Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cowboy Country

The flight from Minneapolis to Calgary is a very comfortable 2.5 hour trip. And for us, the excitement was enough to make time fly. Opting for the Window seat, on this flight, was a good choice, as it gave us a glimpse of the grandeur that we were about to embark on! We couldn’t wait to get going. The reason why this journal entry is titled ‘Cowboy Country’ is because every year in July, Calgary is host to one of the largest influx of all things ‘country’…its called the Calgary Stampede. This is “the” event in Calgary, and is year marked with hotel rooms being booked sometimes 6 months to a year in advance!! If Rodeos and chuck wagon races are your thing…look no further.

But for us, the Stampede…wasn’t …quite what we were into, we were charting course on a different experience…and so didn’t spend too much time in Calgary at all, other than to get to the car rental at the airport and pick up a neat, new dark blue Chrysler Sebring for our trip to the mountains!

TIP: if you plan to drive west to Banff, depending on time of arrival, try avoiding the shorter route through downtown Calgary to Hwy 1. Traffic is a crawl at rush hours and virtually a parking lot on the roads. You are better off going northwest from the airport (see map) on Country Hills blvd and join Hwy 1 further up. Any official at the Rental Car agency can help you with a detailed map suggesting this alternate route. Besides, this goes through the suburbs and up-scale neighborhoods of Calgary, so you can appreciate the country side as well!

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