Canada and Alaskan Cruise, May 2019


John and Di Thorp stayed for one night in June last year and we had a brief discussion on going on the Rocky Mountaineer. When they returned home they phoned us to say they had booked. Would we like to accompany them? To just do a three day trip to Canada would not be a good thing to do so we decided to do an Alaskan cruise. Apart from the return flight to Canada which was booked via Trailfinders, the rest of the holiday was booked via Tom Okelton at the Rocky Mountaineer (more...). Tom asked Jane was the trip to celebrate anything?  Quick as a flash she replied that a 49th Wedding Anniversary would be celebrated on the trip.
A slideshow of all the photos is here and for the locations where the photos were taken are here.  Instructions for using this page are here.


Tuesday, 7 May - The Journey to Vancouver
Wednesday, 8 May - The Trip to Deep Cove, Sidney
Thursday, 9 May - Happy 49th Anniversary
Friday, 10 May - A Walk in Sidney
Saturday, 11 May - From Ferry to Cruise Liner
Sunday, 12 May - Mother's Day
Monday, 13 May - Juneau
Tuesday, 14 May - Skagway
Wednesday, 15 May - Glacier Bay
Thursday, 16 May - Ketchikan
  Friday, 17 May - Quilting
Saturday, 18 May - On Dry Land
Sunday, 19 May - Vancouver Lookout
Monday, 20 May - The Thorps Arrive
Tuesday, 21 May - Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer
Wednesday, 22 May - Kamloops to Banff
Thursday, 23 May - Banff to Calgary
Friday, 24 May - Calgary Tower and Library
Saturday, 25 May - Returning Home

Previous DayContentsNext dayTuesday, 7 May - The Journey to Vancouver

We were picked up at noon by Adrian from Millers Taxis and driven to Heathrow Terminal 3. We wait in the business clad lounge. the Airbus A380 takes off at 5:45pm. After watching several films and napping we land at 2:45am (6:45pm Vancouver time). We take a shuttle bus to the Pacific Gateway Hotel where we are allocated room 509 and retire. It’s about 4am at home. It is bright and sunny outside. 

Previous DayContentsNext dayWednesday, 8 May - The Trip to Deep Cove, Sidney

Graham has been awake since 2am. Jane has had more sleep. We queue up behind a large Japanese tour group waiting for a seat for breakfast. We opt for “two twos” item, two eggs, sausages, very thin bacon rashers, and two slices of toast. We pack up and check out at 8:45am. We take a taxi to the ferry and exchange our voucher for boarding passes. We hand in our suitcases. We make our way to the waiting room for Birth 5. We have 90 minutes to spare! The ferry leaves shortly after 11am. It is a bright day with a calm sea. We arrive at Swartz Bay at about 12:30pm and pick up our cases. John and Di drive us to the Blue Bayou Cafe in Brentwood Bay. It is on a jetty overlooking a marina. We receive emergency alert texts like those we had in Boston last September. We have New Orleans food for lunch. On the way back to the Thorp’s house we stop at a couple of farm shops to buy some provisions including fresh asparagus. We have a cup of tea. Graham is told he has to stay awake until 8pm. We sit out on the freshly cleaned deck admiring the views and the osprey. A hummingbird darts around. The bar opens at six and John produces a 21 year old bottle of Appleton’s rum. It is delicious. We eat on the deck. Di has produced a slow cooked tastey coq au vin accompanied by asparagus and salad and wine. We retire at 8:30pm. Graham falls asleep very shortly after getting into bed.

