Holzinger Farm in Hayter (Provost) – 21st July to 11th Aug
The 21st July I arrived together with Daren Holzinger and his helper Marco on the Holzinger Farm. We were coming from Saskatoon in Saskatchewan. Daren’s farm has 480 ha and he uses most of it as grassland, making hay and selling it. He has almost two residential buildings on his farm. The one he uses for himself has almost four bedrooms and four bathrooms, the other one is smaller and not in use for the moment. His parents lived there before.
Daren is different to the hosts, I have been with before. The closest he is coming was Laurie in Warialda, New South Wales, Australia (see on this blog: Australia/New South Wales/Warialda). Both are living alone on a farm, did not have planned for me, what to help them with, usually cook their own meals and have hard to ask me for doing it as well as they are very kind. Though it was not Daren, who showed me his home, but Marco did as well as he told me about the routines respectively the lack of routines. I started to clean in the kitchen, but when Daren came in and I told him, he answered, that it can be different, what people call clean.
Daren is a night-bird like me, which makes the stay more enjoyable. He offered me a very nice room upstairs (Marco has his bed downstairs) and gave me totally new bed sheets. We stayed in the living room until midnight and had a good chat as well as I asked him for a list, that I can know what to do. By the way, when I checked my emails that night I already had received the e-payment from the SGI (see: Saskatchewan). Unfortunately I could not transfer the amount on one of my accounts. The system was only working with Canadian bank accounts, though I contacted the SGI the following day by email.
Friday 22nd July: I did not get any advise of Daren, what to do this day. Therefore I started to update my blog and was looking for an other car on the Internet (Kijiji). I was happy when Marco asked me to follow him to the other house for picking branches off the entrance. It did not take long time for us to do that, though we stayed available the rest of the day and were chatting about Northern Italy. Around noon Daren came in and told us, that he will go to Provost and that we are welcome to follow him. He also told us, that he will go to the farmer’s market and buy the Marshmallow Peanut Butter cookies, Marco likes so much and I never have tasted. Unfortunately this day none sold these cookies on the farmer’s market and the other cookies, they sold, I have already seen and tasted. I also tried one more time to transfer the payment to my account, but without success.
In the evening we went with the truck and camping trailer to Csar Lake. Daren had told me that before. We attended the Bullarama. – The community has only 500 souls, but anyway they are arranging this event, with the help of sponsors and volunteers, every year. – I learned something new this evening. In the fenced area, where alcoholic beverage was sold, no minors were allowed. There were security guards to ensure this. After the bull riding competition it was dance in a pen. That was the reason, why we came with the trailer. Daren looked forward to an evening with dance and beer, so did Marco. There were lots of other campers for the same reason. Unfortunately the music was POP and the dancers – mostly girls, very young. A few country songs has been played, but no girl asked Daren for a dance – it was “girls night” he explained to me. I tried to find a washroom, to brush my teeth before sleeping in the trailer, but the one I found, was closed. In addition to that there was no light on the driveway.
For more photos of the Bullarama click photographs.
For my short video from the event on YouTube click here.
Next morning (23rd) Daren was leaving the trailer for a while. When he came back, I asked him, if he had found an open washroom. He told Marco and me, that he had eaten breakfast for $5 only and invited us, to go there for breakfast, too. So we did and went all together home to Daren’s farm afterwards, where we showered (one at a time 😉). It seemed, Daren has read my references, because he asked me for washing his windows. He was really excited of the result, for a moment he thought, there is no windowpane in the frame.
This day I also got answers on my emails to the car insurance and SSAQ (see Quebec). I have to send documents respective letters, they do not accept emails. I asked Daren for a printer, which he has and also offered me to use. Unfortunately the wi-fi was not working between my tablet and the printer nor was it possible to print from my usb stick. I have to ask for print outs at the library next time I can follow Daren to Provost.
Sunday 24th I washed more windows and cooked the supper. I had to make something of minced beef, but I neither found onion and tomato paste nor the ready sauce I knew Daren bought lately. Though I mixed the minced beef with mushrooms and spices, cooked macaroni and prepared a mixed salad. Both Daren and Marco enjoyed the meal, when they were coming back from making hay late that evening. – I spent lots of time on the Internet updating my blog.
On Monday I did get an answer from the SGI, which confirmed, that the e-payment only is possible for Canadian accounts and I had to provide my address for the cheque, which will be sent. I made some cleaning and supper. It was a nice and warm day, though I asked Daren if he would enjoy a mixed salad with left over rice and chops as well as eggs. He agreed to it and really enjoyed it as supper around 10pm. The summer is not what he is used to, he told me. Every day it is possible to make hay, he has to do it until it gets dark, therefore the late supper.
On Tuesday 26th Daren had to go to Provost for buying paint and other things. I was following him for the print out at the library, but did not check before the opening hours of the library. Unfortunately it opened not before 1pm and he had done his errands already at 11am. I only had taken out some cash at an ATM and bought two envelopes with stamps for Canada at the post office, when I followed him back to his farm. I had tried to get print outs at other places like the community office as well as post office, but it had not been possible.
After lunch we were going to his other house, though I could start painting the walls on the second floor. He told me to take his truck (a similar one, which you can see on the photo of his farm) down there and was going by quad making a trail for me beside the road, because it is not allowed in Canada to drive a quad on the highway. We were both going back by the truck for one more time – we forgot items on the farm. He asked me again to go to the other house by his truck, because he was taking a big truck to his shed down there.
I started painting and finished this day a whole big room the ceiling included. This time I was going back to the farm by quad. When I was back I asked Daren if I should cook supper again, but he told me, that he would do a barbecue himself, because his work would be done soon. We had pork chops and wedges as well as warmed green cut beans from a can. I liked the wedges most of all, they were spicy, but not too hot. It was 11:45pm when we just had finished the meal. The guys were watching TV for a while, but I was to “my” room and on the Internet. Actually I quit soon, because I was too tired.
The upcoming day I made the dishes and was then going to the other house by quad again. I painted the two smaller rooms on the upper floor and Marco did paint the stair hall, because I could not reach those walls. This evening Daren was earlier at home and Marco talking about the chicken wing day (in Csar). I thought it also was an “all you can eat” day, but it was not as I learned later that evening. As you may imagine, we were going to Csar for the meal, even it was a 45 km drive in one direction. The restaurant at the hotel was in old Western style like you may have seen in old movies.
Chicken wings were served with different flavours of customers choice. Disappointed I experienced, that all the flavours were powders from cans. All of us first had three different choices and afterwards Marco chose one more, which we shared.
At this restaurant already was a couple, who had been drinking a lot. When the woman ordered one more beer she was denied. The waitress told her, she had enough. The waitress also made sure, that the couple would not drive away by car. The woman’s son was picking them up. It was actually the first time in my life I have seen, that people was denied more alcoholic beverage in a restaurant, but I valued it strongly.
Back on the farm we had ice cream and Marco pointed out, that it was already a week ago since we met for the first time. I nearly could not believe it, but it is true.
On Thursday (28th) I painted in the other house parts of the frames of the windows downstairs with burgundy coloured paint. Daren goes and comes back several times. He never tells, what he is doing or will do, Marco and me are all the time on jour. This behaviour he has had before, too and continues with. It is just the way he is, but he is kind and generous. He does not count our hours, provides as much food as one want including ice cream 😊 – sometimes also chocolate or potato chips. He has also paid all the entrance fees for us.
Friday 29th: I am eager to go to Provost for my print outs, though I tell Daren, that I would like to take a walk to town. It ends up, that Marco drive me into town. He takes the opportunity to go to the tourist information as well as he even make a print out for himself. I went to the post office and the supermarket before I start on my way home, using other streets as usual. I took photographs from houses with nice gardens. Somewhere I slipped. By the rain soil had been washed on the pedestrians way and I did not pay attention to it. My trousers became very dirty, but my camera was in my backpack and safe. I had walked most of the way back to the farm, when Daren met me with his truck. He was on his way to Provost, but picked me up. I did not have a chance for a long walk.
For more photos of Provost click photographs.
In the afternoon I painted the windows in the other house one more time. Late that evening Marco and me took goodbye of each other. He will go to Saskatchewan the upcoming day and travel there for a week, before he will go home to Italy, his girlfriend and his job at a TV station.
Marco left on Saturday (30th) early morning. Daren was driving him to Macklin, where the bus was leaving from. Therefore Daren slept a lite longer this morning. I was preparing the windows on the second floor in the other house for painting.
It has been raining a lot the last two days, so it did on Sunday (31st) and I had a day off, which I used to continue with my blog and uploaded some videos to YouTube.
Already another month again! On 1st Aug I have got a big surprise. My son Samuel transferred pocket-money to my Swedish account. He was very generous and I have got guilty conscience, but I was happy, too, of course. I am missing my car, I need a new one to go further, because I have a lot of camping stuff and have booked a camping site in Jasper National park for 1st September. Daren also told me, that it is much closer from his place to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial as well as to the American Rockies (Yellowstone National park) than from the province of British Columbia. I would like to go there before going to my next host in Calgary.
Daren was thinking about to buy white paint, though I could work with the window frames on the second floor in the other house, but he came back without. He had forgotten, that it is a Civic holiday in Canada, in Alberta called “Heritage Day”. – Civic holidays has their own name for every province, even communities can have an own name for it, so has Toronto.
I found a car for 1.300 CAD on Kijiji, looking OK, but it was in Edmonton. In our area there are no many used cars for sale. I contacted the owner and asked him to hold the car for me, because there were no buses this day either. Actually he did and we had a lot of email exchange. At the end Daren also called the seller for me. When I asked Daren, if he could drive me to Edmonton, if I pay the fuel, he told me, that he probably will go to Edmonton anyway the following day, but he is awaiting a phone call and it is also depending on the weather. He promised to drive me to Lloydminster next morning, if he cannot drive me all the way to Edmonton. Already this evening it became sure, that he would not go to Edmonton, because the next day will be sunny and dry, though he can make hay. I booked the bus ride online for the only company, which is stopping in Lloydminster, the Greyhound bus – the one, which comes closest to our area. I also booked a bed in the HI-hostel in Edmonton. It was for around 35 CAD, even they are renovating the hostel and I am a HI-member. – I had preferred, when Daren had driven me just of the reason, he knows a lot about cars.
