Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023
Dunedin Railway Station, Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Calgary, Alberta - Out of Nature, Into the City - Tuesday, June 28, 2022

A relaxing travel morning was in store for us. Check-out time at Tunnel Mountain Trailer Court A was 11 am. To drive to Calaway RV Park in Calgary, Alberta, was only 80 miles on Trans-Canada 1. That's a very easy drive.

Calaway RV Park has an amusement park next door. It looked okay, but we didn't go while we were there. During some of our spare time, it poured rain with thunder and lightning. We all know, amusement parks are not amused by bad weather!

We got set up in our site at Calaway relatively early on Tuesday because our site was open. That gave us time to do the 11 km Calgary Elbow/Bow/Downtown Volksmarch in the afternoon.

To get to our start point, we followed the directions on our walk sheet. The start point was listed as "Repsol Centre, 2225 Macleod Trail S." I put the address into our GPS and we followed the directions closely. When our GPS said we were there, there was no Repsol Centre. Not being from Calgary, we had no idea what Repsol Centre was supposed to be. 

Soon, the GPS had us going on the roads around the Calgary Stampede grounds. We had to go around the whole complex and circle back to Macleod Trail. This time we were ready to turn into the parking lot when GPS told us to. Here's what we saw on the sign:

Our starting point's name had been 
changed to MNP Community & Sports Centre.

We parked the truck. As we walked through the parking lot, there were signs posted all over that said "Private Parking, unauthorized vehicles may be towed." We certainly didn't want that to happen! (One time in Austin, Texas, our car was towed from a hotel parking lot while we walked.) Since it was mid-afternoon and there didn't seem to be an event going on at the Centre, we opted to take our chances that the truck wouldn't be towed. We would be gone for 2-3 hours.

Calgary Fun Facts:

  • The Calgary Stampede attracts over one million people each year. Organizers call it The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth.
  • An old law in Calgary prohibits throwing snowballs unless authorized by the mayor or city council!
  • Calgary is home to more than 1.4 million people.
  • Fish Creek Park is the second-largest urban park in Canada.
  • Calgary was ranked the world's third most liveable city by Economist Intelligence Unit in 2022.
  • Calgary is the third most diverse major city in Canada with more than 120 languages spoken in the city.
  • The coldest temperature recorded in Calgary was -45° C (-49° F).
  • You can walk 18 km downtown without ever going outside via the Plus 15 network.
  • The median age in Calgary is 36 years, making it a very young city.
  • Almost a quarter of Calgary's population is foreign-born.
  • According to Forbes.com in 2007, Calgary is the cleanest city in the world.
  • Albertans hold the second-highest national volunteer rate at 55%.
  • Calgary is Canada's sunniest city, with 333 average sunshine days per year.
  • June tends to be the rainiest month, and January tends to be the coldest. Calgary weather follows no rules, though!
  • On the summer solstice, Calgary gets almost 17 hours of sunlight.
  • On the winter solstice, Calgary gets a little less than eight hours of sunlight.
  • Calgary's altitude of 3,800 feet is well above the Canadian average.
  • The Chinook winds can raise the temperature by as much as 20 degrees in a matter of hours.
  • Calgary is often called "Cowtown" because of its Wild West image.

This beautiful black squirrel was our first wildlife
sighting today. I have never seen a black squirrel before.

Our walk started on a paved bike trail along the Elbow River and followed the river around the Calgary Stampede grounds. Excellent views of downtown Calgary were afforded us from the bike path.

This adorable bunny did not look wild.

Calgary Stampede Stadium.

One of the exits from the Stampede parking lot

The Calgary Stampede Stadium.

This is the hike/bike trail we followed at the beginning.

Radar Love (Clematis tangutica).

A bridge over the Elbow River.

Calgary Stampede logo.


The view of the Calgary Stampede grounds and
downtown Calgary as seen from the Elbow River.

Tufted vetch (Vicia cracca).

We walked through a park that had a lot of Calgary historical markers. I believe we are now in Enmax Park. The history covers the huge 2013 flood, the First Nations, agriculture, and much more. The photos are not in chronological order. I took the pictures in the order we saw them.

The 2013 flood.

Calgary Stampede logo underfoot.

1886: The first Calgary Exhibition.