Previous DayContentsNext dayThursday, 9 May - Happy 49th Anniversary

Today is our 49th wedding anniversary. We awake about 6am to a bright sunny day. After a light breakfast of muesli, yoghurt and blueberries we do nothing for a short while. John drives us to Brentwood where we line up for the ferry to Mill Bay. Only 20 cars  can be transported so we are lucky to be fifteenth in the queue. We have time to spare so we wander into the nearby general stores. It is an unusual emporium. It looks like the owner is trying to sell stuff few people want like minerals, children’s books, small trinkets, shells etc. We return to the car and get on the ferry. Senior citizens go free. We cross the millpond to the Mill Bay dock which is on First Nation’s land. We drive to the Unsworth Winery. After tasting some of the wines we enter the restaurant. We share polenta fries and warm olives for starters. Jane and Graham have the seafood chowder which is crammed full of fish and is  very tasty. John has a vegetarian pasta and Di has a tortellini. We share a chocolate delice and a rhubarb and ginger rice pudding.  It is a very pleasant anniversary lunch. We purchase some wine and return to the ferry. It is very hot and not much wind. Graham and Jane stay in the car where there is a slight breeze. We drive to the end of the pier at Sidney where there is a fish market run by an amusing man. After buying some skate we walk to the edge of the pier where the man throws some old fish into the sea to feed his small family of seals. It is very amusing. We buy Graham some overcover sun glasses and visit a tea shop. We visit the Deep Cove general stores which are more in line with what one would expect. We stop at the Thorp’s postbox which is in a bank of about 30 others. We return to the house and John prints off the baggage tags we need for the ship. We have some bubbly on the deck.  The skate and asparagus are much appreciated. We retire about 9pm.

Previous DayContentsNext dayFriday, 10 May - A Walk in Sidney

It’s another bright and sunny day. Today we try microwaved porridge with blueberries and yogurt. Yum yum. We have a rest and then are driven to a memorial on the side of the airport dedicated to airmen who lost their lives during WWII. It is well designed. We drive to the outskirts of Sidney where Di has an art exhibition in a hut overlooking the sea. We take a short walk along the shore past the ferry dock for Washington State. We return to the car and drive to the Chalet vineyard where we do a wine tasting and eat cheese and drink wine. We return to base for more wine and cheese and then we take a siesta. Di wakes us up at 5:20pm as we are going out for an evening meal. We have arranged to meet John and Sue Sampson at the Zanzibar restaurant. We have a very pleasant evening catching up and return for a nightcap and a sunset.

Previous DayContentsNext daySaturday, 11 May - From Ferry to Cruise Liner

It appears that shortly after we had gone to sleep several fire engines turned up in the street to put out a fire on a nearby property. We heard nothing. We awake at 6 o’clock to another bright sunny day. We rise at 7:30am and have breakfast. We pack our bags and staple on our baggage tags for the cruise. We leave at 9:30am and are driven to Swartz Bay. We say goodbye to John and Di. We use a self service machine to purchase tickets for the ferry which departs at 10am. The sea is like a mill pond. We dock at Tsawassen and find a taxi. The Sikh driver does not know which of the cruise ferry terminals to take us to. Graham gets the address out of his bag in the boot when the driver stops the car. We are driven to Canada Place Pier. We pay $100 to the driver and give our cases to a porter. It is now about 12:30pm. We follow directions to a large hall and are shown to some seats. After a while we are ushered to join a queue to check in. We get some information and our key cards. We walk miles to join another queue to go through passport control. We enter a large hall and are shown to some seats. We sit for a while with other foreigners. Eventually we are asked to make our way to the lines of people waiting to have their fingerprints, photos and passports checked. We board the ship at nearly 3pm. We make our way to stateroom 7080. Our cases are waiting for us. We go to the Lido Market on level 9 and have some lunch. We return to our room and are told to go to our assembly stations for lifeboat drill. More standing and waiting but this time on Deck 3 under the lifeboats. Our key cards are scanned. Eventually we can leave. We sit in a bar till the crowds have dispersed. We return to our room. The ship leaves port at about 5pm and we watch it go by Stanley Park around which we cycled several years ago. At 6pm we decide to eat. We choose the Tamarind Restaurant on the 11th deck. Only one table is occupied. Jane is in heaven as it is a Japanese restaurant. We have a wonderful meal. The somelier explains how we can make the best of our Signature Beverage Package. At the end of the meal we are presented with a piece of cake on a tray on which has been written Happy Anniversary. We think this has been arranged by Jane’s friend Tom Ockelton of the Rocky Mountaineer through whom she booked the cruise. We retire to our room at 8:30pm and start to watch a film but fall asleep long before it ends.

