This is the concluding post from Tim Larison from familytravelgurus.com on his visit to the province of Alberta, Canada in March, 2016.
When I visited Canada 27 years ago we flew into Calgary, picked up our rental car, and immediately drove 1 1/2 hours to Banff to start our Canadian Rockies vacation. On my 2016 trip I learned that Calgary is not a city to ignore – it has its own treasures to explore.
My favorite Calgary attraction was the WinSport Winter Sports Institute where Canadian athletes train for the Olympics.
We had the opportunity to tour this massive sports complex. I especially enjoyed watching this figure skating pair working with their coach on one of the many WinSport ice rinks. They floated so effortlessly over the large ice surface.
Not just Olympic hopefuls use the WinSport facilities. We saw a number of youth groups, like these junior skiers, ready to take to the slopes. Our guide said tourists often sign up for ski lessons at WinSport before heading for mountain skiing at Lake Louise and other Canadian Rockies resorts.
The bobsled course was closed on the day we visited. Darn! I was hoping to ride in a bobsled, with an expert pilot at the helm of course. Our guide said these bobsled runs can exceed 60 miles per hour. This thrilling ride is offered to tourists at WinSport in the winter months.
We saw an area honoring the Great One, Wayne Gretzky, and other Canadian Olympians of the past. This exhibit was particularly interesting to me (as I am a big hockey fan). A short film we viewed telling the stories of past Olympians was also very well done.
We saw the Glenbow Museum below – a premier art museum that we were privileged to tour later that day.
Another museum we toured was Gasoline Alley at Calgary’s Heritage Park – a historical village giving visitors a glimpse into Canada’s past.
My final stop in Calgary was at the massive CrossIron Mills – currently the largest enclosed factory outlet mall in North America.
Goodbye Calgary! Goodbye World! No, this scene isn’t quite what it appears to be. I had fun at the top of Calgary tower with the help of one of my group taking this picture far above the streets below.
But I was sad to say goodbye to Calgary and the Canadian Rockies at the end of a fun filled week of touring. I do not want to wait 27 years this time for a return visit!
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