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【研学营】来自艾伯塔省埃德蒙顿营的问候
来源:本站 点击数:2382次 更新时间:2017-10-30 16:25:19

 

路线
7月16日早上6点30分,领队Paul和Amy带领我们8名营员Collin、Michael、Benson、Daniel、Ryan、Barry、Nancy和Pepsi开始了期待已久的加拿大埃德蒙顿游学营之旅。队伍从番禺区剑桥郡加拿达外国语学校出发,到莲花山港乘坐轮船前往香港机场,经过12个小时后航班抵达温哥华,再转机前往埃德蒙顿,从温哥华前往埃德蒙顿的飞行时间大约是90分钟。埃德蒙顿进修学院的老师Nicole 和May前来接机。虽然大家都很累,但还是因为最终顺利抵达目的地而倍感兴奋。

 

寄宿家庭和作业
Nicole 和May带领我们乘坐巴士来到营地学校,寄宿家庭的爸爸妈妈已为我们准备了丰盛的烤肉汉堡和热狗。学员们人手一本夏令营手册,规定每天必须带去学校。手册必须记录每日行程、课堂活动和家庭作业:有趣的互动谈话、与寄宿家庭的写作活动、阅读寄宿家庭的欢迎信、给寄宿家庭回信、了解埃德蒙顿和加拿大的名胜古迹。我们向寄宿家庭用英语自我介绍,并和寄宿家庭拍照,来帮助第二天继续了解寄宿家庭。我们在学校的图书室里玩游戏,和寄宿家庭爸妈聊天,之后分别回到寄宿家庭休息。寄宿家庭为我们营造了热情和安心的英语语言学习环境。


 
参观电台
我们先后参观了1家广播电台,或者应该说是4家广播电台,CISN大楼是4家广播电台的大本营(2家调幅广播电台和2家调频广播电台),在CISN员工的陪同下,我们参观了这栋大楼里的工作棚、IT设备。接待我们的是埃德蒙顿职业队和职业曲棍球队的官方广播电台。我们坐在工作间里,像DJ一样宣布直播开始,然后还播放了一首歌。我们还参观了制作室,观看工程师们如何通过专业设备制作广告和IT设备。在参观结束时,我们坐在播音台上,阅读新闻标题,播发简要新闻,还在直播的脱口秀节目中发言。当我们离开时,CISN的工作人员送给我们每人一张CD。亲身体验广播电台的运作真的是一件非常有趣的事!

 

 
参观艾伯塔大学

我们搭乘城市公共汽车来到了艾伯塔大学( U of A),这所大学位于埃德蒙顿市中心。我们这次游学营的课堂老师兼领队Nicole就是在这里完成的学业。我们开始了我们的徒步旅行,并在指定的地点完成寻宝任务。我们要在轻轨电梯里自拍,并在一家著名的饼干餐厅前唱一首歌。我们走过了所谓的“中心”,那里有许多小餐馆和商店,还有许多学生住在学校的宿舍里。它是超级多彩的,但不太忙,因为这是暑期。我们参观了艾伯塔大学的黄色大楼Butter Dome,这是艾伯塔大学的体育中心,这里有足球场、篮球场、巨大的游泳池和其他运动设施。Beson带领我们在这座黄色大楼的周围一边走一边唱。

 

我们遇到了一些正在练习体操的女孩,其中一个女孩叫Maren,她来自Ryan和Barry的寄宿家庭。我们向她问好并继续前进。校园里真的很美,有许多奇妙的树木和植物。Nancy和Pepsi对花很感兴趣,并教Paul认识一些他所看到的东西。在黄色大楼的一个攀岩墙上,我们学习攀爬。我们必须穿上特殊的攀岩鞋进入攀岩区。地板很柔软,即使坠落也会受伤。攀岩专家给我们示范了避免受伤的正确坠落方式。在攀岩中,Michael是我们当中表现最好的,Daniel其次。

 

 

卢瑟福故居
爬完山之后我们去了卢瑟福的房子。那是建于20世纪早期的爱德华式的建筑。一位艾伯塔省的前总理曾住在那里,他对艾伯塔大学的建立起到了重要的作用。一位叫Louise的女士向我们讲述了关于房子的事,并在手摇留声机上播放音乐。她还向我们展示了一些老照片,告诉我们更多关于卢瑟福家族的事情。然后,我们去了卢瑟福的厨房,自己做柠檬水。我们向Louise致谢告别,回到学校,寄宿家庭将我们接回了家。