Next morning (2nd Aug) we started from the farm at 8:30am. Daren never makes hay early in the morning. It takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours by car from the Holzinger farm to Lloydminster. This day it took almost 2 hours because we had to wait at a railway crossing, when a very long goods train was passing. The goods trains here are usually really long, but this one was the longest one I have seen so far. We were already in Lloydminster, when my phone rang. I had it as usual in my backpack and could not answer, but did call back as soon I had left the truck at the bus station. It was the seller of the car, who asked, if I was on my way. He told me, that people was calling for the car all the time and one prospective buyer would take it unseen. He promised to wait for me.
I went to the library of Lloydminster for a print out of the ticket, because Greyhound buses in Canada only accept printed ones – later I learned, that the bus driver collect the tickets. They do not have bar codes and reading machines. I still had time to spend and walked the line, dividing the town in two parts, one belonging to Saskatchewan, the other belonging to Alberta. I also asked a pedestrian to take a photo of me, which he was so kind and did. Back at the bus station I bought a sandwich in the restaurant and had a chat with a nice senior from Houston, Texas. He told me, that he is delivering trucks all over Canada and that it is his way to travel. He will take a flight home, but has to go by bus to leave Lloydminster.
For more photos of Lloydminster click photographs.
The bus should leave Lloydminster at 11:50am, but it arrived at that time. The bus driver told us, that the bus will depart after a 15 minutes rest and we had to wait for boarding until he will be back. Actually the bus was starting at 12:15pm. There was no wi-fi on board, even the homepage stated it. The bus did not have any seat belts either. The bus driver was driving very fast, overtaking lots of vehicles. I had the feeling, he did drive faster as allowed. Finally we arrived at the Via rail station in Edmonton and got to know, that the bus is not going downtown any more.
I messaged the private seller of my car about the bus stop, because he was waiting for me downtown. He was so kind and picked me up at the Via railway station. He was driving another car, which was looking horrible. He told me, someone had been running into it on a car park and run away, though he had to pay the repair all by himself. He also told me, that he had ordered parts, which will arrive in the evening. The man did take me to the car I have seen on Kijiji. We agreed, that we will drive to the AMA, an insurance company and there I could decide if I want to buy the car. Unfortunately I did not pay attention to, that the signal lights hade an electric issue. When one of them is activated, the speedometer etc. is not working, but I did not hear the usual ticking of the signal lights, though I asked him to switch them on meanwhile I checked, that they are working – they did. I decided to buy the car, even it was more rusty as I expected.
The seller went together with me to a mall for an ATM, where I took out the asked amount for the car. I did get it in $20-notes, but that was not my problem, because I paid with them. – I did not take out the money earlier for safety reasons. After that we were going back to the place, where we parked the cars and went to the insurance company. The seller asked for a special assistant. We had to wait for her, because she had a customer. When it was our turn, she told me, that she could not insure the car for me, because I did neither have a Canadian driver’s license nor an IDP. I told her, that my translation from New Zealand is as good as an IDP, but she denied, though I asked for the supervisor. Unfortunately she denied, too. The seller told me, I had time to insure and register the car and could do that in Provost. He did not mind, that the car was still insured and registered on him. So we did.
I drove with help of Google maps to the hostel and was lucky to find a free parking space close to it. When I checked in some minutes later a young guy did take care of me. He was really service minded. I have got a lower bed in a dorm for four. Unfortunately the space to the upper bed was very low, I did bump my head several times into the upper bed while bedding. In addition to that the door to the room was squeezing and there were girls trying to sleep. I made me comfortable with the facilities and was then going downtown. I tried to see as much as possible during my short stay, because I had this town on my list of places to see, but it will not really be on my route later on, when I will go further from Calgary.
I get to know from the nice guy at the reception, that the buses no 7 and 57 are going downtown, but I did not know from which side of the street. I could not figure it out on the bus stops either. I asked a young guy, who told me, just to walk that street and at the traffic lights to the right, therefore I thought, the bus will go on that side to. Unfortunately it did not, the bus driver explained, but I could go with him to the university and take the train from there to the stop Bay/Enterprise Square. He also was asking me, where I come from and told me than, that Swedish is one of the languages he does not speak. I was interested in, which languages he speaks and he told me: English of course, Spanish, French and German. I was surprised, that he was working as a bus driver with that knowledge, but also happy to have met such a service minded bus driver.
I walked around in the city looking for something to eat. The tapas restaurant looked nice, but inside I turned around. People, waiting to be seated, were very well dressed and I came in my hiking pants. Next door was a pizzeria. It was empty, but open. Even the prices were somewhat high I ordered a pizza and was asked which toppings I would like, because for the pizza first chosen, not all of the toppings were available. I have got a well topped pizza for the announced price and the female cook told me, that she is preparing the other pizza for herself. She will take it home, because she is closing down for the day. She made company with me and we were talking about travelling. She told me, that her parents had immigrated from Portugal, but she had never been there. However a friend of her from Edmonton has been in Portugal last year and she also told me, that meeting me made her interested in travelling and almost visiting her ancestors home country.
For more photos of Edmonton click photographs.
After the meal I was looking for a supermarket or convenience shop, I would like to buy yogurt for breakfast. On my way I came to a square, where people was waiting for the start of a movie at an open air screen. I could not figure out, which movie will be shown, but there were no entrance fee. I walked around in the area and also took some photographs for being back at this square after a while – just in time for the beginning of the movie, which was Star Wars, episode VII. I am not interested in such kind of movies, though I left the place five minutes later. Finally I found the Jasper Drive and a convenience shop, but no real yogurt, therefore I bought three different kinds of beverage: A frappuccino mocka, a kind of drinking yogurt and 0.5 l milk. I did not buy any cereals, because I understood earlier that day, that each guest at the hostel will get a free package of cereals for breakfast. I went back to the hostel by bus, even I had to change bus, because I had taken the first one, which was crossing the bridge over the river – the hostel was on the other side of the river. Both bus drivers were very kind and I also was lucky, that a Canadian woman on the second bus lived in the neighbourhood of the hostel. She started to talk with me and accompanied me the whole way to the hostel. I was back at the hostel around midnight and the kitchen already closed, when I tried to put my shopping in the fridge. Fortunately there was a cleaner, who let me in for the short moment it took. It has been a happy and lucky day for me by meeting so many kind persons, but the insurance employees.
The next morning (3rd Aug) I realized, that I had heard wrong. The free cereals was a free cereal bar, not the best thing to have in the yogurt, but with a positive thinking almost all is possible. I did not like the taste of the frappuccino. Too late I discovered the free coffee, coffee machine and free tea in the kitchen. After this “second class breakfast” I picked up my belongings and left the hostel. I used Google maps to find my way out of the town towards hwy 13 East, which will bring me back all the way to Provost and Daren’s farm. Unfortunately there was still lots of traffic in town and the announcement, where I had to drive to the right or left or to exit one highway for another was always quite late, though I had to drive extra kilometers. I was happy, when I finally was on hwy 13.
Driving East from Edmonton on hwy 13 means to drive through Camrose. The city advertises it’s Heritage museum and I became interested in it. It was also well signed and I needed anyway a rest from driving. Canada’s highways are often boring and give you mostly the impression, that the highway is never-ending. Therefore drivers fatigue and it is recommended to take a rest every two hours. I enjoyed the museum for around two hours. It has some different buildings – most of them moved here. These buildings have old appliances depending on the kind of building. There were lots of stuff I already knew, but also quite many items I have not seen before, especially the different kinds of fireplaces and also stoves.
I also drove to the city centre, because I was looking for a cheap restaurant. When I had parked the car, I was looking around and found the city pretty as well as I soon found a DQ (Dairy Queen), where I ordered a chicken strip basket with beverage. It was actually not very cheap, but I enjoyed it. As a beverage I chose orange juice, I thought, but it was a carbonated soft drink. I was surprised and happy, that it did not hurt my tongue.
For more photos of Camrose and the Heritage museum click photographs.
It was early afternoon when I continued driving on hwy 13. I drove for around 30 minutes, when I suddenly faced a car overtaking a truck. I used my breaks as well as I was driving onto the shoulder. The overtaking driver continued like his side had two files, but the one he used was the file for my direction. Even the car behind me was driving on the shoulder, I saw in the mirror. In addition to that it happened more than once, that cars and trucks crossed, even they had to yield, so I had to use the breaks. I now understand why the car insurance in Alberta is more than twice as high as in Quebec.
Around an hour later I got tired and looked for a place to rest. Unfortunately I did not find a rest area, though I took off to a small road, stopped there on the shoulder and took a nap for around one hour. Afterwards I continued to the farm, but was in Provost buying yogurt. Finally back on the farm I found the letter with the check from the SGI. It had taken almost a week by Canadian Post! I spent time together with Daren in the evening and was to bed around 11:30pm, but wrote emails about the IDP to the government of the province of Alberta and Sweden, both to the traffic regulation offices.
On 4th August I drove to Macklin, Saskatchewan (ca 15 minutes drive), because there is a Royal Bank – the same for the cheque. It was hard to get my money. Usually money for a cheque is paid to a Canadian account. A pay out of a cheque is very atypical and has lots of restrictions. After a long while I could drive back to the farm with 2.300 CAD in my backpack. It was not possible either to put it into my Swedish account.
Daren had been to Provost and bought white paint for the windows in the other house. I started to paint and also taped off some areas. Back at the farm a thunderstorm was going down, but it was only a short time raining. Daren came home for the thunderstorm and we were talking about supper. He told me, he will go out again and will have a long day. He added, that he had chicken in the freezer, but does not know how to cook. I offered to cook the chickens – actually it was two in the same package. He also asked me to cook “Knödel” of a pack “Knödel powder”. So I did later that day. I served it together with a mixed salad. Daren was thankful and enjoyed the meal. I planned to cook “Flying Jacob” of a part of the leftover.
The next morning (Friday 5th) I was going to Provost, trying to insure and register my new car. There was no problem with the IDP, the broker was not asking for it, but I have been told, that I need a mechanical inspection of an authorised mechanic, because the car is more than ten years old. The insurance broker also told me, that the cost of the insurance is 1.400 CAD/year. I tried it first with another insurance, but it was more complicated there. I was told, if we will insure your car – it seems the insurance companies earn so much, that they do not need new customers.