Previous DayContentsNext daySunday, 12 May - Mother's Day

It’s cloudy today and in North America it’s Mother’s Day. We have breakfast in the Lido Market on the 9th deck along with most of the passengers. We take a stroll around the ship visiting both swimming pools. At 11am we go to the Mainstage to listen to a lecture on Alaskan Whales. It was good. We visit the Ocean Bar and drink pina coladas from tall conical glasses. We have lunch in the Lido Market and return to our room. It is a gala dinner evening so we dress smartly and enter the dining room on Deck 2. We share a table with Brad and Sandra from Alberta who have been on this cruise several times. We have a good meal and go to the Mainstage where we watch Leon Ettiene perform illusion acts. It is very entertaining. We retire and start to watch a film but fall asleep again.

Previous DayContentsNext dayMonday, 13 May - Juneau

We are now on Juneau time however the ship’s web site did not change it’s current time till too late for us as we woke about 5:30am Vancouver time thinking it was Juneau time. We went to the Dining Room on Deck 2 and shared a table with a couple from Sydney and a couple from Aberdeenshire, all more interesting than last night’s Canadians. After breakfast we wandered around the lifeboat deck watching the ship slowly creeping into Juneau to dock by two other large cruise liners. We have lunch in the Lido Market and walk off the ship into the town. It’s full of jewellery shops, clothes shops, and some eating places. Lots of people are trying to sell you excursions to a glacier, dog sledding, gold mines. We just opt to take a short walk around the town and along the quay. We return to the ship and find the Crow’s Nest bar on Deck 11. We sip a pina colada and watch the ants scurrying around the town. Seaplanes are active on the inlet. In B B King’s Club we watch a BBC film about filming wildlife. It is fascinating. Four others watch it including the two Canadians from last night. We return to our room. We have been reserved a time to dine in the Pinnacle Grill. We find it on Deck 2 and enjoy a fine meal. We start with lobster bisque and then one of us has a 10 oz New York Strip steak and the other has large seared scallops. We wash it down with several glasses of Greystone Merlot. We end with chocolates and creme brûlée. We retire to our rooms replete. 

Previous DayContentsNext dayTuesday, 14 May - Skagway

We have docked in Skagway along with two other cruise ships. We have a light breakfast in our room. We leave the ship at 8:15am via the gangway on Deck 2. Our key cards are scanned. We walk to the end of the dock and join others waiting to board the historic train which is already in place. We are allocated Coach 240 and make our way to the front of the coach next to the trash bin and bottles of water but we do have a good view. The train is split in two so as not to block traffic. When all are aboard the front of the train reverses slowly to hitch up to the back of the train. There are some loud hoots and we start our slow scenic journey up to White Horse Pass at  2865 ft above sea level. At various points announcements are made to point out the photo opportunities like the disused rusty cantilevered bridge.  We get to the top where the snow is in abundance and the train travels on a loop to point back down the mountain. We go through two tunnels and over one trestle bridge. It is a very pleasant way to spend a morning and was not very cold. Jumpers only were needed. We check back on board the ship and have lunch in the Lido Market as the Dining Room is closed on port days. We retire to our room and have a siesta. At 6pm we go to the Tamarind Restaurant where we are welcomed back by the Indonesian staff. We have window seats overlooking a helicopter airport. We have a delicious meal washed down with Merlot. A mass of birds have gathered on the inlet. There must be a lot of fish there. We retire to our room and watch Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation without falling asleep completely though someone is jogged to prevent that.