 

 


世界公民日

今天是我们第二次去艾伯塔大学,教育学院给我们提供了一个参加世界公民工作坊的特别机会。一天的生活从我们的寄宿家庭开始,他们送我们到艾伯塔大学并在那里道别。我们和家人度过了一段美好而舒适的时光,非常感谢工作人员的辛勤付出。

 

告别之后,我们来到教育学院大楼,在那见到了工作坊的四位导师:Lucy,Michelle,Thasnika 和AJ。导师们给了我们一堆卡片,分别代表不同的生活场景,比如医疗、电视、教育和饮水等。


我们的任务是两人一组将卡片分成三类:一类是人们想要的东西,还有一类是人们需要的东西,一类是我们无法决定的东西。然后我们一起探讨我们会做出如此选择的原因,作为一个全球化公民在生活中应有的表现,以及为了让大家拥有以上财富所需担负的责任。接着,我们向学校借了一些iPad,参观了校园,并拍了很多代表世界公民身份的照片。我们也了解到艾伯塔大学为世界发展而努力的许多有趣想法,包括环保措施、艺术设施、地区平等。拍完照,大家开始坐下来做电子拼图,这考验我们对世界公民的理解。


在参观时有两件事情让大家印象深刻,一是院子里自然生长的绿植很漂亮也很环保,希望中国向加拿大学习这种环保方式。还有一点就是艾伯塔大学垃圾分类非常细致,丝毫没有混淆的现象,回到自己学校后我们也要效仿。

 

 

贾斯伯国家公园

今天是开始加拿大落基山脉旅行的第一天,我们参观了贾斯伯国家公园。我们的车子一进园区就看到鹿群慢慢穿过马路,悠然地在路旁吃着青草,不一会儿又看到了一群山羊。落基山脉真的是观赏野生动物的好地方!Paul问导游Michael在这里是否经常看到熊,他说大概三次带团有两次可以看到---通常是看到黑熊,偶尔会有灰熊。我们坐在车里,安全无虞,非常期待能看到这些动物。车子在园区里慢慢穿行,眼前的美景简直无法用言语来形容。连绵起伏的山脉和雄伟壮阔的大自然让人倍感震撼!

 

用完午餐,我们继续前往阿萨巴斯卡冰川。在那儿我们在冰川上乘坐冰原探险号雪车飞驰,每台雪车的造价在1,3000,000加币,产自卡尔加里市。这个品牌一共有23台雪车,其中22台在阿萨巴斯卡冰川使用,第23台售卖给了美国政府用来给在南极洲科考的科学家送物资。冰川其实是很危险的,不过我们的导游很专业,完全可以确保我们的安全。冰川长达60公里,但我们游览的区域可能也就250米。车子停下来后我们可以下车在冰原上行走。雪车司机告诉我们可以在冰川下面取水,这些水很干净完全可以直饮。Benson看来是我们学生中最勇敢的,他像山羊一样灵活地跳过冰面,之后还很勇敢地走上了玻璃桥(这个稍后再说)。Collin在冰川里装了一瓶水,Barry和Ryan则在一旁玩雪。在冰川上走了一会儿,我们又乘坐另一辆车前往冰川玻璃天桥。这条玻璃天桥建在辛华达山谷的悬崖上,高达280米,最多能够承重7000人。如果你恐高的话那实在太恐怖了,但是我们的Benson、Daniel 和Michael同学勇敢地打了头阵,尽管有些同学还是很紧张,但没有一人退缩。我们真是一支勇敢的队伍!
沿着玻璃天桥,山谷顶端边缘有一条小径。一路的动植物群落和山水美景尽收眼底。阿萨巴斯卡冰川融水汇流成河,最终汇入大西洋、太平洋和北冰洋。

 

 

 

班芙的湖泊

第10天的行程是在美轮美奂的班芙国家森林公园。我们在酒店用早餐。克罗森酒店以完全自给自足而闻名。它自己发电,收集冰川水以满足其用水需求(它拥有艾伯塔所有酒店里最干净的水),并通过回收、堆肥和垃圾运输来处理自己所有的垃圾。在酒店吃完自助早餐后,我们就离开了。我们的第一站是在美丽的弓峰佩托湖。爬上高高的山顶,我们拍下了美丽的景色和冰冷的湖水。下山后,我们出发去弓湖。

