Not much to report!

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Dec 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Youth Hostel, Downtown

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hi all,
Been in Calgary for a couple of days while I work out my next move.  There is not much here at all!  They have a tower.   I think it is compulsory for Canadian towns to have one as there was one in Toronto and Niagara Falls and now one here!  I am not going to go up it as I can't see it's much different to going up the CN Tower.  I know the view is very different but I will be travelling through it soon enough anyway so not going to waste $20. 

I find Calgary a very odd place.  It's like a ghost town most of the time.  There really aren't many people wandering around during the day and even less at night.  We walked through town to go Safeway's and all the bars and restaurants were open, music pumping out of them and no   customers!!  There is a very large proportion of homeless people here too. I think I have seen the same amount here as in Toronto and obviously Toronto is huge compared to Calgary so it's surprising to me to see so many.  I do think there are a lot of homeless people in Canada in general and it is a widespread problem so not by any means specific to Calgary. 

I will however say that I can imagine it is a very different place during the stampede and is probably well worth a visit then (July).  The people are also extremely friendly here.

I am sharing a room with a very nice girl, Jessica, from South Korea and we have been going around together for the last couple of days.  We visited the Chinese Cultural centre on Sunday and today a friend of hers drove us to the Tyrell Museum which is 2 hours away from Calgary.  It is a dinosaur museum as it stands in an area where a number of dinosaur remains have been found.  It is really good but it was a long drive!  The scenery on the trip was very dull, lots of flat land of no particular interest so if that is what it is like from Toronto to here then I'm glad I skipped it!

Think I'm going to get the Greyhound to Banff and then hopefully join a tour from there taking in  the Rockies and finishing in Vancouver.  I have been told Vancouver city centre is smaller than Calgary which seems hard to believe as this place is small.  Not what I expected from a city so I shall wait and see.  Really looking forward to going through BC, it should be stunning.  It's what I came to Canada for so my next update should be full of tales of lakes, mountains and hopefully a grizzly or two!

Bye for now! XX

Top tips for Calgary (sorry Calgary but I am struggling here!)

Kids will love the Tyrell Museum but it is a 2 hour drive away through extremely boring countryside.

Backpackers- looking for cheap food?  The Eaton Centre has a food court and if you go there about 15 minutes before it shuts you can buy food at cheaper prices as they are keen to get rid of it.  I got a huge Chinese Meal for $4 instead of $7 and it could easily have fed 2 people!  Drinks at McDonalds are also only just over a $1 and you get refills (I love that about being in Canada, it feels like a treat!)  The tourist maps of the town centre also had a free Big Mac voucher on them when I was there so check them out to see if the offer is still going!

The maps you get in Canada in each town are brilliant- really handy and help you find your way around really easily.  I'm not sure if the UK does the same thing but we really should if we don't, they are really helpful to visitors.  Can be found in hostels and a lot of shops on the counters.

Finally, also for Backpackers, get the metro instead of a bus or taxi into town.  I got an airport town centre mini bus transfer which cost $15 but the drop off was at Hyatt which is good bit away from the downtown HI Hostel, despite being told that it was close by the guy at the desk!  If you have a heavy back pack as I have, it's not a good option!  The Hostel does Airport transfers for $10 if you don't fancy the Metro.
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