen clearly. I understand that until recently dolphins swam in the lake.

A pirate ship on an lake inside the mall. the water is so clear it looks almost empty. Each tile on the bottom is seen clearly. I understand that until recently dolphins swam in the lake.

before we left. It is an amazing place. On another day I would like to try the Waterpark. While wandering we saw a group of four Hutterites also wandering.

A group of Hutterite men at the Wset Edmonton Mall. It was probably their first visit as it was mine.

A group of Hutterite men at the Wset Edmonton Mall. It was probably their first visit as it was mine.

I understand Hutterites normally do not frequent shopping centres. They try to be more self sufficient.   http://www.hutterites.org/   After reading their story I cannot fail to be impressed with their lifestyle and common good community achievements.

We kept Pat awake until midnight again. The house is at least 100 years old with several additions over the years. The original timber floors featuring 2 inch floorboards is still in amazing condition.

Tuesday 9th June

This was another day of visiting family and getting some stone chips repaired in the 4Runner.

Wednesday 10th June

Today we had a look at the main business hub of Edmonton

The city of Edmonton

The city of Edmonton

before collecting Alecia from near the airport then returning to Pat’s house for a family barbecue. Edmonton   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonton is built on the Saskatchewan River and is the Capital of Alberta Province. Much of the real business is now centred in Calgary which is a resource centre for the mining and oil boom. The city is busy with construction and re-construction while the suburbs seem to be wave upon wave of new houses under construction. The freeways and industrial areas are also being reconstructed and expanded. Big money is being spent.

After a family dinner in the cool of the backyard we once again found ourselves saying goodnight to Pat at midnight.

Donnis and her cousin Michael.

Donnis and her cousin Mark.

Donnis family...daughter Alecia on the left and Cousin Jacqi on the right then her aunt Irene second cousin Vanessa and cousin Pat mother of Vanessa.

Donnis family…daughter Alecia on the left and Cousin Jacqi on the right then her aunt Irene second cousin Vanessa and cousin Pat mother of Vanessa.

Thank you for your hospitality and organising the family get together Pat. We enjoyed our time with you.

Thursday 11th June

Today we left Edmonton and drove 300 Klms north east to the Land of 1,000 Lakes. Specifically to Cold Lake

Marina walkway and Cold Lake. The lake freezes and car drive onto the lake and cut holes in the snow for a spot of fishing.

Marina walkway and Cold Lake. The lake freezes and car drive onto the lake and cut holes in the snow for a spot of fishing.

Narina at Cold Lake. This is a freshwater lake so yes, the lake does freeze during winter.

Narina at Cold Lake. This is a freshwater lake so yes, the lake does freeze during winter.

which upon coming over a hill and on first viewing looks like the sea.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_Lake,_Alberta   Alecia has a unit here and the tenant vacated at the end of May. We were here today to inspect the unit, carry out any repairs, replace any missing or worn items and to clean. It was also a nostalgic trip for Donnis as we passed through the town of Bonnyville where she lived with her children for a couple of years.

A big storm rolled in about 8pm. It included lightning, thunder, wind and rain something the area has not seen for more than a year.

Cold Lake is near the Canadian Air Force Air Weapons Range where bombing training takes place regularly. The lake is a popular fishing and boating spot during summer. Winter it is famous for ice fishing when the lake freezes. Boats in the marina are lifted just above the water during winter.

Friday 12th June

After a morning of cleaning and tidying we left Cold Lake after 3pm for the long 650 Klm 7 hour drive to Calgary

Along the way we saw interesting buildings and churches near the towns of Andrew https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew,_Alberta   home of the worlds largest duck,

Worlds biggest Mallard Duck at its home in Andrew Alberta

Worlds biggest Mallard Duck at its home in Andrew Alberta

worlds largest Mallard roadside attraction and Mundare   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mundare   home of the worlds largesr Ukranian sausage roadside attraction. Both towns have a large Ukranian population. The churches, houses and barns are all traditional Ukranian style.

Crumbling ruins of a Ukranian type barn. For a radius of a few hundred Klms there are reminders of Ukranian settlement in the form of farmhouses, barns, churches and shops.

Crumbling ruins of a Ukranian type barn. For a radius of a few hundred Klms there are reminders of Ukranian settlement in the form of farmhouses, barns, churches and shops.

Another crumbling Ukranian barn.

Another crumbling Ukranian barn.

An Orthodox Ukranian Church.

An Orthodox Ukranian Church.

Another Ukranian Church on a hill in the duistance. There are many such churches in the area and all seem to be built on the tallest surrounding hills. Alberta is known as a flat and featureless province.

Another Ukranian Church on a hill in the duistance. There are many such churches in the area and all seem to be built on the tallest surrounding hills. Alberta is known as a flat and featureless province.

A crumbling community hall - Ukranian.

A crumbling community hall – Ukranian.

Grain silos - Ukraninas are noted for their grain silos.

Grain silos – Ukraninas are noted for their grain silos.

We had planned to have a Home Made Perogies   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierogi at a well known local eatery but it was after 6pm and the store was closed.

Saturday 13th June

Today was a rest and recovery day after all the travelling of the last few days. A trip to a huge indoor farmers market was an interesting diversion for lunch.   http://www.calgaryfarmersmarket.ca/   Unlike most markets this one is mainly concerned with produce and prepared food.

Sunday 14th June

Another lay day today. I did take a trip to Costco with Josh (a boarder staying with Alecia and Tyler) To buy anything at Costco you must have a membership card. I used Josh card. Considering this was Sunday and very cold outside, Costco is warm and the shoppers were out in droves. I guess they do not have a nice warm sunny day and a  beach to go to. Everything in Costco is larger size or sold in bulk. I called our visit a cultural event.

We have plans for the coming week. All going well I expect daily posts may begin again.

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