Previous DayContentsNext dayWednesday, 15 May - Glacier Bay

We decide to have breakfast in the Dining Room and go to Deck 2 but are redirected to Deck 3. We sit at a large table with an Englishman from Poole, two Americans, two ladies from East Cowes, Isle of Wight and a Canadian couple with her German born mother from Victoria, B.C.. After breakfast we walk around Deck 3 admiring the glaciers of Glacier Bay. The clouds are low and the sun is not shining. We need coats to stay warm. Three times around the deck is a mile which we do. We return to our room. We go up to the Crow’s Nest for a drink and a good view of the glaciers and rocks and floating ice pieces the larger ones of which have birds perched on them. We go to the Dining Room for lunch but the queue is too long so we eat in the Lido Market. Jane has sushi and Graham has Chinese noodles and kung pao chicken. We go to the Main Stage and listen to a talk on Glacier Bay by a park ranger. This is followed by a member of the Tlingit (pronounced clingit) talking about her life and customs. She lived in Huna where she went to school. In her last year there were only 9 pupils. It was not a very interesting talk. We return to our room for a siesta and watch Denzil Washington in The Equaliser without falling asleep. At 7pm we dress smartly and queue up for the gala dinner. We share a table with three ladies from near Newcastle N.S.W. For the main course we have surf and turf - lobster and fillet steak. It is very good. We retire to find a puppy on our bed.

Previous DayContentsNext dayThursday, 16 May - Ketchikan

We have docked in Ketchikan alongside the Ruby Princess and the Golden Princess. Floatplane fights have been cancelled because of two planes colliding a couple of days ago. We have breakfast in the Dining Room with a Canadian couple from Clarksville, B.C. and a Chinese lady from Vancouver. After breakfast and a short rest we disembark and wander along the quayside going in and out of souvenir shops looking for something for the grandsons. We agree to buy them a pair of socks with Alaskan themes on them. We return to the ship and have lunch in the Lido Market. More sushi for Jane and some Korean food for Graham. There is still a slight drizzle but we try to walk around Deck 3 but are blocked by some men maintaining a lifeboat. We return to our room. Shortly before 4pm we go to the B B King’s Bar to watch a BBC Earth production showing innovative and ingenious ways of filming nature. It ends up with a piece featuring a hot-air balloon piloted by a French man and a cameraman crashing into the tops of baobab trees in Madagascar. We go to the Pinnacle Bar and have cocktails. Jane has a Cosmopolitan and Graham has a Manhattan. We go to the Dining Room for our evening meal and we sit with an Australian widow from near Newcastle who is not with a tour group but on her own and enjoying it.  After the meal we go to the Mainstage to watch another BBC Earth production created from the Wild Alaska series. It got a clap at the end as it was so good. It made us proud to be British. Congratulations to the BBC for getting Holland America to use their products. We retire to our room to watch a sad film called Aftermath featuring Arnie Swartzenegger. A monkey is hanging on the wall.

Previous DayContentsNext dayFriday, 17 May - Quilting

We are back on Vancouver time so have lost an hour’s sleep. We have breakfast in the Dining Room and share a table with another Australian widow and a couple from Vancouver. The widow has a friend which she displays on the table. It is a toy monkey. We have an enjoyable breakfast and go for a walk around Deck 3. Jane does three laps but Graham has a hip problem and only does two laps but we do catch glimpses of orcas. We have lunch in the Lido Market, more sushi for Jane and some Malaysian food for Graham. There is a room on the ship where ladies are quilting. They have come from Vancouver Island with their own sewing machines and irons and are producing quilts. Some start at 6am and some finish at midnight. One lady instructor is in charge. It is a most unexpected sight to see on a cruise ship. There are 75% off sales in the shops. We don’t buy anything. We return to our room and watch another episode of Simon Reeves in Australia. We pack our cases and put the lime tags on them. At 5:30pm we go to the Tamarind Bar on Deck 11 and have a pina colada. We go into the Tamarind Restaurant and are greeted like long lost friends. Jane has masses of sashimi while Graham has a variety of dishes. Rene keeps Graham’s glass topped up with Merlot. We retire at 8:30pm. We put our cases outside our rooms together with our breakfast order. 