I was close to change my driver’s license into a Canadian (issued in Alberta), because I thought, the insurance will be cheaper and I was not sure either, if I am allowed to drive with my European license and the translation after 15th August, because Alberta officially only allows to drive with it for 90 days – after that an IDP is requested. I was told, that it was simple to issue an Alberta driver’s license with my European one and the translation from New Zealand, but if I get an Alberta driver’s license, I have to leave my European. I cannot have two driver’s licenses. Though I was to the police office, which is the office of the RCMP. I asked the civil assistant, which asked the officer and after a while I have got the answer, that my translation from New Zealand is as good as an IDP – there is no translation to another language than English necessary for Canada. Back to the insurance broker at which office also driver’s licenses can be issued. I told them about my visit at the RCMP and the result. The assistant called someone by phone to ensure, that even the insurance company will accept my translation and my driver’s license will be accepted as an International Driver’s License. She got green light.
I left the office of the insurance broker, drove to the supermarket and bought the ingredients for “Flying Jacob”, but chicken, rice and chili sauce. Thereafter I tried to find a garage. I remember I had seen an Autoshop, but could not find it anymore. On my way out of Provost I nearly passed Fountain tire, but have seen it in time for stopping there. They could have done the necessary inspection already Friday afternoon, but I had work to do for Daren, therefore I booked an appointment for Monday morning.
Back on the farm I was waiting for Daren, because he had to follow me to the other house and tell me, what I should paint. He told me, that I should not paint the doors, but the door frames, because he might buy new doors. I washed the frames before I was painting. They were left dirty of the previous tenants. Daren had to continue with the hay again and was not back before it was dark around 10pm. I was so hungry at 6pm, though I had a meal. Afterwards I was on the Internet.
Saturday (6th Aug) I was painting for a couple of hours again. This time I made the banisters and handrail as well as the skirting on the side of the stairs. In the evening I cooked the “Flying Jacob” and waited for Daren to come home for supper. When it was dark I laid the table and was wondering, if I should start without him or wait for him. Just in that moment he was arriving on the yard. By the way he liked the dish very much!
The following day (Sunday) I asked Daren to give me advice about, which rusty parts I should fix, because the seller left a repair kid in the car. Daren first told me, that I should not care about the rust underneath, but I had to clean more, where I already started for the stuff should fasten. Directly after that he told me, he could clean the area with the high pressure washer and also fix the rest. I thanked him so much, because I know he has lots to do. He also told me, that nobody would care about the rust. It is Canada! Anyway I stayed the whole day on the farm and did not help him anything, though he could work with the car, when he gets time. – He has a different view about clean and cleaning than me. I do some cleaning sometimes, but just the way he is not aware of it. I never clean in his office and do not touch his papers, because we talked about that my second day on the farm. I only entered his bedroom, when he asked me to clean the windows. I try to cook and make the dishes, but often he make it by himself. Only the days he is making hay, I can help him and those days he is grateful for my help.
In the late afternoon he suddenly came in and asked me for driving his truck back from Provost, because he will get one of his tractors from there. I did it, of course.
Monday morning I left my car at Fontain tire for the inspection. I was told, it will be done around noon. First I went to the post office for a stamp to send a letter to my aunt. Afterwards I was to the pharmacy for eye drops. Well there I remembered I am running out of liniment against insect bites and for healing of scrapes as well as wipes. In addition to that I still was looking for tissues in 10 x 10 pieces packages. At the supermarket they only have face tissues in 100 pieces boxes. I ended up with a few items to an amount of around 20 CAD all together, but I was happy I found, what I was looking for. It was raining and I was looking for other shops to spend my time. Therefore I went to the Bargain shop, but did not buy anything. It was an hour left to noon and I was happy about the café next door to the Bargain shop, where I bought a hot chocolate and a muffin to eat in. There were only one more customer eating in, an elderly woman. She started to talk with me. To hear her better I changed place to her table. We had a nice chat. She told me, that she was living on a farm for many years, but one of her sons had taken over now. She also explained, that she shortly bought a Condo (~owned apartment), that she also just these days had bought a new car as well as she told me about the surgery of her knee and the medical clinics. She asked me, where I come from, what I do in Provost and similar questions. She was not shy at all and it seemed, she was looking for someone to share time and experience with. I was happy for her, she gave a meaning for the time, which would have been wasted without her.
I went back to the garage, where I have been told all the things, which has to be done. Some of them I already knew like the signal lights and the wiper back, the others were e.g the contacts of the battery and sway bar links as well as front studs, even I was not happy about the noise from the left front wheel, when I turned it more than slightly. I already awaited, that there may be something worn. I also was told, that the repair of the wiper and the signal lights can be expensive depending on, how hard the broken part is to find. I took the car back to the farm, awaiting an exact calculation.
Around 2pm I drove to the other house and taped around the 10 cm high skirting in the rooms and painted them afterwards as well as I did some minor works. Daren came in once, told me it smells paint and was talking about the repair with me. He asked me, if I will have done the repair at a cheaper place and explained, that Fountain tire is expensive. I was talking with him about the car and my stay, because I would like to go further – actually for some days to the USA – but need to care about the car first. I asked him if there is more to do and told him, that I could not stay without helping him. He answered me, that he has nothing more to do for me, but that the “Flying Jacob” was so good, that I could stay for some more days anyway.
I was waiting for the calculation all the afternoon. As late as 5:30pm my phone rang and I was answering, but the connection broke. I checked the number and saw, it was from Fountain tire, though I was waiting for a text message, but did not get any. Daren cooked band-spaghetti and minced meat sauce, when I told him, I am hungry. Daren asked me later that day, if I want to have the repair done cheaper. We drove – he with his truck, me with my car – to the other garage, outside Provost and Daren took me home after he left his business card on my car. Afterwards we watched the Olympic games on TV, which we also have done the evenings before. I am happy about the Swedish female swimmer Sarah Sjöström and her two medals, Daren is happy about all the Canadian medals.
On Tuesday 9th August Daren was already up around 7am. I only knew it, because I have seen light from the bathroom and heard the shower. I did not see him the entire day, but in the morning he sent me messages about my car and the number of Ron at the garage. I try to call the garage from Daren’s landline – with his allowance, but there is only an answering machine and Ron did not call me back even I left a message.
Around 2pm again I was on my way to the other house. I walked the road. When I was halfway a minor truck stopped and the driver asked me, if I am OK. I had to cross the road to hear him. On the side I walked before an extra wide load was coming. I was happy, I could cross the road, but told the driver, that I am on my way to the next house and that I will continue walking. I thanked him and crossed the road one more time. Meanwhile the truck with the wide load had passed. I made some minor paintings (repairs after the tape and some spots, which did not took paint before) as well as I took off all the tapes. All was done during two hours. Back at the farm I made the last updates of my blog.
I also looked up an email address of the Fountain tire in the morning and ask them for the calculation per email. The document came by email in the afternoon. They would make the repairs for almost 600 CAD, but would not ask for a payment for the inspection. In that price is neither the repair of the wiper nor the signal lights included. Even the oil change I asked about, is not on the list. I answered them, that I have to sleep over it and will contact them tomorrow. I finished the day with my up to date blog with all the pictures, links and a new colour scheme, which makes it easier to see the links, but I was waiting for Daren. It would have been good to know, that he is OK.
On Wednesday 10th August I awoke around 6am. Daren was not back yet and I am wondering, why he neither told me, that he would not be at home during the night nor answered my last message from the day before. I sent a new message to him around 6:40am, asking how and where he is. He answered at 8:20am, that he is good and will be back in around six hours. To know this feels good for me. He also text me, that I could go with his (minor) truck to the garage, to get my car – and leave the truck there, but that is no option for me, because I actually do not remember, which road / driveway I have to use for getting there. 😕
I called the garage around 7am, asking about my car, but first I called someone else, because the first number Daren texted me the day before was wrong. Two numbers had changed place. The second number had a wrong number in the area code, but that I have seen immediately. My car is done, I have been told by Ron and it is for 245 CAD only. Though I asked him about the signal lights and he told me, he fixed it. I also asked him for the wiper back. He told me, he missed that, but will take a look at it in the afternoon, because he is busy in the morning. I hope he will find the bad part soon and replace it. Unfortunately I forgot to ask him for the oil change.
I have got an answer from the driver’s license authority in South Dakota with the short statement, that I am fine to drive there. I hoped I can leave Provost the upcoming day. After breakfast I cleaned the kitchen and two of the bathrooms as well as I fed the cats. It looked like it will start raining again, therefore I took my rain jacket when I left for the other house. It was the last time I was going there. I took off the tape from the skirting and cleaned the upper floors as well as I took the plastic protection to the first floor. I tried to make it as easy as possible for Daren to take care about the stuff, used for the painting. On my way back it rained, which did made the walk on the highway less enjoyable.
Back at the farm I checked which route I will prefer to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial and wrote it down. I also checked the weather and it seems to be great in Montana, USA – the state I will drive through for the longest time. I got hungry and found something to eat. Afterwards I listened to the music on my mp3-player and was on the Internet again.
Daren was back around 4pm. He had bought an old truck for parts in the North of British Columbia. Even he should be tired, he drove me to the garage, though I could get my car and that important paper for the insurance. I had to pay 245 CAD, that included only the paper and the signal lights. All the other things, they want to do at the Fountain tire, were not done, but the mechanic explained, that my car is save in the condition it is. I drove directly to Provost to insure and register the car. It helped, that I had been there before, because there were no questions any more, but the usual, that means the address etc. They told me, that I have to come in person, when I will cancel the insurance, because I have to sign a paper for it. Insurances are always for one year, but I was allowed to pay only 40% of the amount, that is the minimum one can pay, when signing an insurance in Alberta. With the new plate in my car I took a detour to the supermarket and bought more yogurt. Afterwards I tried to pay for the inspection at Fountain tire, but they had closed 10 minutes ago.
Back at the farm, Daren changed the plates for me and stored my seats in one of his sheds, He also gave me a mattress for my car. I will have it more comfortable this time! Later on I told him, that I was worried, when he did not come home last night and was not here either in the morning. He answered, that he told me, that he won’t be home for 1 1/2 day, but I had not heard anything. I think it was just a communication problem, because I remembered, he told me, my car had to be at the garage at 7am, therefore we were leaving it there already in the evening. Maybe he did tell me the rest, too. Anyway I did not remember it.
During the evening we watched the Olympic games on TV. He cooked supper and let me chose between “Bratwurst” and pork chops, I decided for “Bratwurst”. He served it with homemade potato mash and creamy sweetcorn. Before we were going to bed, we watched a new episode of CSI. I had itchings this evening, but could not figure out, where they come from, maybe an ingredient from the sausage.