 

我们在路边停了下来,爬下一小段距离,感受到了冰冷的湖水。“弓湖”得名于其河岸上的树木,而加拿大原住民正是用这些树来制作狩猎用的弓。之后我们去了莫兰湖。班夫和贾斯伯的湖水比中国南方的湖水都要冷得多。当天上午我们参观的第四个湖是路易斯湖,它是以维多利亚女王的第四个女儿——路易斯•卡洛琳•艾伯塔公主的名字命名的。参观完这些美丽的湖泊后,我们停下来吃了汉堡当作午餐。

 

下午,我们驱车穿过了约赫峡谷,到达了我们到目前为止在班夫或贾斯伯最喜欢的地方,塔卡考瀑布。水从山顶的冰川奔流而下,直入山谷,发出震耳欲聋的响声。我们沿着河岸边走,看谁能把石头扔得最远。然后,我们攀上岩石,向瀑布爬去。

水流飞速撞击在岩石上,激起冰冷的水雾,我们冒着严寒爬上了更高的高度。站在高高的岩层上,以这美丽的景致做背景,我们摆姿势合影或自拍。晚上,我们去班夫的市镇中心吃晚饭。这是一个整洁的小镇,满是商店和游客,有很多可以看和玩的东西,但主要是买买买!然后我们回到了位于美丽的班夫中心酒店。

 


 



 


 

山脉、缆车和摩托艇

在班夫国家公园的最后一天,导游Michael早上8点在美丽的班芙中心酒店接我们,早早开始了一天的行程。自助早餐非常丰盛,有鸡蛋、熏肉、华夫饼、煎饼、吐司、香肠、火腿、水果麦片等美味可选,餐厅还能欣赏壮丽的山景,别有一番滋味。

 

穿过班芙,一段很短的车程之后,我们来到了硫磺山脚下。导游Michael给了我们所有通往山顶的缆车票。缆车在这里被称为贡多拉,它能爬到883米的山顶。Ryan今天很勇敢,他克服恐高,坐上了贡多拉。在硫磺山顶,Beson再次成为了学员们的领袖,带领大家来到了山顶上的观景台,Daniel、Pepsi和Barry是最快登上观景台的三个。山顶的360度无敌美景让人叹为观止,可以鸟瞰群山和班芙市镇。在山顶的礼品店买了一些纪念品,然后我们乘贡多拉回到了山脚。

 

在硫磺山,我们还去探访了天然温泉。我们打算进去,但是Nancy和Pepsi去打探了一下,告诉我们这有点像游泳池。我们决定听从他们的建议,腾出时间去往下一个目的地游玩。下山后,我们驱车前往明尼万卡湖。我们在湖边的岩石上玩了一会儿,然后租了小型摩托艇游玩。每艘摩托艇能容纳5个人,Paul驾驶一艘,带上了Pepsi、Nancy、Collin和Ryan。Michael驾驶另一艘,带着Benson、小Michael、Barry和Daniel。明尼万卡湖是一个冰川湖,长21公里,深142米,是加拿大落基山山脉公园中最长的湖泊。

 

开过摩托艇之后,是迟来的中式午餐,然后我们去班夫镇的班夫大街购物。Amy和女孩们走在前面,而Paul和男孩们则在后面慢慢跟着。Collin带队去买纪念品,介绍了一些很酷的商店,那里能买到班芙特有的东西。小Michael买了一辆我们在阿萨巴斯卡冰川上骑的雪车模型。短暂的购物之后,我们乘车前往卡尔加里。

 




卡尔加里

我们在卡尔加里的第一站是去看一下中国领事馆大楼。这栋建筑的高墙和现代红色提醒着我们,中国在世界各地的代表机构都很好地展示着这个国家的形象。我们大多数从艾伯塔来中国的外籍教师都必须在这里办理签证。在领事馆短暂停留后,我们参观了卡尔加里塔。塔高190.8米,是加拿大多伦多以外地区最高的建筑,于1968年向公众开放。

 

这是我们第二次在远离地面的玻璃地面上行走。参观完卡尔加里塔,我们去了西南的第八大道步行街购物。我们没有买任何东西,但这是在卡尔加里市中心一次有趣的散步。我们分成两队,男孩们和Paul一起,女孩们则和Amy一起。街上有一些有趣的艺术装置,对于市中心区域来说,这里一片宁静与祥和。之后,我们吃了一顿加拿大风味的中式自助午餐。