Previous DayContentsNext daySaturday, 18 May - On Dry Land

Breakfast arrives at 7am.  We have Swiss Muesli, fresh fruit, raisin bran, orange juice and coffee.  We leave the room at 8:30am and go and sit in the Ocean Bar to wait for those with lime baggage tags to be told they can leave the ship. We are called at 9:15am. Our keycards are scanned for the last time. We collect our baggage and join a queue waiting for taxis. We get into one at about 9:50am and are whisked off to five blocks away and the Fairmont Hotel. We are allocated room 789 and it is ready. We leave the hotel and wander down the hill to the Bill Reid gallery. Bill Reid sculpted many pieces representing First Nations folklore (more...). After leaving the gallery we have lunch in the Cactus Club Cafe. Jane has a surfeit of calamari which is carried back to the hotel. At 4pm we walk out of the hotel and down to Canada Place where we watch the Nieuw Amsterdam leave port for Alaska in bright sunshine. We wander back up to near the hotel and find the Crepe Cafe where we have a savoury crepe. We return to our room.

Previous DayContentsNext daySunday, 19 May - Vancouver Lookout

We have a lie in and go down for breakfast at 9:30am. We eat in the Notch8 restaurant in the hotel. We opt for the Farmhouse Omelet. It is a hearty feast. We take a walk along Georgia Street and down Seymour Street to the Vancouver Lookout where we use our voucher to gain entrance. Graham is not going to like this! We ascend  169 metres in an outside lift to the circular observation platform (more...).  There is a magnificent view of Vancouver on this bright sunny day. We descend and seek refuge in a nearby Tim Horton’s for a soothing coffee. We sit by an electric fake fire - amazing as it costs more than a TV which could show a YouTube video of a log fire. We visit the steam clock in Gastown and then saunter back to the hotel. We are clocking up the miles walked though Jane has had a message from Fitbit saying her account has been blocked because it is being used in an unusual place. To unblock it she changes the password.  At 5:30pm we go in search of food. We try to find Momo Sushi but they are in the basement of an office tower block and are closed on Sundays. We wander around and find a Japanese restaurant on the second floor of a building. It is called Shabusen. Jane has the deluxe sashimi platter and Graham has teriyaki chicken with tempura. Graham washes his food down with a large Asahi beer. We retire to our hotel. It’s tough being on holiday. 

Previous DayContentsNext dayMonday, 20 May - The Thorps Arrive

Today is Victoria Day which is a holiday in Canada declared by the government as such in 1845. It is held on the preceding Monday to Queen Victoria’s Birthday on 25th May. It’s grey outside. We remain in our rooms until we get a phone call from the Thorps saying they have arrived at the hotel. They had taken the 9am ferry from Swartz Bay and taken a bus and train to get to the hotel. We joined them in the bar for a drink and then walked out in the rain looking for lunch. We ended up at the place we ate at last night and had another good meal. The place got a seal of approval from John who had not eaten there before though he’d had twenty seven years to try. The Thorps go to the Lookout tower and the others go to their room. At 5pm we check in with the Rocky Mountaineer and collect luggage tags, seat reservations and a lapel pin. We meet up with the Thorps at 6pm for pre dinner drinks. The adjacent bar is full of a noisy crowd so we ask to move further away. Cold air is blowing! We tolerate it just. We eat and drink. The Thorps are entitled to a Rocky Mountaineer meal for getting us on the trip while we eat a la carte. The food is good. We retire to pack.

