Calgary is world famous for the stampede that takes place in June every year. Unfortunately I was a few months too late but I decided to spend a few days in this iconic city anyway.
After making the journey back from Banff, Annabel dropped me off to the Greyhound station so that I could sort out a couple of changes regarding my bus to Vancouver whilst she dropped the car back to the rental place. Even though Annabel was also staying in Calgary for the night I managed to book a different hostel to her, so we parted ways for a few hours.
Once I was finished at the bus station, I saved myself a few dollars by taking the train to my hostel as opposed to a taxi. I had booked HI Hostel, most people who have travelled across the US or Canada will be familiar with HI as they have a large chain of hostels throughout North America. This hostel was in the perfect location, a two minute walk to the train and within walking distance of the main town. I also signed up for their international card as it saves you paying the tax for each night you stay. If you’re planning on travelling North America for a while I would definitely recommend paying for one as you end up saving quite a lot of money and it entitles you to various discounts, including 20% of the greyhound buses.
The afternoon was allocated for errands and relaxation. I had been lugging several books around with me but couldn’t bear to part with them so decided to send them home. I ended up going to a cool drugstore that sold pretty much everything. I had a lot of fun browsing their stationary section (I know I’m sad).
What I loved most about this hostel was as well as the standard TV and social room, they also had a quiet room with a small library from which you could work. I spent a lot of the afternoon there, editing photos and catching up with my journal in preparation to write some blog posts. After a solid couple hours work, I messaged Annabel to see if she wanted to grab some dinner.
The hostel had a list of restaurants that it recommended so I decided to pick one of the cheaper restaurants called ‘The Palomino’ it seemed appropriate seeing as it was our last night together after spending several weeks together on the ranch. It turned out it wasn’t that cheap but Annabel and I both ordered a huge plate of pulled pork poutine as it was one of the cheaper things on the menu. I got a quarter of the way through before being completely stuffed. After dinner Annabel and I parted our separate ways. She was heading to Nebraska to work on a family ranch and I had another night in Calgary before heading west to Vancouver.
When I got back to my room, 2 fab Cornish women had moved in, a nurse and a teaching assistant. They were only staying the one night but what they had planned sounded epic. They were renting a car which they were going to live out of for three weeks whilst travelling around the west coast of Canada. Sounds like a dream.
The next day Calgary was pretty rainy. I had planned to go to the zoo but didn’t fancy doing so in the rain. Instead I firmly believe that rainy days should be dedicated to books and hot chocolate and staying true to form that’s exactly what I did. After breakfast with Frankie and Del (Cornish girls) I ventured to Kensington to find a recommended bookstore called Pages. After an hour of umming and ahhing about what book I should buy, I settled on a classic, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The store assistant praised my choice so I was hoping it’d keep me entertained on my 16 hour coach journey the next day.
I then had a hot chocolate in Second Cup whilst face timing my lovely friend Alice.
Following my book adventure, I decided to catch the train to Victoria Park to see the empty stampede ground and to see if I could see the skyline. After much stopping and starting I finally got there. Directions never have been my strong point and I found out that if I had cut through the stampede grounds it would have been a 10 minute walk instead of the 45 minute detour that I took. But still, the skyline was beautiful. I actually ended up doing the same walk the next day because the weather was so much better.
So I didn’t really do anything vastly exciting in Calgary but it was still fun to get to know the city. Have you ever visited Calgary? What did you get up to?