The art below is the Calgary Stampede Entrance Tipi. Completed in 2012, this iconic piece was designed to commemorate and celebrate the First Nations of Treaty 7 and their long-standing relationship with the Calgary Stampede. The five tipi panels feature traditional symbols of the Siksika, Kainai, Tsuu T'ina, and Stoney Nakoda First Nations. The feedback from this project has been immensely positive, both from the Calgary Stampede Board and the Treaty 7 First Nations.

The Calgary Stampede Entry Tipi.

The Calgary Stampede Entry Tipi.

Calgary means elbow.

Treaty 7 First Nations.

Ranching in Alberta.

Two magpies taking a rest stop.

How Calgary is expanding.

On the way out of Enmax Park, we saw a beautiful piece of art. I was impressed by how it becomes more obvious as you walk around it.

At first, I wasn't sure what this was.

After taking a few steps, the fish came into focus.

We then walked through a neighborhood. The way we were supposed to go was completely blocked by major construction, so we had to punt. 

The Algoma Steel Bridge Company, Ltd.,
Winnipeg-Manitoba, 1911. 

Iglesia Ni Cristo, Church of Christ -
Downtown Congregation.

Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata).

We ended up turning around in the neighborhood and doubling back to cross the Algoma Steel Company Bridge. From there, we guessed which way we needed to go. There was construction along this path as well. The sidewalk was missing, so we walked on dirt and grass until we reconnected with a paved MUT (multi-use trail). We came to the confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers. 

The confluence of the Elbow and Bow Rivers.

I am including the informational signs for those of you who are interested in how a city is formed and developed. 

We walked along the Bow River on the MUT into 
downtown Calgary. 

The Bow River, Calgary, Alberta.

Modern skyscrapers, Calgary, Alberta.

This is Calgary's River Walk.

Art along the trail: "Bloom," by Michel de Broin.

George C. King footbridge across the Bow River.

Calgary, Alberta art.

Front view of the George C. King bridge across the
Bow River.

Streetscape in downtown Calgary.

Downtown Calgary, Alberta.

Train bridge.

Calgary Tower.

We continued alongside the Bow River for a long way. Eventually, we came upon another big construction project: They're building a flood barrier in downtown Calgary!

Downtown flood barrier project.

St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Church and
Cultural Centre across the Bow River.

Downtown Calgary streetscape.

Jackman potentilla (Potentilla fruticosa 'Jackmanii').

Centre Street Bridge Lions - these lions are
replicas of the original lions.

Centre Street Bridge Lion and Buffalo head.

Downtown flood barrier construction sign.

Sien Lok Park in Chinatown.

The history of "In Search of Gold Mountain."

"In Search of Gold Mountain,"
by Chu Honsun.


I am with a Foo dog.

Chinese Foo Dog.

Downtown Calgary skyline.

Pedestrian bridge to Prince's Island, our
next destination.

We crossed over to Prince's Island and
came back across the Bow River.

Bow River Pathway.

We stayed along the Bow River to the Peace Bridge. The pedestrian-only Peace Bridge was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The next set of photos highlights the bridge, the views, and information about the bridge. It is quite a unique bridge!

The Peace Bridge.

Our walk took us across the bridge so we could take photos of downtown Calgary from the other side of the Bow River. Then we turned around and walked back across the bridge to head into the heart of downtown Calgary.

The Peace Bridge with downtown Calgary in the

Downtown Calgary skyline from across 
the Bow River.

The Peace Bridge view as we walked across
the Bow River.

Below are photos that were taken when crisscrossing downtown streets. 

St. Mary's Cathedral.

The multiple names on the building below are: (1) The Old CN Station; (2) St. Mary's Parish Hall, and (3) Alberta Ballet. 

Another view of St. Mary's Cathedral.

Pretty paint job!

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School,
built in 1916.

Black squirrels are prevalent here.

We finally made it back to the parking lot. Thank goodness, our truck was still there! Yay.

Stormy sky at the MNP Center.

This afternoon, after we finished the walk, a heavy rainstorm hit us. It's good we made it back to the truck! 

We enjoyed our first foray into downtown Calgary. Thank you to the CVF (Canadian Volkssport Federation) Alberta Director for this wonderful walk. We plan to do more walking in Calgary while we're here!