Previous DayContentsNext dayTuesday, 21 May - Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer

We are woken up at 5:30am by the alarm. We wash and dress. At 5:55am a porter knocks on the door to collect luggage. At 6:15am we go down to the lobby to find a lot of Rocky Mountaineer customers waiting by the trolleys which hold all our luggage. At 6:30am we are ushered into a coach. We are driven to the Fairmont Waterfront to pick up some passengers. We are driven to the Rocky Mountaineer station and drink coffee and orange juice. A pianist plays Obla Di Obla Da. At 7:30am a piper plays Scotland the Brave which is a signal for all 600 of us to board the train. Our Gold Leaf coaches are in the middle of the train and just outside the doors. We climb the stairs of coach CB04 and find our way to seats 39 and 40. The Thorps are in the seats across the isle. We are given some instructions and a glass of orange. We are in the first sitting for breakfast and go downstairs to eat breakfast. We are in the Vancouver suburbs while eating. We return upstairs to view the scenery of the Fraser River Valley. We have an opportunity to buy souvenirs but decline. At 10:30am the bar opens. The guides on the train point out the interesting features of the places we pass. A lot of maple trees line the route. We have lunch downstairs at about 12:30pm. The wine flows steadily. The lunch is very good. We return upstairs. Westbound trains use the southern/eastern bank of the river and our train uses the track on the other bank. Goods trains are very long, often containing more than 100 trucks. We see long horned sheep who are watching us.  We arrive in Kamloops at about 7pm and are taken in a coach to the Doubletree Hilton. We have already been checked in whilst on the train. We make our way to room 315. The Thorps are in 316. We go for a walk to exercise the legs and find a place to eat. We choose the Noble Pig which brews its own beer. The server, Vicky, spent her gap year at an old people’s home in Cheltenham. She is well qualified to serve us. We have a snack and drinks and return to our hotel for 9:30pm. We have an early start tomorrow. 

Previous DayContentsNext dayWednesday, 22 May - Kamloops to Banff

Jane wakes at 5:15am and decides that Graham should wake up too. We pack up and leave our cases in our rooms and go down to the lobby at 6:00am. Norman and his coach arrives at 6:05am and we board. After a short journey Norman drives along the platform to the train coach we are in.  We climb the stairs to our seats. The back end of the train has left us and is on its way to Jasper. We are now in the penultimate coach. We leave Kamloops and follow the Southern Thompson River. It’s a fine day. We are in the second sitting for the meals today so while the others are having breakfast we have coffee and a cinnamon scone. At 8:45am we have breakfast. A surprise at breakfast is the production of a jar of Marmite for John who has ordered it before we got on the train. After returning to our seats we are told the bar is open. Graham has a rum and coke and Jane has a glass of iced water. The train takes us along the shores of the Shuswap Lake where we had visited 16 years ago. We travel through fantastic beautiful landscapes. While the others are having lunch we have cheese and wine. For our pudding at lunch we are given glasses of sparkling wine to celebrate our wedding anniversary. After lunch we see some ospreys, vultures, one black bear and some elks. We stop at Lake Louise for some guests to detrain. We are held up for some time until a freight train moves. We arrive in Banff and after picking up our hotel room keys we get on Coach 2 and are guided by a young lady from Nottingham to the Rimrock Hotel. We have been allocated room 303. We arrive on level 7 so descend to our room which is at the end of a long corridor. It is two rooms, a bedroom and a living room each with a television and a balcony. Two strawberries and a Happy Anniversary card are waiting for us as is our luggage. We have a snack and drinks with the Thorps in the Larkspur Bar. A lady is playing the piano. We retire at 10:25pm. The floor is still rocking! 