11th Aug I said goodbye to Daren with a handshake after breakfast. He had helped me to put my belongings into my car. – When I got itchings in the morning, eating yogurt with lemon curd I understood, what I might have got the itchings of the evening before: Orange juice. I drank it the day before around noon and the itchings not necessarily come directly.
For more photos of the Holzinger Farm click photographs.
I drove to Provost first to the Esso gas station (they still have the tiger in the tank, he cannot be alive anymore 😉), then Fontain tire, where I paid for the inspection and afterwards to the post office and send the previous owners plate and his papers back. Done this, I tried to find the hwy 899 to Bodo. I needed Google maps GPS for it. As long as I was in Canada, I used it, when I was not sure in which direction I should drive.
Coming further South in Alberta, the landscape became very beautiful with the rolling hills. I did not drive through a lot of villages or cities, because they were almost some kilometers from the highway. I followed the 899 as long as possible, but the last part was gravel road. I thought I had to cross the 570, but that was not possible, because the 899 did not continue on the other side. I first drove on the 570 in the wrong direction, though I used Google maps GPS again – I had to drive back ca. 15km!
From the hwy 570 I turned onto the hwy 41. The landscape was so beautiful! I took a detour to Medicine Hat. It is surrounded of rolling hills.
I had a rest there for lunch – bought and ate a pizza at Pizza Hut, but the place was so different to the Pizza Hut restaurants I know.
I parked close to the railway station. It was a two hours parking zone. I thought I was already downtown and that it was a very little town, by the way with a pretty, but very small, heritage park – if I remember right. Later I found, that it is one of the bigger cities of the province of Alberta. Maybe I will go there one more time for the art galleries.
For more photos of Medicine Hat click photographs.
Soon I continued on hwy 41 and the border to the USA at Wild Horse. About the procedure at the border for entering the USA and my week sightseeing parts of Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota click USA.
Back in Alberta – 16th Aug 2016
I arrived at the Canadian border control in Sweet Grass around noon. I expected no problems to enter Canada again because the visa in my passport, but I was wrong. The first question of the officer was, whom’s car I am driving. He asked me more than once, why I have been in the USA and where I live. Obviously I was suspect to him. Though he also asked me, what I had bought in the USA, if I had firearms etc. with me, but he did not ask me if I have medicines. I told him, I had almost not even bought souvenirs, because I had been for sightseeing of the Mt Rushmore National Memorial, the Crazy Horse Memorial and the Yellowstone National park. I also explained, that I had bought food in the USA, which I had eaten during my stay there, when he continued to ask. Finally he told me, that I have to go inside and see another officer, because he has no access to a computer and cannot check if my visa is OK or fejk. He gave me a yellow form, where he had made a note, why he send me to the other officer. The second one was wondering, why his colleague had sent me to him, because he did not question my visa. I took the opportunity to ask him to take the visa waiver note from the USA out of my passport by explaining that I will not go to the USA again before October and that my flight home will be at 14th December from Los Angeles. This officer did so and I could continue without further problems.
I was going by the (Canadian) hwy 4 to Lethbridge and took a rest and a meal in a recreation area close to the tourist information. When I finished my meal I walked over to the information and asked, what to do in Lethbridge and how to find it as well as I asked how to come to that unusual high level railway bridge the city is known for. The female assistant recommended me the scenic drive and two parks, one of them the Indian Battle park, which was created and worked with by Native people. They got the ground and all the material for free, but had to be clean from alcohol and drugs, I have been told. The named railway bridge is close to it. A customer, who asked for information material for her French guest, told me, that the Native people lack a gen which make them drunk very fast: “If they drink 2 beer they become like white people, who had 5 beer”. I answered her “they are like me” and the woman kept quiet.
I used the scenic drive to go to the Battle park and the bridge, but I neither did find the park right away nor a good place for taking a photograph of the bridge. Especially to find a good spot for the photograph took time, therefore I did not have time to visit the Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Centre. I started from Lethbridge around 3pm and hoped to be at my new host’s home two hours later.
For more photos of Lethbridge click photographs.
Calgary – 16th to 30th Aug 2016
I arrived at Louise’s home half an hour late, because “Google told me” first to use a road, which was closed, though I had to drive around town for many kilometers instead. Louis was very understanding and she had been waiting with the supper for me. Actually she ordered lasagna, but first we had a chat to get to know each other. While waiting for the lasagna, she also explained their routines for me. Louise is working full-time and leaves the house 7am. At that time the carer for her grown up, but disabled son arrives and helps him during the day. She takes him e.g. to the gymnasium, helps with the showers and also care about his meals. Around 4:30pm Louise is back at home again and the carer leaves. She also told me, that she used to have another carer for the evening hours, though she can take a nap or other things. She added, that she is very happy about, that I was coming, because she had not found a new carer yet after the last one quit her job for a better one. Furthermore she talked about the holidays she has had together with her son and that she still has lots of laundry to do, because her son is incontinent. I asked her to help her with the laundry and she answered, that she would appreciate it. In addition to that she asked what I will see in Calgary, she expected that I will make some sightseeing.
The following day I stayed at Louise place all the day, doing her laundry as well as mine. The weather was not inviting me to go out and explore the city as well as I knew, I have plenty of time to do that. After supper I did take out Gregory for a walk, that means, I was walking and pushing him in the wheelchair. By that I discovered, that the pathways here around are not as comfortable for wheelchair users as they look like. It was hard work to get him around and fortunately he can stand up for a little while, otherwise the only opportunity had been to went back the way we were coming. Louise was enjoying this evening with a friend, but was already back home again at 9pm. Her friend made her company and the rest of the evening we all talked about travels as well as we were looking at my photographs from the USA. Well in bed I was working with my blog.
I started Thursday, 18th, very lazy. I had tried my socks and bras in the laundry room – my other clothes I had put in the dryer, though I picked my socks and bras and started another load in the washing machine as well as one in the dryer. In the middle of the day I took the bus and commuter train, here called C-train (actually it is a street car system) to the city centre. I left at stop City Hall. That was a good decision, because I could enjoy the old as well as the new City Hall. Furthermore I was close to the Olympic Plaza, a place I like very much. From there I was walking through a system of walkways called +15, which goes throughout art centers and other areas. I left close to the Calgary tower. Later on Louise explained, that this walkways under the roofs was done for bad weather times including cold winters, even the Chinook (warm wind) make the winters very different to the ones in Saskatchewan, where -40°C is not unusual. The cold days in Calgary often disappear by the Chinook. She also told me, that there is a similar system of walkways called +30.
I was not sure, that I would enter the Calgary tower, but it was advertised, that the Rocky Mountains could be seen from the top, though I bought a ticket and was going by the elevator to the top. The sight was good all over the city, but not good enough for the Rocky Mountains. They were only a greyish-blue stripe on the horizon. I took lots of photos all around and ask another visitor for a photo with my camera, standing on the edge, that means in an area with a glass floor. I first felt a little uncomfortable to step on it, but that feeling soon was gone.
Coming down again I soon found the Stephen Avenue, a pedestrian mall. Unfortunately there are mostly upper class shops and restaurants, but McDonald’s and a few fast food restaurants. Though I chose a falafel place, it was a little pricey, but affordable. I ordered a falafel plate and a drink. The chef added a piece of baklava without any extra costs. The place was quite cosy and clean and the falafel good and a big portion. I also checked some shops, which had sale, but did not buy anything.
I was back at Louise’s at 4:45pm, but thought I have to be back 4:30pm. Louise told me “no worries”. We spent the evening together and she asked me to cook a Swedish meal the upcoming weekend for her, her friend Joe as well as Gregory and me. I promised to cook “Flying Jacob”. When I was to bed I tried to update my blog, but I was too tired.
19th Aug I was driving to IKEA in the hope, they have the special Swedish granulated sugar we use for our cinnamon buns and some kind of cookies, because I would like to bake for Louis and Gregory. I always enjoy to visit IKEA in foreign countries, because it feels a little bit like home. It was easy to find with the help of Google’s GPS. I liked the Dalahorse in front of the entrance, even it did not have the original colours. Inside I walked all the way through comparing with the IKEA shops in Sweden. I ate Swedish meatballs in the restaurant, where I tried to order it in Swedish, but the chef did not understand the word. I had a Swedish lingonberry-drink as well. After the meal I continue throughout the shop and ended up in the special food shop, but even there I did not find the granulated sugar. I bought frozen Swedish cinnamon buns instead.
I was driving to the Fort Calgary for sightseeing. Even this was easy by the GPS of Google. I spent there some hours, mostly inside, learning a little more about Canadian and Calgary history.
I was “home” at 3:45pm and stayed with Gregory when his carer left, to help Louise, who had an appointment. I did not have to wait for a long time. She came home soon.
Saturday 20th Aug we were out in Louise car. Her friend Joe was driving. He also has a car, but the weather was so nice, though he came on a motorbike. We first did some errands e.g. buying paint in a low price shop – lots of the items were donated, ate then in a Chinese snack bar (I tried deep-fried Wotons, which I liked heavily) and hade a ride to Cochrane, a small Western town with an ice cream shop well-known in Calgary.
For more photos of Cochrane click photographs.
We had to queue on the pathway before we could enter the shop and buy ice cream. I expected to pay my own, though I did order two scopes of for me unknown tastes, but Louise paid for all of us. The ice cream was big, therefore I did not eat another meal that day, but had a warm apple drink and some grapes. We watched TV: Casablanca and the Olympics.
Sunday 21st I prepared the supper by frying the chicken and cooking the rice, meanwhile Louise was to the grocery, shopping the other ingredients for “Flying Jacob”. Around 1pm she drove me to the town, so I could attend “Shakespeare by the Bow”. This year Hamlet was played, but it was a shorted version of only 80 minutes. By the way, the Bow is one of the two rivers running through the city of Calgary. The other river is called Elbow.
The day was really warm and sunny, though I used sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. The theatre play was good and afterwards I walked all the way to the Chinatown. It was much smaller as I had expected. Soon I took the C-train to Louise’s place from the Centre Street. Back in Dalhousie the bus was just leaving, when I finally reached the bus stop. I walked through the shopping mall and bought a cheap box of cookies. I continued to the next bus stop, where I waited for the bus, because I was too tired to walk uphill.
