Trip Start Aug 24, 2007
Trip End Aug 26, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Sunday, August 26, 2007

Nath's monthly work trip to Edmonton happened to fall on a Friday, so I flew there after work and met him for the weekend. The flight is less than an hour and a half and it was beautiful flying over the mountains near Vancouver, then seeing the landscape change as it flattened out in Alberta (the next province over).
The downtown area of Edmonton was surprisingly dead after working hours so we had trouble finding a restaurant to eat at on Friday night! The next morning we found some markets and a nice breakfast café, and had a walk around town, which is mostly banks and shopping centres.
We caught the bus to West Edmonton Mall - the biggest mall in North America. Even though we weren't really interested in shopping it's one of those things you have to visit when you are in Edmonton. There's a massive waterpark inside, as well as a giant pirate ship in the middle of the concourse, sea lion pool, floating boats you can ride in, a full-size ice rink and of course hundreds of shops. It was a sight to see, but after a couple of hours there the novelty wore off and we actually came away empty-handed.
After a relaxing spa at the top of the hotel, overlooking the city, we caught another bus to Old Strathcona, the former city centre across the river. It's had a facelift in recent years and there are lots of nice restaurants, shops and cafes with lovely heritage facades. We treated ourselves to a nice dinner and a drink before heading back to downtown.
On Sunday we went for a walk along the river past the beautiful Parliament buildings and through their gardens - probably the most impressive thing about Edmonton. We crossed the long bridge across the river back to Old Strathcona, where a fringe festival was happening. We sat and watched some comedy and had a browse through the markets there, followed by some lunch. By then we had run out of things to see in Edmonton so we headed back to the hotel and left to catch our flight mid-afternoon. Although we had a good weekend and Edmonton was pleasant enough, it's not a place I would visit again unless I knew somebody there.
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