Okay it's been a couple of days since my last blog so below is what I have been doing on...
Tuesday 25th May
Okay after I blogged I went out into Winnipeg for the final time to buy some food for the trip and tea. For tea I found a shopping centre (or 'shopping mall' if you have trouble speaking English properly) and went to the food court for fish and chips ... lovely. Then I went into a shop in the centre and purchased some fantastic biscuits (that were on offer), some pringles and 2 bottle of pop and a bottle of water. Now I'm not sure that 'Chunks Ahoy! - tripe chocolate' biscuits and pringles meet my nutritional criteria for a day but I thought I did well with the 'sweet and savory' thing.
Anyway after that I headed back to the hostel to kill time before going to the bus station. At the hostel I spoke to a elderly lady who was originally born in the UK (Kent) and moved out here 40 years ago. She was telling me loads (and loads, and loads) of stories where she had got things for free. For example when it was the centenary of some ship, she saved the newspapers and sent a copy to certain captains and she was given a free meal on a particular ship. She also complained to a theatre about the language used in a certain performance and she got two free tickets to see the 'Lion King'. The reason why the details are a not all here is is that she did tell me a lot of stories and they did tend to blend together.
Anyway whilst I was waiting I met a woman who was getting the same bus as I was ... I thought great; it meant I didn't have to go onto the streets of Mogadishu on my own to await my bus. We talked a lot and finally went for the coach. It was 11:30pm when the coach departed Winnipeg and so she showed me her photos of her trip before I headed to sleep.
Wednesday 26th May
MP3 track of the day - Concerning Hobbits - The Lord of the Rings soundtrack
Weather: Beautiful sunny day with a bright blue sky and fluffy clouds ... nice
I didn't sleep that well on the coach; it wasn't for the lack of room. At the beginning of the trip there was only around 15 people on the bus and it never got higher than 30 ... which meant I had two seats to myself for the whole trip. For the first part of the trip I stared outside of the coach window and just looked at the scenery.
Now a few people have told me that the province of Saskatchewan is dull, just a landscape of fields, after fields after fields. This maybe correct however this certainly doesn't make Saskatchewan dull; looking out of the window I was met with a patchwork of agriculture land that went far into the distance, only to stop when it hit a bright blue horizon. On the number plates of Saskatchewan cars it states something ' the land of the big horizon' and this certainly was true; I had a stunning panoramic skyline to look at and I was ever so grateful I had travelled by land for this part of my trip. I would put it as beautiful as any other landscape I had seen, it's just different. I did take a couple of photos (located on my Flickr account) but I was on a coach, it was my camera phone and so the photos aren't great.
Apart from looking out of the window I spoke to the lady who I met in the Winnipeg hostel, a Canadian guy I met on the bus, read my books and eat my lovely biscuits. The time just flew by and, by the end of the trip, I had decided that long distance Canadian coach trips weren't too bad at all ... they stop frequent so you can stretch your legs, and you meet loads of people.
When I arrived in Calgary I got off the coach and headed to the hostel. Whilst on the free public transport 'C-train' I met a woman who was really helpful; she was a professional ice skater and had spent a lot of time in the UK touring the cities with a show. We chatted and she walked me to my hostel before heading off to where she needed to go ... oh and she let me know which shop she was currently working in (might check it out to see if I can get any good deals).
When I arrived in the hostel up came this smiling Aussie that I recognised from my stay in Halifax. The Aussie, Matt, is really cool and he was telling me what he had been up to after Halifax. After this I skipped tea and hit the sack (or hit the hay as the Aussies put it). I was very tired.
Thursday 27th May
MP3 track of the day - Why does it always rain on me - Travis
Weather: rain, cold and more rain
I got up pretty early and headed out; first to get some cash and then off to Calgary Zoo, which is supposed to be the best in Canada. As I stepped out of the hostel it was spitting a little, and so I stepped back into the hostel to get a weather report. Apparently it was meant to rain today with more rain expected tomorrow and rain the day after ... lovely.
As I went to get some cash out I contemplated whether it was worth going to the zoo. On the one hand it was raining and so the zoo wouldn't be as good as if it was sunny; however on the other hand there would be less people there, most zoo's have a lot of inside attractions and the weather was only expected to get worse for the rest of my stay ... so I decided to go.
Now I don't often go to zoo's because, morally, I'm not sure if they are the in the animals best interests. On the one hand animals near extension do get protection in a zoo and it allows humans to get a better understanding of the animal kingdom (as history has shown, if there is something a human doesn't understand it usually results in conflict, warfare and destruction). On the other hand the pens can never equal the hunting / grazing grounds of certain animals and some animals just look really sad in a zoo. I decided that a zoo is a necessary evil to protect species from ourselves.
Whilst in the zoo I saw some very, very rare animals including the Snow Leopard and the Batchurian Camel. I also went to the 'Canadian' section in which I saw Bison, Moose's (not my sister, the animal) and I saw a group of Otters. The Otters were really cool as the glass observation area was constructed so that you could see the Otters on land and playing in the water. As they were my cousins I left them my blog address and told them to find me on Facebook.
Now I had been right about the amount of people, the park was pretty empty which gave me one-to-one access to lots of animals. However the 'devil of all groups', the plague which seems to endlessly visit attractions were in the zoo, in force. Yes that's right, there were school trips within the zoo. I hate children, they get in the way, push in front and one child wiped his nose on his hand and then reached for my coat ... I don't think so pal! North American children are sooo annoying, much more than in the UK because, surprise surprise, everything is awesome. I will be writing a letter to Mr Cameron stating that instead of fixing the economy, he should concentrate on passing a 'school outing bill' in which it states certain dates that school groups can visit attractions. This information should be posted everywhere so normal, decent folk, know when not to go to attractions and any school group that doesn't comply should be thrown in prison until they are 21 ... in fact all children between the years off 3 - 21 should be in prison ... where do all these children come from anyway? On a serious note there is something ironic about school groups in zoo's; the most serious threat to animals is the destruction of their habitat, done by humans to sustain the ever growing human population. The animal in a zoo is there for facing it's hunter in effect ... a 4 year old boy with a cold and no tissue!
During my visit the weather had turned really bad and it was throwing it down with rain. I was pretty cold as, stupidly, I had left me fleece at the hostel and just had a T-shirt and my coat on. I therefore raced it around the 'Dinosaurs Alive' attraction (which was rubbish, but the best they cold do with robotic dinosaurs) and headed back to the hostel.
Once back I got completely changed and then noticed that there was a 'free' Spaghetti meal tonight ... brilliant that would help sort my spending out. Today, spending wise, it hasn't been too bad. With a HI membership I got into the Zoo with 50% off ($9.00) however I was pretty cold in the zoo that I purchased lunch within the park (a hot chocolate, fries and a big fruit salad as I hadn't had any fruit for a while) for another $9.00.
For food tomorrow I think I'm going to have Chinese; there is supposed to be a excellent China town area here.