At Louise’s place I cooked the supper and warmed the cinnamon buns in the oven. Louise and Joe were happy in the dish, but Gregory did not like it, but the bun. During the supper we were talking about traditional Swedish food. Joe left around 9pm and I was going to “my” room, so Louise had the chance to get enough with sleep for the upcoming day. I was on Twitter and also updated my blog before falling asleep around midnight.
Monday 22nd was not my day. After breakfast and doing some laundry, I tried to go to the Northland area for an oil change. Unfortunately I could not start my car, because I had forgotten to switch my cooler off and it had drained the battery. I thought maybe Louise or Joe can help me to jump it, though I tried to go to the city by the C-train instead. The discharged battery was not my only misfortune this day. While walking to the C-train station, because there was no bus in sight, I checked the weather by looking up to the sky. I was wondering if I should fetch my rain jacket and did not see the uneven surface and fell. A young woman with a baby on her arm had seen it and asked me, if I am OK. I answered yes, got up and back “home”. I was not in the mood anymore to go anywhere. I had hurt my left hand and got a quite big bruise on the upper side of my hand and – what I discovered later – the glass of my watch was broken. I was happy, that I did not break any bone.
I took the opportunity to take care about more of Louise’s laundry, paid my phone and data bill online, updated my blog as well as I kept track of my economy. I finished soon after Louise was coming home. We spent the evening in the living room with the pets watching TV. Louise also managed her bank papers. When I later on was in “my” room, I tried to update my blog, but fell soon asleep.
The 23rd Aug I was awake around 7:45am, went to the bathroom, took my medicine and went to bed again, checking up a site on the Internet about meeting people. The advertising on the TV tells, that it is for free, but actually it is not if you want to have the opportunity to contact people. I wasted a lot of time on this site, because I could not find out that, before I had posted a profile. I had breakfast around 10am, got dressed afterwards and then I called the CAA/AMA (for German readers: It works similar to the ADAC) for help with my battery. I had become a member hours before I bought my second car in Canada. I was ashamed, that I had to call them, but they told me “no worries, that’s we are working for”.
The help from this organisation arrived around 10 minutes after my call, checked my battery and jumped my engine. I was told, that the engine has to run for almost four hours and that the alternator will charge the battery properly after 12 hours, though I was sitting in my car, running the engine for more than four hours on Louise’s driveway. I was afraid, that the engine may stop if I am going somewhere by car and I won’t be able to start it again. I used the time to write some emails. I also observed, that the Canada Post delivers the mail directly to the doors.
When Louise came home from work I switched off the engine and followed her into the house. The evening we spent as usual on weekdays. If I remember right, she had a nap, too, this evening like she often has and she told me, that is only possible, because I am with them and can have an eye on Gregory as well as help him if necessary.
The 24th Aug I drove to the Northland Mall area and left my car for an oil change, after I had done some laundry like usual in the morning. I could choose between different packages – oil types, lasting for more or less kilometers. I did take the expensive one, because it will last for 10,000 km and I hope I do not need another one. Anyway it was cheaper than two oil changes for 4,000 km only. Meanwhile I have got my car served, I shopped at Wal-Mart (underpants, because they became so ugly of the iron-bearing water at the countryside and socks, because my best two pairs were broken) and another shop (a belt, because the one from Australia has paint on it as well as it is partly broken – actually I left the shop with three belts for 15.75 CAD all together, one would have been for 11.25 CAD).
After the service was done I drove to Drumheller, the town well-known for the Dinosaur museum, but I am not interested in Dinosaurs. I was going there for the surrounding nature instead. Louise had told me before, that it is different and worth to see. I stopped on my way in Beiseker for two reasons. On the one hand side I was hungry and on the other hand side, they advertised their museum a way, which made me interested in it. I asked at the information desk of the community office for a café or restaurant, because the one I saw was not looking invitingly. I ended up in a Chinese restaurant ordering a lunch combo of a Woton soup and a main dish of Chicken Fried Rice, Chicken Balls and wooked vegetables. I drank a glass of water. The place was nice decorated in a Chinese design, the chef and owners were Asians, probably Chinese, but they played American country music.
After lunch I walked the place, which unfortunately is dying. Most of the shops were empty and the buildings for rent or sale. Anyway they had a good working supermarket with a good selection.
It was finally time for the museum and I started outside with the “Sod House”. I cannot remember that I had heard before that settlers on the prairie built this kind of houses, though it was an interesting detail. It did not take more than some minutes to read about, look at and take a photo of the house. I went over to the museum and went up to the second floor – it is only in the basement and on the second floor. A young woman followed me and asked me for questions. I told her, I have seen all that exhibits before, I will read the information only. She watched me all the time and followed me then to the basement – same procedure there. I could not figure out if she was afraid, that I would try to take one or two of the items with me or if it was courtesy. Anyway it did not feel comfortable having her around watching me all the time.
For more photos of Beiseker and the Wonton soup click photographs.
After Beiseker I continued on hwy 9 to Drumheller. While driving I have seen a sign for the Horseshoe Canyon and decided to take a look at it on my way back. A short distance before Drumheller the landscape changed shape, had it been before prairie and almost flat, steep hills surrounded the city. The view was so beautiful, that I stopped, where it was possible and took photographs. Not really aware, what was awaiting me, I first drove downtown and took one of the many empty parking spaces. I walked the city and entered one and another shop respectively art gallery. A doll museum caught my eye and I was entering it – I thought, but it was a shop with some old dolls, doll carts, doll pram etc. I think, I just missed the part, which was the museum. Anyway lots of dolls were on stands, though I asked, if doll stands where for sale, because I was looking for one during many years for the special doll I had got of my son Samuel 18 years ago. Happy I left the shop with a purchased doll stand. I also took some photographs. I drove further, leaving the Dinosaur museum unheeded behind me. My destination was the hills on the other side of the town. In front of them and even the Red Deer River, which I learned now, was the tourist information and the World’s Largest Dinosaur. By the way it is possible to climb the stairs inside and look ut of its wide open mouth, but I was not interested in that tourist magnet. I took some photos outside and especially of the river and the hills. Unfortunately the river is one of those, which has no clear water.
For more photos of Drumheller click photographs.
At the shop onside the tourism information I bought two postcards: One of the Hoodoos and one of the Horseshoe Canyon. With the postcard of the Hoodoos I went over to the tourist information and asked, how to go there. Soon I was on my ca. 16 km long way and I had learned that the area is called Badlands. Even I had got a map, I was first driving to far, but went back when I reached a coal museum. From this side the Hoodoos were much easier to find and soon I was one of all the tourists at this amazing natural wonder, but one of them, who only used the for sightseeing prepared stairs and gangways, because I care more about nature than my adventures.
For more photos of the Badlands and the Hoodoos click photographs.
I spent around half an hour there, before I tried to find my way back to Calgary. Actually it was easy and it was still daylight when I arrived to the Horseshoe Canyon, but there were lots of mosquitoes, which even stung me through my t-shirt. I could not get the perfect photo either, because I could not go close enough to the edges – they were not secured. I hope you nevertheless can get a good impression of the canyon by the picture below.
For more photos of the Horseshoe Canyon click photographs.
While driving back to Louise’s home it was getting dark, however I found the way easily, because I remembered the way out as well as the map. The rest of the evening was a “family evening” and a late hours update of my blog like usual.
25th Aug I was going downtown again by the C-train, but I took my car to the P&R car park, because the bus was leaving the bus stop exactly when I was leaving Louise’s home. My destination was a music hall containing a hall of fame, which I had read about earlier and even Joe had told me about. Unfortunately I did not have the Calgary City Map with me and did not find that hall on the tourist information maps one can find everywhere in the city. I gave up after a while and tried instead to buy a cheap watch, because the one from Portugal had lost its glass and a new glass would almost cost 65 CAD. Furthermore the repair would take almost a week. When I did not find a shop, selling cheap watches, but one, which only had very big ones, I thought, Chinese products usually are not very expensive, even the quality is low, though I was going to Chinatown. Surprisingly the prices for the watches started at 65 CAD in the first one I was and in the second one at 40 CAD. I decided to take one more look at Walmart, maybe they anyway sell watches and I just missed the right aisle, but not this day.
It was high team for a meal again and I was on Stephen’s Ave. I was not in the mood to go to the falafel place again, though I bought 10 chicken bits without anything else for 6.50 CAD at McDonald’s, ate it there and drank later (in the street) of my water in my water bottle. The McDonald’s restaurant was very busy and it seemed to be usual. The manager was directing customers, though the queues did not get too long. In addition to that, there were signs on the wall that every customer only was allowed to sit there for 20 minutes. Meanwhile I ate my meal it was raining heavily. I was happy, that I was in the restaurant as well as it was not raining anymore, when I left the place.
I was disappointed while going back to Louise’s place. I had made of with more than 13 CAD for nothing. I arrived at her place at 3:30pm, Gregory’s carer left around 4:30pm and Louise was at home around 5pm, though I cared about him for a while. The reason for Louise’s late arrival was a visit at her doctor. It took longer as expected and she had texted me in time to make sure, that Gregory won’t be at home by himself as well as I am OK with it. We had Hamburgers for supper, which Louise had bought on her way home from the doctor.
During the rest of the evening I showed Louise my photos from Drumheller and the Badlands as well as the Horseshoe Canyon. She told me, that she never had been to the Horseshoe Canyon and was ashamed about it, because it is “next door” to her.
Friday, 26th Aug, was different, because Louise and I met at her job, using her lunch time for a lunch and a walk. She works as a receptionist at the Catholic School Centre and she loves her job. I understand that till full the way she is. We were to the restaurant “Subway” and ordered a sub with whole grain bread, chicken and salad, which we shared, eating it in a park of a provincial building. Afterwards were we walking along the riverside, starting at the Peace Bridge, ending close to her job. The one hour rest was already over. It was a very nice hour we shared and I appreciated, that she had shown me another part of her life.