Previous DayContentsNext dayThursday, 23 May - Banff to Calgary

We pack our bags and have breakfast with the Thorps in the Primrose Restaurant on the 6th floor. We leave the hotel, which has been the best so far, at 10:50am. Jay, the coach driver, takes us to the Sulfur Mountain gondola. We take the eight minute ride up to the top of the mountain. The views are magnificent.  A friendly Canadian jay flits from table to table on the outside decking. We descend and return to the coach. Two do not. Eventually Jay does a roll call. The missing two never got on the coach at the hotel. We go to the Bow River Falls for a ten minute stop. Opposite the car park is Banff’s beach, about  100 yards long. We wait in the coach for a single lady who is clapped on her arrival. We are driven into town where we have lunch at a gin distillery. We return to the coach. We are driven to a viewpoint and on the way we see a black bear and some elk. There are some rock pinnacles called hoodoos and more good views of the Bow River and mountains. We are driven onto the Trans-Canadian Highway and just past Canmore we park by a hotel with a casino. A First Nations person greets us. We have a cup of tea and a piece of bannock bread. We have an introduction to the helicopter flight we are about to take. The four of us are weighed in at  69 kg and given seat numbers. We wait our turn to fly. A shuttle bus takes us to the three helipads and log cabin. When our turn comes we walk, head bent along a concrete path to the helicopter. We are strapped in and wear headphones. John is in the front by the pilot. We take off and fly to the same height as Sulfur mountain
. More magnificent views. The flight lasts about 10 minutes. We return and wait for the five other groups of four to finish. We are driven for about an hour over the flat grassy land to Calgary. The ski jump where Eddy the Eagle gained fame is on our right as we enter Calgary. The Thorps decoach at the Fairmont Palisser where their son Matthew awaits them. We are dropped at the Hyatt Regency. We have room 1105. We eat in the bar and retire at 9pm. It has been a busy day and the ground has just about stopped rocking.

Previous DayContentsNext dayFriday, 24 May - Calgary Tower and Library

We get up at 9am and have a Rocky Mountaineer breakfast, a subset of the breakfast menu. We eat at a leisurely pace. Just after eleven John and Di arrive at the hotel. We walk up the street to the Calgary Tower. A lift takes us up 191 metres. We have an audio guide which assumes you know in which direction you are facing. Jane stands on the glass floor overlooking the street. The glass can hold the weight of two hippos according to the guide. We wander around the observation floor. We watch a video about the construction of the tower in 1967 when it was the tallest structure in Calgary. It is now dwarfed by several other buildings. We walk down a floor to the revolving restaurant. It takes 45 minutes per revolution. To get a table would take us as long so we decide to go elsewhere to eat. John once worked in the city so takes us to the Eau Claire area by the river. We eat in a large noisy warehouse called Joey. The place is buzzing with staff. The food is very good. We wander to Brookfield Place where the Thorp’s son Jer has an installation. Large tower blocks in Calgary have to provide a piece of artwork. Jer’s contribution is a representation of the sounds of a glacier (more...).  it is fascinating. We next search for the new public library. We take the free Calgary Transit one stop. We ask a lady from Toronto for directions. It turns out it was at the end of the train platform but we have just boosted our daily step count. The building is a work of art. The interior is a vast amount of cedar panelling arranged in five floors. The security guard tells us it was all sanded down in situ. The guard enlightened us about the triptych mural painted by a First Nations artist. We wander to the Glenbow museum but decide not to go in but we do walk through its shop. We stop on the corner of the street and sit outside to drink cocktails. The promised rain never arrived except for a few spots. We part from the Thorps outside our hotel. We have our evening meal in the Charcut Roast House where Graham eats an Alberta steak and Jane has oysters from P E I. For the uninitiated that is Prince Edward Island. The Canadians use metric measurements apart from wine which comes in 5oz, 6oz, 9oz or bottle amounts. We return to our room having walked 3.5 miles.

Previous DayContentsNext daySaturday, 25 May - Returning Home

It’s raining which is a first for us. We have the Rocky Mountaineer breakfast which, it turns out later, is not free. We check out at 1:30pm and sit in the lobby. We share a sandwich for lunch. At 4:20pm a Pakistani driver picks us up. He proudly tells us of his daughters who have both got degrees. We join the BA queue at the airport as we are too early. We rest yet more in the business lounge. The plane, a Boeing Dreamliner, takes off at 8:30pm and lands almost exactly 8 hours later. Sean drives us home. He is very proud of his two daughters, one of whom has just finished at university and has a job with KPMG starting in September. We have just spent a wonderful cash free holiday but are rather tired.
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