Calgary

The flight from Toronto was a bit more than 4 hours, but there is 2 hours time difference, so I arrived basically only 2 hours later in Calgary. The weather here was a lot nicer and warmer. I was wearing my jacket, sweater and scarf and the hiking shoes due to the flight and had the feeling I would melt away once I left the airport. Had to wait quite long for the luggage, but once I had it I quickly found the bus to downtown. It´s C$10, so quite expensive, but still cheaper  than a cab or Uber. Airport transportation is almost always more expensive than anywhere else anyway. I took the bus to downtown, had to ask the driver to tell me where to get off since it is quite confusing. The stations only have numbers, no name to it, but on Google Maps I only had the names and not the numbers. Didn´t exactly help with the orientation. Once off the bus I hopped on a city train to University station where Kaje, my new host, picked me up. Trains are a lot easier since you see and hear which station comes next. She was quite in a state of agitation since her 6 year old son was missing for almost 2 hours already and she couldn´t find him. We drove around a little to look for him and then went back home. Kaje was just on the phone with the police when Theo walked in the door. He got lost with his scooter, but everything was fine. This young guy was in a lot of trouble though. I got some spaghetti bolognese from Kaje and we talked for a while until she went downstairs to get some work done and watch TV. I settled on the sleeping couch. The cats obviously thought this is their bed and I had 1 to 2 cats on or next to me all night. I woke up pretty early but since Kaje said she wants to sleep in I just stayed in bed and dozed a little until getting up at 9:30. Had breakfast with Theo and got some work done on the computer while waiting for Nate who came back from Philly to travel with me for a week. He was supposed to arrive at 11:30 in Calgary, but his first flight was delayed, so he missed his connecting flight. Could have been worse though, he only arrived 1.5 hours late. I had played Lego with Theo meanwhile. Since my accomodation was basically on the way from the airport to the hotel he picked me up with his Uber. We checked in the WestIn in Downtown since he insisted to spend at least the first night in a hotel, I had a quick shower and then we took off to the Lilac festival that happened to be on this weekend. It´s a nice street festival with loads of food stands, cloths, jewlery and handywork for sale and some perfomances too. It was another beautiful and sunny day so we strolled through the streets, enjoyed some ice cream and both got a T-Shirt. We went for dinner in a nice restaurant names Earl´s Bankers Hall.

Back to the hotel later we both went online to check out accomodations for the next couple of days. We had planned to go camping in the national parks and Nate brought a tent, jetboil and some other camping equipment. Got pretty late when we finally went to bed. Next morning we enjoyed the great breakfast at the hotel before heading to the airport to pickup my rental car. We had loads of luggage with 2 people and all the camping gear so the guy at the rental company tried to convince me to get a bigger car. Would have been only $8 more per day,but since I will have the car for 27 days and Nate will only be with me in the car for 6 this didn´t make sense to me. But since I took the road side assistance he got me an upgrade for free. So I got a Chevrolet Cruz. Way too big for me alone, but they didn´t have any nice small cars anyway and this car needs astonishingly few petrol. Even less then the Hyundays I had been driving before. Back to the hotel to pack our stuff and get some more booking stuff done before we were about to leave the city. Went grocery shopping fort he trip and got gas, matches and other supplies. Then we finally set off to Banff. I haven´t seen too much of Calgary, but pretty much whoever I asked, everybody was saying that Clagary is nothing special and there is no need to spend several days here. For most people Calgary is just the starting point to the national parks since there is an airport and it is close. From what I have seen oft he city I have to say, I pretty much agree.

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