Louise works downtown, therefore I had taken the C-train and left as she had told me, but I was early and I needed a washroom, though I was looking for one and found one soon in the other direction. To go to Louise’s job I followed the rails. Unfortunately I did not find the house, where she works, even it is a corner building at two streets. I had not recognised, that I followed the rails for the blue line instead for the red line. I asked Google map and understood my mistake, but was not sure in which direction I had to go even most of the streets and Aves are numbered in Calgary. I was on the 7th Ave and had to go to the 5th Ave, what should be easy, however I did neither know in which direction the Aves nor the Streets are counting. A gentleman stopped his car and offered me his help. I had not tried to ask him, he just observed that I seemed to be lost. He parked his car on the side of the street and met me on the other side. He explained to me, from which direction the Aves count and also told me exactly, where I find the house I am looking for. His way to explain was like a teachers, even I think, he was not working in the same house as Louise. Anyway I could experience the kindness of the Canadians again.
After the lunch with Louise I looked for a bus for the Heritage Park National Village in the outskirts of Calgary. Google maps told me there are different buses to go with. Almost one of them runs every 10 minutes, though I chose to find a bus stop for that route. I actually needed half an hour, even I was close to it and I found it only because a bus of the chosen route was just starting from that bus stop. It was later easier to change bus, but I first recognised at the new bus stop, that there is a shuttle bus – not during winter season. I waited for it and it was the first one of the bus routes for that destination. Meanwhile I was waiting for that bus, I also discovered the railway station close to this place (around a bus stop away). I was not sure, if it was for the C-train, but I decided to find that out on my way home.
Leaving the shuttle bus at the Heritage site, I asked the driver, how often the bus runs. He answered that the bus runs every 20 minutes, but the last one will be at 6:30pm. Even he was very friendly. When I bought a senior ticket, the cashier told me, that I only have two hours for the park, though I asked her, if there was a cheaper ticket. There was not, I had to pay a full days price. At the entrance was also an old streetcar waiting. I asked if the ride was for free and got the answer: “Yes, it is, but it only serves the car park. In the village is a train going, which also can be used for free.”
After I entered the village, I took some photographs along the way to the house, reminding on women, who fought for civil rights in Canada. I took a look inside and was invited to a chat about women’s situation in former times and today. By the lack of time I declined, took a shot of the windmill and found the train. Unusually it was an original old train and so were the cars. It was running with three cars and especially the last one was always occupied, because of the open seats. There were also two conductors in old fashion uniforms. I took a trip with the train to get an overview of the area. I also took a video, which I will upload later. When I left the train I was going to the main area of the village and looked into a lot of houses. People were going around the area with ice cream, though I was looking for an ice cream shop. It was still warm during the late afternoon. I found that shop very quickly. I prefer ice cream in a cup, because it is easier to it as well as I do not like the flavour of the cones. I expected a high price for the ice cream, therefore I was OK with a price from around 3 CAD for one scope and 4.50 CAD for two scopes. I chose chocolate and mint chocolate flavours and got such a big ice cream, that I became full of it. I did not have supper, when I was back at Louise’s home. Before I took the shuttle bus around 6pm, I also had been into all the shops at the heritage site. One had among others also old fashion toys, e.g. hand driven, round music boxes and spinning tops. I was thinking about to by them for my grandchildren, but decided to wait and purchase similar later.
For more photos of the Heritage Park National Village click photographs.
I was going by the shuttle bus to the railway station and it was not only a C-train station, but also one for the red line, which means, it took me all the way back to Dalhousie and much faster as the bus. Unfortunately I had to wait for the bus to Louise place for 40 minutes, because all the arriving buses were out of service – the drivers had their rest. I could have walked to Louise’s home twice during the waiting time, but my feet were too tired. Louise did not mind my late arrival. She offered me pizza. One of her daughters was coming for a while, too. Louise and me had a conversation, when her daughter had left and we also planned the activities for the weekend. She did neither want me to make the laundry at the weekend nor the cleaning, but told me, that she would be happy if I would go with Gregory for a walk, cook a meal in the slow cooker and mow the lawn.
Next day (Saturday 27th Aug) all our plans were changed. We did not remember the cooking, Louise mowed the lawn, because – as she told me, the lawn mover is too heavy. Afterwards she did clean the carpet and I the other floors. Followed by shopping at Wal-Mart, during which I also got the opportunity to buy a new watch. I found one for 25 CAD. We had the left over pizza for dinner (lunch) and after that Louise took me and Gregory out to the parks. She first showed me a nice spot in the Beaumont park, the start point for a riverside walk. We continued to the city reserve Baker park and later on to the Bowness park. We were back for supper and hat a nice evening at home.
Sunday morning I asked Louise if she mind if I do my washing even it is Sunday. She had told me before, that she usually goes to church on Sundays, but had not made it in time for a while, though she usually meet a friend after church. This Sunday they did not, because her friend was not well. I also unloaded the dishwasher. Louise had a lot of work to do and phone calls to make, she does not get the time for during weekdays. In the afternoon she left with the promise to be back in almost two hours and asked me for taking care about Gregory until she will be back. So I did. I also made a couple of sandwiches for both of us. He actually is easy to look after. By the way I also did some laundry for Louise, it is so easy to fill another washing machine and dryer and I always feel, I should help her more as she ask me for.
Louise came back a little later than promised, but had sent a message to me. She had made another grocery shopping and also bought a fried chicken for supper. Maybe I already wrote that the chickens in Canada are big, really big. Though we did not eat it all. She also had bought rice pudding for desert, which I tasted, but Louise pampered me with a big portion of ice cream. The rice pudding was a little strange for me, like it was cooked only with water and at the end added a little cream.
Monday 29th Aug became a home work day. I started as usual with the laundry and did bake cookies afterwards. In Sweden we call them “syltgrottor”, directly translated it means jam caves. It is made of flour, sugar, butter, baking powder and vanilla as well as jam – originally raspberry jam. I did not find the raspberry jam, though I had taken a mixed jam of raspberries, blueberries etc. I can already tell you, that they loved the cookies!
We had the evening before also talked about, what to do with the meat Louise had unfrozen. She had told me, that she will cook a meal with it, but it was not done. Therefore I cooked a stew with the already diced meat. I put diced potatoes, onions and tomatoes, sliced carrots, fresh spinach and diced cabbage in it, after I had fried the meat. At the end of the cooking time I seasoned it and also put in some cream. Louise was positive surprised, when she came home. She had also another carer with her, who was invited for the meal. She loved the stew so much, that she asked me for the recipe. I actually had almost only put in left overs, which I told her. There was nothing left of the stew.
Louise took me then out for a ride. She showed me Calgary by night. We also could see a lot of lightnings. I tried to catch them by a video, but missed the really big ones. I observed a special restaurant, where chicken is served and a big, artificial chicken stands outside the restaurant. Louise told me, that the restaurant has been there for very many years. It already existed, when her boyfriend was a little boy. He had told her before, that his father took him there on Sundays after church. We ended this evening with a chat.
Tuesday 30th Aug was my last day in Calgary and I had decided to give it another try to find the music hall, but after doing some laundry I first I was driving to the Northland shopping area, because Louise had told me, that there would be a farmer’s market. Unfortunately there was no farmer’s market, but I was going to Walmart and bought some breakfast and Sandwich food for the next week. I left the shopping at Louise’s place and tried to walk to the C-train, but unfortunately I made a mistake while locking the door, though it did not get locked. I had to wait for Gregory and his carer, because I could not leave the house unlocked. While waiting for them, i had lunch. This day we had incredibly weather (+26°C), though I preferred to walk to the station, when Gregory was back home.
Close to the station a man started talking with me and asked me, if I was on my way home to Sweden. I did not remember him and was surprised, how he could know, that I am from Sweden.
Downtown I left the train at the station “City Hall”, took my Calgary map and easily found the National Music Hall “The Bell”. The building has an unusual, but impressive design. When I found the entrance I could read, that it is only open on Wednesdays to Sundays. I continued to the Stephen Avenue Walk, where I took a picture of an interesting sculpture of a horse with bird feet – Louise had shown me that sculpture the evening before. I took photos and walked then most of this street until 6th Street NW, where I took the C-train back to Dalhousie. In the shopping centre I bought stamps as well as an ice cream. Afterwards I took the bus for the last part to Louise’s home. I was not in the mood to go into the house, though I tried to sit in a garden chair outside. Too late I felt, that it was wet – probably of the rain from the night before. I went inside and changed my clothes.
Louise was coming home quite late, maybe 6pm. She had bought a razor for Gregory. Another carer was already waiting for her. When Louise had fed the dogs and the cat, we went to a restaurant called “Chanti”, where pasta and stuff was served. We met her friend Joe there. Louise invited both of us, even I tried to invite her. I was looking for a Spanish restaurant with tapas on the menu, but I did not find one, which had similar tapas as I had eaten in Spain. We had to wait to be seated for ca. 30 minutes, because it was Tuesday with special price options. The pasta was not really cooked. I like it “al dente”, but this should have cooked for longer as well as I could not find the mushrooms, which should be in the dish. I did not tell Louise, because she paid a really expensive dish for me. While waiting for Joe we talked about dress up or not and she told me, she never goes to restaurants, where she has to dress up, because those are expensive.
Joe followed us home and tried to repair the bolt i my left front wheel. He got the broken one easily out of it, but could not fit in the new bolt, but he saw that my stabilizer was totally out of function. On my question, if that is not dangerous, he answered, that it is ok to drive with the car as it is, because I will not drive rallies. Actually it does not feel good, but I will not invest a lot of money in that car. I won’t get it back. I only hope, that the car will not break down before I do not need it anymore. The evening ended with, that we were watching Canadian (some were from the USA) stand up comedians, but I did not understand all of the jokes. The culture seems to be different.
For more photos of Calgary click photographs.
Into the Wild
31st Aug 2016 Louise and me took goodbye of each other. We hugged and she also gave me chocolate bites for my journey. Around 10am I finally left her home ready to drive to Jasper National Park via Canmore and Banff National Park.
I had to purchase a pass for the National parks, because I won’t only drive through. I had checked the prices before starting my travel around the world on the Internet and recognised, that a discovery pass would be the best option. Such a pass is usually valid for 365 days. There are senior passes and it does not matter, where the senior is coming from. By purchasing a pass I have been told, that this time the pass is valid for two years, because the 150 anniversary of the Canadian confederation in 2017, where the entrance to the National parks will be for free.
I was driving the Canadian hwy 16, also called Yellowhead hwy, and my first stop was in Exshaw (a hamlet), because of the heart mountain. It is beautiful! I was happy, that I could stop and take some photos and of the other mountains around as well.
For more photos of Exshaw and the Heart Mountain click photographs.
