Vacation Experiences


Slumming in (D)Edmonton: 05-09 August 04


We flew Westjet from Comox to Edmonton where we shacked up at the Union Bank Inn, a boutique hotel of just 34 rooms, located in part in an old bank building, now a heritage site. Eleanor thoroughly enjoyed the decor whereas I figured they had visited too many garage sales. There were some nice touches; excellent staff, fireplace in each room, complimentary cheese, grapes and wine served in your room every day at 5 PM.


Highlight of our trip was dinner with Emil and Andree Bizon at The Olive Garden, a justifiably popular restaurant on Calgary Trail. That was followed by a tour of the Riverbend area and a visit to their home. Emil was able to point out very nice homes in the area, some occupied by ex-cadets. However, two driveways ended at an abyss. It seems the homes that were once there had a commanding  view of the river valley, but are now riverfront properties. (It reminded me of an old Air Farce skit about a home for sale, "formerly located high atop Scarborough Bluffs".


We did the usual tourist things such as visit the Farmers' Market in Old Strathcona. It was a sea of humanity despite the high prices. There were meat and vegetables from Alberta but, of course, the fruit was almost entirely from B.C.

Edmonton appears to have a very comprehensive and well used public transportation system, and their broad avenues cope with traffic much better than in many other cities.

The Muttart Conservatory is contained in the four large glass pyramids in this picture.

It the field beyond the pyramids, the blue tents were the temporary home of a music festival that was in full swing while we were there.

No, we did not attend; it wasn't our style of music.


Each pyramid in the Conservatory represents a different climate zone. Here Eleanor examines some of the plants in the "Rainforest" pyramid. Others were "Arid", "Temperate" and (I think) "Show".


Downtown Edmonton appears to remain the business hub of the city but tourism has migrated to West Edmonton, Old Strathcona and South Edmonton.


Here on the We(s)t Coast, we brag that we can golf in every month of the year. In Edmonton, it seems they're content to skate on ice in every month of the year, albeit under the dome in the West Edmonton Mall. As for the "surf" pool at the mall ..........  let's just say that I live 700 meters from the salt water of Discovery Passage.

Finally, Eleanor and I wore our jackets to the Edmonton airport in the 16C weather. When we landed in Comox, it was 31C! Back to Summer!