17 August 2010

Stampede breakfasts

Finally, we publish some pictures from the Calgary Stampede in the beginning of July. We had only barely arrived to Calgary as we were confronted with this very special Calgary experience. Besides the activities in the Stampede itself, the whole "stampede week" is cramped with all sorts of happenings, mostly revolving around a stampede breakfast. A stampede breakfast is an event where pancakes, sausages, etc. are offered for free to anyone passing by and queuing up. There are hundreds of these events all over town and to locate them there are even online search tools to assist the hungry masses. Here are a few snapshots:

First a large stampede breakfast at Brentview Baptist Church, which is close to where we live. One should take note of the word queuing, because that is the effort one has to make to get the free breakfast. This breakfast was held on the parking lot of the church. It is located just across from a small shopping centre and supermarket, which certainly added to the number of attendants. In the far left there was also a live "country/western band"!

That's a typical stampede breakfast serving. Anais went straight for the pancakes!

Besides the breakfast there was a wide range of child-friendly activities. Anais particularly enjoyed jumping around in the bouncy balls.

Even Anais' kindergarten/preschool arranged a stampede breakfast where parents were welcome to join in for a pancake.

10 August 2010

Child's play in Calgary

There's one thing other than SUVs and squirrels that's abundant in Calgary... playgrounds. This is of course a great pleasure for Anais Thima.

Here's a little map of the playgrounds in our hood. The purple spots are public while the red are attached to schools. The latter can also be used by the public outside school hours. So, there's quite a few choices to make... The blue spot is a wading pool, which is quite refreshing on one of the few hot summer days.

Anais' favourite slide is this type of spiral-slide. No wonder!

This wading pool we just stumbled across while going for a walk just north of the Bow River. There's probable about two dozen of either wading or full-size swimming pools around town.

Parental guidance.

09 August 2010

Downtown

Some impressions of down-town Calgary. We don't actually go there often, since there's not actually that much to do. Down town is very busy during the week when offices are open, but in the weekends the place is very quiet and completely lacking the shopping hustle and bustle that you'd usually expect from a city with about a million inhabitants. In any case we've been strolling amongst the skyscrapers on a couple of occasions and here's some of what we've seen.

Calgary's down town is located just south of the Bow river. The road crossing the bridge is Centre St. which divides the whole city in to an eastern and a western part. East of Centre St. roads going north-south are numbered starting with 1st St. NE or SE. Likewise towards the west. All roads running east-west are then called avenues and the first one south of the river is then called 1st Av. SE or SW. Very organised! The building/house number will then tell you close to which crossing St. or Av. it is located. E.g. 1503 7th Av. NE is the third building on 7th Av. after crossing 15th st. Extremely organised!!

The Cloud girls in amongst the skyscrapers!

The easiest way to get to down-town is with the C-Train, which is a light rail that has two lines. Anais just loves to take the train!

Old and new and notably the Calgary tower, which was once the landmark of the city. These days it can be hard to see it because of the host of even taller high-rises that have popped up especially north of the tower.

Calgary's Chinatown is not exactly huge... and Chinese basically means East-Southeast Asian! There are a couple of decent Chinese stores and a good selection of Asian restaurants - including the always popular roast duck vendors - but actually there are larger Asian shops located in the Northeast of the city. By the way, who picked the name "Saigon Y2K"!

Chopstick challenge

Often times when we go shopping on a weekend we end up having lunch at some food-court. It seems like no matter whether you go to a Greek, Korean, Creole, Chinese, Thai, Burger, Sandwich, Ice Cream, or Fried Chicken franchise you're always served by either a Chinese or sometimes a Korean. Nothing wrong in that, it just doesn't always seem logical. Anyhow, here's a few photos of Anais acquiring a new and very Chinese skill.

Definitely a challenging task. Funny, that the left hand is also required to be completely tense...

Success! Though, the technique is at best alternative and more realistically would be regarded as questionable.