Driving through a fascinating nature I came to Canmore, where I stopped for a while. It is not only a cute little city in front of a great scenery, it also has a beautiful park and unusual art. I really recommend to stop there and take your time for sightseeing. If you need a cheap meal, you can by a hot dog in the supermarket.
For more photos of Canmore click photographs.
The way to Banff and it’s surroundings are breathtaking, the city itself is very touristic. There is a well-known over-class hotel – from the time, when the Canadian Pacific Railway still had a very good economy – which you can go inside (they also have shops) and enjoy. I was surprised, that I was greeted friendly even I came in my (clean!) hiking pants. It is called Banff Spring Hotel. My other and much more exciting destination in the Banff area was the Sulphur Mountain, which I climbed by a Gondola. I enjoyed that ride and was wondering by myself if I later will walk down from the mountain, but I could see the trail from the Gondola very well and that helped me with my decision, not to walk it. From the upper Gondola station is a board walk going to one of the peaks and all the way there are signs, telling about the area and with the names of all the peaks you can see. If you have problems with walking, the board walk my not be for you, because it has a lot of stairs, but the Gondola station gives you a good view on some of the peaks. As usual at these places, there is also a café and a souvenir shop, but no need to enter them. Do not forget to look at the art on the walls inside the building.
For overnight-stay I had to choose an official campground of two reasons: There is no possibility for wild camping, because it is a National park and there were wild bears seen in the park. Wild bears are not as cute as Teddy-bears, I have been told. They actually are dangerous. I bought bear spray to defend myself if a bear comes to close to me. It is recommended to carry with you in these areas. The price was around 36 CAD and I was explained, how to use it as well as I had to sign a paper about owing and using the spray, because it is declared to be a weapon. At the campground I have got a place quite close to the washroom. I was advised not to leave food or garbage outside the car resp. the bear proofed garbage containers. Even in the car the food has to be stored in a container, so the bear cannot smell it. Bears usually eat berries and fruit, but when they are hungry and they find no berries or fruit in the area, they eat whatever they can get. The campground was not up-lighted during the night. That is usual in Canada. Though, when I had to go to the washroom in the middle of the night, I did not feel comfortable. I really would like to see a wild bear in nature, but not at night-time, even I had a flash light.
For more photos of Banff and surroundings click photographs.
1st Sept. I awoke as late as 9pm, took my medicine, got dressed and ate breakfast. Around 10am I was ready to leave the campground. I continued in the direction to Jasper, but stopped several times and also made a detour. My first stop was at the lake “Lake Louise”. There is a village with the same name, but it is so small, that I first did not recognise, that I was there. The weather this day was cloudy, but from time to time the sun broke through. The lake with its surrounding mountains is beautiful, the village indeed is not special at all, even the railway station is advertised for sightseeing. There is an over class restaurant in the building of the station, therefore I could not see it from the inside.
For more photos of Lake Louise – the lake as well as the village – click photographs.
I have been told of Louise, that I should visit the Moraine Lake, too. So I dit. The lake itself did not impress me, because it is neither deep nor big or had a special colour, but the mountains it is surrounded of. The drive there on the steep, windy and narrow road was worth it. When I came back to my car again, after visiting the lake and taking photographs, a guy asked me, if I had seen, that I have a very flat tire. I had not and I thanked him for telling me. Actually I already knew, that one of the tires loses air pressure, but so far I had always checked the pressure in time. There were no other way than driving back the steep, windy and narrow road to come to a gas station. I thought, it would not be necessary to call the CAA. At the first gas station I reached, I asked for help with the tire. The young man did not only help me with it, but told me, that I should check my brakes, because the wheel was very warm. I explained myself, that it was natural, because the steep road and that it could not be something wrong with the breaks, because I have been told of a mechanic, that the breaks still were half and even I have droven around 5,000 km, they should be OK.
For more photos of Moraine Lake click photographs.
I tried to reach the Wapiti campground at Jasper and only stopped for a few minutes at the Columbia Ice field to take some photographs. Here it was drizzling, windy and cold.
For more photos of Columbia Icefield click photographs.
I eventually passed the Saskatchewan River Crossing with just taking notice of the name. I had planned a stop here, but it was raining, though I preferred to continue on my way. I reached the campground in the twilight time, just before it became dark. I had to take over some cars, which had stopped to take photographs of caribous on the side of the highway. I was welcomed and got my receipt for the site I had booked long time ago. The campground was still well visited and I was happy about my early booking. I had chosen a place close to a washroom and was even happy about that, because there were no lights as usual and also because of, that it was raining.
The 2nd Sept. started very cold. At 10am there were still no more than 6°C and it was raining. During the night I was wearing dubbel up of clothes and even more: Two long sleeve t-shirts and my fleece jacket, leggings and pants as well as two pairs of socks. I closed the sleeping bag as much as possible and I survived 😉. My first breakfast I ate with freezing hands, afterwards I drove to Jasper and had a second breakfast at Tim Hortens, because I really needed a coffee and they had a special price for coffee and muffins. I continued to the tourist information and afterwards to the library, where I spent four hours, charging my tablet, uploading photos and surfing for information about Jasper and Jasper National park, but especially about activities on Maligne Lake and the prices. In the afternoon the temperature had increased to 11°C, but I bought anyway another pair of leggings. I needed them during daytime. I walked the city “shop seeing”, that means entering the shops and looking at all the items for sale, for not freezing too much.
My evening meal was at Smithy’s. From the outside, the place was not looking expensive at all, but it was. I was frozen and ordered warm chocolate. Because of the high prices I only ordered a starter. It was called “Texas Spin” and should be 5 potato halves, filled like tacos. I have got served 6 potato halves and they were not good looking at all as well as there was not a lot of filling. If you ever visit Jasper, do not go to Smithy’s. There are lots of restaurants of all price classes to choose.
The 3rd Sept the weather was only slightly different to the day before. I had my coffee at Tim Hortens again. They actually serve a good coffee for a low price. For the weather I went to the museum and visited it until noon. When I left the building, the sky was blue in the direction of Maligne Lake, the destination I was coming for. I decided to give it a try and drove to the lake with a stop at the Malign canyon and a short walk around it.
I also stopped at a waterfall. Finally at the lake, I just catched the 4pm cruise. The weather was still OK and I took lots of photographs. There is a stop close to the peninsula “Spirit Island”, where we all left the boat. The cruise takes about 90 minutes, where av 30 minutes were in rain. Fortunately the rain came at the end of the tour. To take most of the photos I had to be outside on the boat. I was not the only one, but one of few.
Back on land again I had a spinach / cheese pie, a cookie with coconut ripple and a hot chocolate. This meal was my second meal for the day. It was still raining, when I was on my way back to Jasper. I drove all the way back to the campground and was early in my sleeping bag, dressed like the night before.
For more photos of Malign Lake click photographs.
4th Sept it was as cold as the days before (4°C when I awoke, 13°C at its warmest). The sky was cloudy all day and off and on it was drizzling. I left Jasper after a breakfast at the bakery “Bear’s Paw”, where I had bought a coffee and a mini loaf Greek style (which was bigger as I had expected, though I only ate half of it and took the rest with me) after I had queued for almost 15 minutes, but was lucky to get a table, with the destination “Miette Springs”. One of the hot springs in the greater area. Beside the road I saw lots of Caribou. Unfortunately this day was one of a long weekend, though the place was crowded. I took a shower and enjoyed afterwards the warm spring for around 30 minutes. I really love hot springs and the entrance fee was under 6 CAD. Afterwards I ate the other half of the loaf.
Please continue reading on the site British Columbia.
6th Nov I was back from the USA and it was the start for my last week so far in Canada. Crossing the border in Sweetgrass without any problem I drove to Lethbridge again. I planned to visit the Fort Woop Up, which I did not have time to do last time I have been here. Unfortunately the Fort was closed because of the season. Though I tried to take a closer look on Fort Macleod museum, but also that was closed. I stayed at a Tim Hortens restaurant for a late lunch and send a message to Louise, telling her, that I was coming a little earlier than expected.
I run short on fuel when I continued directly to Calgary, but found a gas station somewhere in the city by asking a Canadian on a car park. Actually I was stressed until I had filled my tank again. All went well, but I had to wait outside Louise’s home for about 15 min. by my early arrival. It was also a time change again, because Mountain Standard Time (MST) was applied the night before. Louise came home together with her son Greg and her boyfriend Joe. The last-named had candies and chips with him. We had a TV-evening, but first I had to tell about me travel throughout the USA.
7th Nov I spend my day at Louise’s home. I washed my sleeping bag and my other stuff as well as one or two loads of Louise’s stuff. Afterwards I drove to IKEA and ate meatballs ;-). Before I left the Swedish store I bought a box with Swedish ginger bread as a gift for Louise. At her home again I loaded the washing machine one more time and started to fix my papers. I sorted out the road maps for Louise and took photos of all receipts I had left. Then I packed the Christmas gift for my grandson Leon, exactly that one I had already bought in Ladysmith in Canada and which had followed me all the way throughout the States. I stowed my souvenirs in my cooler bag as well as I sorted the items in my backpacks – I put a t-shirt, a pair of pants and a sweater in the rubbish box. In the evening it was TV-time again together with Louise. Meanwhile I charged my tablet and my camera.
8th Nov I was driving till Provost to pick up my letters at my former host Daren as well as leaving back the mattress I have had borrowed of him. Before I left Calgary I donated my sleeping bag, my thin, isolating mattress, my cooler and even the unused bear spray to a community center close to Louise’s home. In addition to that I stopped at a post office and sent Leon’s Christmas gift. I bought the toys for 45 CAD incl. tax, the price for the transportation was 107 CAD (incl. tax). I stopped for lunch in Red Deer and continued then all the way to Provost without another rest. Even I drove all the way at the speed limit I did not arrive before 6pm. It was dark already, of course. Daren was not at home, but he had given me the code again to his door, this time by email. It took not a long time before he arrived together with three male helpx-helper. He had made hay all the day because it was still warm enough for it and he has not been able to bring in all the hay before because of bad weather and lack of helpers. All the helpers were from Germany (2 from Kiel in the North and 1 from Ulm in the South of the country).
Even this evening Daren was the chef. He cooked spaghetti and meat sauce. While he was doing that, he handed out my letters to me. They were from my car insurance. The insurance broker gave me the wrong amount for it when I signed it, though I should have paid more for meeting the requirement of 40% of the full amount for a year. The last letter from the insurance company, which was sent as a registered mail and Daren had signed for, was the cancellation of the insurance – and they did it before all the amount I paid had been used. Nonetheless Daren, the helpers and me had a great evening chatting about a lot of mistakes we have done and even other funny stuff.
