I left the quiet, small, and sleepy town of Jasper to immerse myself in the hustle and bustle of the Calgary Stampede.
Getting out of Jasper was challenging, I hardly realized how remote the town was until I had to get out of it. There’s only a few buses that leave every day which makes for scheduling a short trip a mission. If I had a car, the drive would be about 5 hours through the Icefields and Banff (on highway 93). But with greyhound I had to take a 3:00 am bus, transfer at Edmonton, and take a bus to Calgary for a total of 12 hours on a bus (to arrive in Calgary around noon).
My bus arrived to Jasper late so my bus didn’t make it into Edmonton on time for me to catch my transfer bus. The next bus wasn’t departing until 2 or 3, which meant I wouldn’t get into Calgary till the evening. I was in shock!! Thankfully I have a life-saving mom who told me to book a flight. If time is money, and getting to Calgary was a priority, then booking a flight made sense (as ridcioulous as it sounds). The earliest flight worked out to my favour (both time and money-wise) and I arrived in YYC at 11:52 :)
When I finally made it to Calgary (about 8 hours of journeying), I met my Calgarian friend Wes. We went to the stampede after lunch and spend most of the day there. Couldn’t have asked for better warm and sunny weather! The Stampede grounds were like most festivals and carnivals, but everyone was wearing cowboys hats and jamming to country tunes – it was neat to see so much country spirit. (I now have a playlist of country tunes, my sister and some of my friends would be so proud)
After spending the day at the Stampede (and purchasing a cowboy hat), I had a good ol’ piece of Alberta steak for dinner. Yum. Yummmm. (It’s been so long since I’ve indulged in a good piece of meat – since I usually resorts to cheaper options living alone).
After dinner, we adventured around the city, taking photos of the beautiful city skyline. We were waiting till it got dark for the fireworks to start.
There’s still so much more I’d love to see of Calgary and I can’t wait to return. The food culture seems like it’s booming, much like other aspects of the city. I can’t quite put my finger to what makes this Canadian city fascinating, but it is. It’s definitely not Toronto, and not Vancouver either. But it’s location is rested just outside the Rockies and away from the flat boring plains of its neighbouring cities like Edmonton.
Overall, it was a great short trip to Calgary, and it was much needed time away from Jasper. I think I missed being in the city. It’s funny how it’s the opposite when you live in a city – all you want is a break in nature. But when you’re always in nature, being in the craziness of it all is actually quite soothing – if that makes any sense at all. Basically.. you miss what you don’t have, but you learn to appreciate what you do have (which is why I love to travel).
-always be flexible and leave wiggle room when travelling
-don’t be afraid to make spontaneous (yet rational) decisions (as they are rewarding)
-travelling is valuable, don’t pass up an opportunity to see/do new things because of time/money