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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 3:52 am 
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Location: KENT UK
The youngest of my three sons will be in Edmonton at the University of Alberta for the next four months, 1st May -31st August, as part of his PhD research on secondment from Edinburgh University.
He had rather an eventful journey across flying from Glasgow, to Halifax, then Toronto, onto Calgary, and eventually Edmonton with delays and missed connecting flights because of the weather. Seems to have recovered from his jet lag i-) (-| , has now settled into his flat and has supposedly discovered that the first Tuesday in every month is 15% off day? :-\
Yesterday would have been his first proper day in the Uni after a quick look around at the end of last week.
We're still working out the best times to Skype and are trying to get used to the time difference.
The question I have is quite simple, what should he experience in his free time?
He hopes to take at least a week out, possibly two, dependent on how his investigations are going, when his GF visits for the month of July, so any recommendations from HJ, Keith, John and anybody on here who has insights into the locality would be appreciated.
Not sure if they plan to hire a car or just rely on public transport to get outside of Edmonton. Half a dozen recommendations would be fine and even a "Don't bother to...." would be appreciated.

Dai

PhD = “Penny has Dropped” or, for so very many, “Penny hasn’t Dropped” ;)


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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 4:15 am 
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Location: England
If they like wildlife get over to Jasper and down to Banff via the Icefield Parkway, spectacular!

Image

Image

Trains are pretty good too :)
Image

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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:08 pm 
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Location: Toronto
Banff National Park is a must see! If he likes hiking and such. He can take the gondola up to the top if that's better. Johnston's Canyon is interesting, the Grassi Lakes in Canmore.
And the health care....;-)
I hope he has a great time while in our beautiful country. But I'd say: the Rockies in particular. Still a bit dangerous with avalanches on the Ice Fields Parkway right now but soon it'll be great.
There's also the Badlands and the dinosaur museum near Drumhellar as well.
The Citadel theatre is also very good.
https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attractions- ... berta.html


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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:10 pm 
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Location: Toronto
forgot: it's Canada 150, so there'll be lots of big things happening out there this summer. Starting with the May 24 weekend celebrations.
HJ probably also has some good ideas out there.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 2:22 am 
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Hi Paul, John,
Thanks for the info above.

These pictures, Paul are they ones that you took yourself?
The term “Ice Field Parkway” was something I hadn’t come across before and of course, a railway shot got me looking at videos of rail traffic around Edmonton which then……..well you know! Of course I need to properly explore HJs' videos either on here or via YouTube.

Banff, Jasper, Calgary, in addition to Edmonton were just simply places I had heard of before but now are taking on added significance. However trying to appreciate the scale of the distances between them is quite a problem.
John, your mention of the Badlands and Drumhellar was very useful as it has got us looking East in addition to West.

I’m really envious of my sons' opportunity which will I am sure be an unforgettable experience.
He has now got his first Uni week under his belt and it seems he has already made contact with a local rugby club, been training, turned up on Friday evening and came off the bench to play 50 minutes for the 3rds, so the social scene is probably well covered. ;)
Well, I know it is because he seemed to be a bit under the weather when we Skyped yesterday. 8-|

Thanks once again,

Dai


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 8:42 am 
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Location: Coldstream, BC Canada
This would be a several days trip for railfans and tourists

Edmonton - Jasper - Icefield Parkway - Lake Louise ( Morant's Curve!!) - Banff - Lake Louise - Field (Spiral tunnels, Kicking Horse Pass) - Golden - Rogers Pass - Revelstoke - Nakusp - New Denver - Kaslo - Balfour - Kootenay Bay - Creston - Cranbrook (train museum) - Crows Nest Pass - Lethbridge - Calgary - Edmonton.

The blow by blow with all the highlights along the week could/would make that a two week trip.

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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 9:19 am 
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Location: England
Dai, yes taken by me from the road in all three cases. Morants Curve is right by the road and easily doable in a day from Banff. Jasper to Banff is a long way around 180miles so if you or they want to do a trip it's worth splitting it up and spending a few days exploring with stops at Banff, Jasper, Revelstoke etc as there are some lovely places to stop. We drove Vancouver to Revelstoke for a night then on to Jasper for a few days, down to Banff for a few more then onto Calgary.
Note they don't like you stopping near the bears as lots of cars and buses make a hazard for them crossing but we stopped only briefly as the road was empty for miles ahead and behind, took the photos and moved on. If there were other cars around we just cruised past slow so we didn't risk hitting them.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 4:24 am 
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Hi HJ,
So grateful for your input as I have now spent so many hours researching your suggestions and feel that I have had a holiday from my armchair!
I have put together your list and added some short annotations plus a few of your video links to forward to my boy later today.
The only problem is that I keep getting side tracked by trains :D and, of course, the scenery and wild life.
I have tracked your suggested route from Alberta over into B.C. and back, which I have now realised passes through Jasper, Yoho, Banff, Glacier National Parks and also I think skirts around Mount Revelstoke N.P. for good measure.
Although I have looked at a number of your videos over the years it is only now that I feel I am seeing and appreciating the vastness and
scale of the country and as John said it is beautiful. The area around the Arrow Lakes and then over to Kootenay Lake seems very attractive to my other half and I have noticed that there are a number of free ferries crossing to and fro on both lakes. I can see the local environment is much more pleasant than our local free Woolwich Ferry across the Thames. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WgtlFtzT3E
I am not sure about how my son & GF might get around when they can grab some free time as I am only just realising and learning about the limited coverage of the rail passenger service but there are obviously coaches and flights to consider as well. I have discovered a number of short package tours which would cover some of the places mentioned.
However between you, Paul & John we are now getting a fair idea of the possibilities to consider when branching out from Edmonton and your collective advice is much appreciated and I am sure others visiting the forum will also gain benefit. :ymapplause:
Many Thanks
Dai


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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 10:52 am 
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A hire car is pretty easy in major cities and we hired in Vancouver and dropped off in Calgary so if there are airports at either end of a big trip that might be cost effective.
If you like the wildlife read up on walking in parks as there are regulations and minimum groups in some areas so you aren't in danger from bears ;)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:28 am 
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So now three months have gone with one month left to go. Following some of the advice given on here, my son and visiting GF recently spent a week or so doing Edmonton to Jasper to Banff to Calgary to Edmonton, part Viarail, part Greyhound Bus, some camping, some hotel, including an organised tour of the icefields etc.
In addition, by playing rugby with the Edmonton Clansmen he, before GF arrived, has managed to visit Lloydminster, and also Fort McMurray for a few hours. He seems to have stumbled on a straightforward way of making new friends, having a few beers, and taking in more of the Canadian landscape for free as he has been ferried to and from away matches.

I must have initially spent a fortnight exploring Canada online, viewing numerous rail videos obviously and, at one point, was seriously tempted and contemplating acquiring a selection of CN/CP models, but thankfully hesitated, and still had some disposable to then take advantage of a Heidiland Bernina Express GE 4/4 III (LGB 22420) =p~ in incredible, as new condition, which could be justified to the other half as a logical purchase to pair up with the glaring yellow Capito (LGB 25420) already in my possession. Still tempted by CN/CP if the opportunity presents itself but would probably have to engage stealth mode! ;)

Numerous videos watched and also some Canadian rail DVD’s acquired, but I think my favourite YouTube must be this! :D
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7QCnv0Qpfg


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