9th Nov I awoke already 6am and left the bed and room I have had during the night at 6:30am. Daren was already in his office. I took a shower and afterwards I had breakfast together with Daren. The three helpers awoke soon, too. They all had a shower, which took time, because they did not understand how to use the shower in the basement and was waiting one for each other for the shower I also used. Before I left around 9am Daren had helped me to take the mattress out of the car and put back the seats. I had told him, how grateful I am for his help and he answered, that it always was great to have me there. I hope he really meant it.
In Provost I tried to cash my checks, but even one of them was from the same bank, but another branch, they did not do it. They told me, they were not allowed. With 2:05 CAD cash in my pocket I went into the coffee shop, were I have been before and met the nice elderly woman with the “hat”. Usually one has to pay 2:25 CAD for a coffee, but I asked if they could make me an even smaller one for 2:05 CAD. The waitress was so nice, that she gave me a regular one. Now it was the turn of the insurance broker. I went there and told them, that I want to cancel the insurance. They told me, that I have to pay more money before I could do it and that I had received the letter. Unfortunately I did not find words to answer them, but I told them, that I need the insurance for the day, which is and the upcoming day, because I will scrap the car in Calgary and I have to drive it there. Furthermore I told them, that I should get money back and that it is not a good idea to pay more, because it is so hard to get back the money. They promised me to talk with the insurance, but were not sure, the insurance will accept it. Though I drove further with the car – to drive with an uninsured car is a crime in Canada, but I trusted, that I was allowed to drive it for two more days.
I only stopped once on my way back to Calgary – to fill fuel and eat something as well. I also tried to cash my checks one more time – at the place where I stopped for lunch, but without success. All banks told me, even the manager of one, that they cannot get the check verified. I did not and do not understand, why it is impossible to call a bank or an insurance company and ask, if the check still is good. Around 6pm I was back at Louise’s home. Louise and I chilled that evening and she offered me to stay until Sunday or Monday morning because the holidays, which made the flights, even for Las Vegas, very expensive. I was happy about the offer. I sent emails to scrap yards asking for, what they will pay for the car. It was not much. The best offer was 170 CAD, the lowest one 120 CAD. Though I put the car on kijiji. I wrote that I sell it for parts, but all the good things as well. Anyway I forgot to write that the car has a railing on the roof and a hitch. I added, that I had driven 20,000 km during the last three month with it. I also wrote, that I only sell it until Thursday (that was the upcoming day).
The 10th Nov started very badly. I drove to a CIBC in Calgary, but even that one did not cash my check. Louise had told me, that I – in that case – should ask the assistant to put it on my credit card. She was willing to help me with it, but it would only be possible by using the teller machine (ATM). That may be possible for Canadian or maybe only CIBC credit cards, with mine it was not. The only opportunity, which was left, was to go to a Money Mart. They are specialist to cash checks and earn money that way. When I finally found it, I was afraid, they would not do it either, but it was just a very long procedure. The costs were not higher as at a bank (I compare with the check from the car insurance in Saskatchewan, which sent me a check and I cashed it at their bank). By the way I cashed that check also in Saskatchewan. My checks this time were from Quebec and that made it more complicated, I was told. However for the assistant at Money Mart it was no problem. She called Quebec! By the way I had to drive throughout the city center of Calgary for finding a Money Mart. Back in the area, where Louise lives, I ate a pizza at Boston pizza. It was a special offer for lunch for “only” 12 CAD. At that restaurant they still have waitresses, though the price is customary.
Back at Louise’s I answered the emails I had got for my car. I pointed on the colour, which was looking too blue on the photo and even that I sell the car only for parts. One just needed it for parts, but he was only willing to pay 300 CAD for it. I had another one, who was really interested in the car and asked me, when he could come and see it. Though I made an appointment with the later one and told the one, who want by the car for 300 CAD, that I would get back to him if the other interested man won’t buy it.
Darell, who did not haggle, looked at the car and asked me, if he may drive it around “the four corners”. With me as a passenger he did it and was very happy about the car. He was a carpenter, but was working with gardening now. Though he also was happy about the hitch. I told him about the rust, the bad stabilizer bar, the changed tire – that it does not fit with the others, but the seize and he answered, if I could drive 20,000 km with the car, he will not have any problem with it. He was very happy that I sold it for 500 CAD only. He thought, he had made a bargain. He was driving a pick-up truck, he told me, he will sell for 1,200 CAD. He had already a buyer for it. He also ask me for driving my car to his place not far away and he would drive me back with the pick-up truck. So we dit and he also unfastened the plate for me, because one buys it when registering a car – I explained that before (see Saskatchewan).
Back at Louise’s she was already at home. I told her about the car sale and she explained, that the registry for the car/plates still is open and where I will find one. I caught a bus and was at the registry short time later. It was not very easy to find even I did know at which stop I should leave the bus and the bus driver called for the stop. At least I was there, waited for a while in the queue and unregistered than both car and plate. The assistant was unfriendly, but explained to me, that 39.50 CAD was overpaid and I would get that amount in ca 1 month by check and that there is no other way. I had to pay for 9.45 CAD for the service :-(! It was still time and close enough to cancel my membership in the CAA. Well there, they told me, that it only can be cancelled after the first year even I pay monthly and even I told the assistant, that I will leave Canada. I noticed the name of the assistant and got an extract of my file, that I can complain if they will have money after that year of membership.
I told Louise about the membership and she became a little angry that I did not like it the way it is. She told me, that it is a membership and it is working that way. When coming to another country, one has to coupe with the laws and rules, which applies there. I told her, that it was what I was doing, but that I was surprised over the rules. In addition to that we were talking about the car and I expressed, that the car was expensive, especially for the bad condition it was in and she asked me, if I would know what a new one costs as well as she told me, that she had bought her car for 30,000 CAD and it would be therefore the cars are not maintained well. I answered her, that just for the high price, cars should be maintained very well and that we have salt on our roads in Sweden, too, but not such rusty cars, because we care about them. – I really have never seen such rusty cars before, not even on a scrap yard. The last subject that evening was the upcoming Remembrance Day. Interested in the culture of the countries I visit I told her, that I should go and celebrate that day, too. I had found by the Internet, where the celebrations will be hold and decided to attend an in-house celebration, if I will awake in time next day. Louise told me, that I have to be at the place almost for the opening to come in.
11th Nov I awoke already 6:45 and wrote my notes for the day before I had taken my medicine. I also checked my photos in the camera. I had breakfast as late as 8am, though I was just in time for the opening of the place, where the celebration of the Remembrance Day was hold. Luckily I asked a family where to go, though I found it easily. They had the same destination as me. I donated a little bigger amount for a poppy. The girls, who sold these poppies were happy about my donation. The money is going to the veterans or their widows and families. There are different reasons for it. Someone can get help with the costs for the hospital, another one for food etc. I had got a seat on the outside of a row and I was happy about it, because if a long person is sitting in front of me I still can se something by looking at the side of that one. Anyway there was no long person in front of me, but a nice lady in my age on the side of me. When she asked me a question I answered her, that it was my first time at the celebration and she told me, that it was her first time, too even her daughter, who was sitting next to her, was going regularly and that she really had a reason to go.
After the ceremony and the parade outside I was crossing the area of the University of Technology, short called SAIT (officially: Southern Alberta Institute of Technology). There are old and new buildings and some art. I liked, what I saw, especially how it was combined. The SAIT was not my goal, I was instead looking for something to eat. I was very hungry at that time. Finally I found a snack bar, selling Beef Donair and Pizza slices. I had a Beef Donair for 7 CAD. That was quite cheap, even I had prefered a Beef Donair box, but that I never found in Canada. From the snack bar it was not very far to the tram station, from where I was going back to Louise’s. Coming from the tram station I stopped at the Safeway and bought some food. Later that day I followed Louise to a Walmart. Back at hers I checked the offer to update my flight home from Los Angeles to a Premium seat, but it would be 500 USD more than I already had paid and that was too expensive. I also was looking for a couchsurfing host in Las Vegas, but was not lucky to find one. All I had asked, had declined. Though I made an emergency request, but did not get any answer.
I awoke at 5am on the 12th of Nov. I tried to fall asleep again, but could not. At 6:30 I started using the Internet and was up around 8am even I ate breakfast at 9am. At this time I was really hungry. I took photos of my receipts and I missed some. I was thinking, I might not have bought something between 8th and 10th November, but then I remembered, that I had done. At least I found the missing receipts in the trash box. I was happy, they still were there. I also checked my accounts. This day I spent most of the time in “my room”, because Louise had a lot of private things to do. I also updated my blog somewhat. I fell asleep early that evening. The good thing: I had no expenses this day.
13th Nov I awoke early again, even 30 minutes later than the day before. I made new files for my expenses, because I had started some weeks ago to write them only in my diary, but I take out and destroy the sheets of my diary, when I have written my blog for the day. After breakfast at Louise’s Joe drove me to the airport, which was very kind of him. Without his help I had to change trams and buses. I tried to be a stand by and book a flight last-minute. I had prefered Air Canada, but they only have flights around 6am and an assistant told us (there were also other, who tried their luck), that the flights for the upcoming days are all booked out and that there usually are no cancellations. Though I walked over to WestJet. When I asked for a ticket, there was still some available, though I could not be a stand by. The ticket was for 374 CAD and I regret, that I did not book online the day before, because I could have got a ticket for 173 CAD. I chose to try to get a ticket as a stand by because I had a lot of cash. Anyway it would have been cheaper to exchange the currency, but I learned of my mistake for the next time. At WestJet one has to pay extra for all luggage but cabin baggage. I had not, because the flight assistant first booked me in from Vancouver even I had told her, I will fly from Calgary. Just when I was at the point for the payment she told me, that something went wrong. It was more expensive from Calgary than Vancouver and it took lots of time to rebook me. Therefore she told me, that I do not have to pay for my luggage. By the way the assistant asked me for the stamp or papers to be allowed to enter the US, but I did not get any possibility to explain before she asked me if I have a waiver, what I affirmed. The plane, which was going 5:40pm left 40 min late and arrived in Las Vegas those 40 min late, too.
To read about my time in Las Vegas please click here and scroll down to 13th Nov.