Friday, August 16, 2013

Edmonton, Calgary, and Dinosaurs

26 July 2013

Our first (and pretty much only) stop in Edmonton was the West Edmonton Mall, the largest mall in North America (bigger than the Mall of America) and the 5th largest mall in the world.

Outside of the West Edmonton Mall--nothing particularly spectacular

This is entrance 56 to the mall.  There may be more.

Inside (part of) the mall

Obligatory ice rink in the mall
The most spectacular part of the mall was the full-sized water park inside the mall.   Of course in Edmonton, if it was outside, it would get used for about 2 weeks every year.

Half of the water park

Other half of the water park

That's a miniature golf course on the lower level

After the mall, we took a quick drive around Edmonton and headed for Calgary, about a 4 hour drive south.

Near downtown Edmonton

Rexall Place, home of the Edmonton Oilers

Downtown Edmonton

As a secondary splurge for my birthday, we booked a nice hotel in downtown Calgary, right next to the Calgary Tower.  Downtown Calgary was surprisingly lively at night and they did a good job of preserving their 19th century buildings.

Calgary Tower and our hote.

8th Avenue, a block from our hotel

While walking around downtown we encountered the sculpture in the picture below.  It's by Jaume Plensa, the artist who proposed a big art project that Raleigh rejected.  Look at what we missed....

27 July 2013

Today we went to the top of the Calgary Tower, then headed a couple of hours northeast to Drumheller to visit the Royal Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum.

View of part of downtown Calgary from the top of the Calgary tower.

Another view of downtown

View of my feet from the top of the tower

Back on the ground in downtown Calgary

At the Calgary Stampede grounds

The Saddledome, where the Calgary Flames play
On the way to Drumheller

Drumheller is a town of about 8,000 people in an area called Dinosaur Valley, so named because of the large number of dinosaur remains found in the area.  It is also home to the world's largest (fake) dinosaur.

The Great Dinosaur of Drumheller

A Lesser Dinosaur of Drumheller

About 5 miles outside Drumheller is the Royal Tyrrell Museum which is one of the best museums of its kind (dinosaurs) in the world.

Entrance to the Royal Tyrrell Museum

Inside the museum

Inside the museum

Inside the museum

The area around Drumheller is known as the Canadian Badlands, which while not as impressive as the Badlands in South Dakota, are pretty impressive nevertheless.

Canadian Badlands near Drumheller

From Drumheller we went to Brooks, Alberta about which there is nothing to say except that we turned down the opportunity to spend $42.00 on a large pizza.

Next: Moose Jaw, North Dakota, Deadwood, and Sturgis.

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