 

下午我们去了一家大型的名牌折扣商场,去寻找那些我们还没买到的东西。我们再次分成了两队,Paul和男孩们一队,Amy和女孩们一队。结束购物后我们回到酒店,在晚餐前休息一会儿。晚餐是在唐人街吃的。男孩们和Paul一起在旅馆的游泳池里游泳,而女孩们则在楼上和Amy一起休息。


恐龙谷
恐龙谷的地貌常被人们形容为“荒原“,看起来像拍电影或纪录片的背景。我们从恐龙谷里的小教堂开始游览,这是一个很小型的建筑物,小到只能容纳我们这个10人的团队,但是却很有特色,所以我们在那拍了很多有趣的照片。接着我们参观了皇家古生物博物馆。艾伯塔省以其矿物燃料而闻名,这些矿物燃料来自深埋在地底下恐龙和其它生物的残骸。除了矿物燃料,这里还有很多古生物学上的发现,因为曾有大量恐龙在此游荡,对于那些对古生物和恐龙感兴趣的人来说,这是一次集趣味性与知识性于一体的探索。

 

我们在恐龙谷的最后一站是德拉姆黑勒岩柱, 因为自然的侵蚀,这里的地貌奇形怪状,通常柱身高约5-7米,不管这些岩柱在哪里形成,总能吸引游客。德拉姆黑勒岩柱矗立在一座巨大的石头山上,我们有5名学员在导游的带领下勇敢挑战爬到了顶峰。之后,我们花了三个小时的车程返回埃德蒙顿吃晚餐,入住酒店休息。第二天早上4点便起床赶飞机回国。

 

7月29日,我们的加拿大游学营结束了,这一路有太多美好的回忆,我们热爱这个地方,但是时候回到我们最爱的、一直思念的亲人身边了。再见了艾伯塔,我们会想念你的。

 

 

Greetings From Edmonton Camp, Alberta!

Route

Day One at Canada Camp Edmonton has come and gone and we’re off to a great start.

 Our group is led by Paul and Amy, and our group members are Collin, Michael, Benson, Daniel, Ryan, Barry, Nancy and Pepsi.  We met at 6:30 at the gates of our Panyu, CIS/CLS-C Campus in Agile – Cambridgeshire.  After quick introductions, we were off to the Lianhua port to catch the ferry to Hong Kong International Airport for our first flight to Vancouver.

Together, we caught the boat to the airport, then boarded for Vancouver and a 12-hour flight.  We landed in Vancouver and then had to rush to catch our connecting flight to Edmonton.  At the end of the 90-minute flight, representatives from Edmonton’s Progressive Academy met us.  We were quite tired, all of us, but also really excited to finally be at our destination. 

Host Families and Homework Assignment

May and Nicole led us to our bus and brought us to the school where it was time to meet our homestay families. 

The school and families have arranged a great meal of barbecued hamburgers and hotdogs for us.  Each student has received a handbook for the program should always bring it to school. The handbook includes daily schedule, classroom activities, and homework: fun interactive speaking, writing activities with host family ,reading our host family’s welcoming letter, writing a letter back for host family and learning about historical places in Edmonton and Canada to encourage  us to introduce ourselves to our host family in English and take a photo to continue learning about their host families on the next day.

We sat and talked with our hosts families and played some games in the school’s library before our group separated to head to our home stay families and sleep. This English-speaking environment instantly create welcoming and safe learning environment for us with host family.

Visiting Radio Station

We have visited a radio station, or rather, 4 radio stations.  The CISN building is actually home to 4 radio stations; 2 AM and 2 FM.  We took a guided tour of the building with members of the CISN Street team.  We visited studios, and their IT facilities.  Our hosts are the official radio station of Edmonton’s Professional football team (Edmonton Eskimos) and the professional hockey team (Edmonton Oilers).  We sat in as a DJ announced live on air and played a song.  We also toured the production rooms and saw how the engineers use Pro-Tools to create commercials and other recorded materials for broadcast.  Towards the end of the tour we sat in on a broadcaster reading headlines and presenting short news clips and also spoke on air during a live broadcast of a talk show.  As we were leaving the CISN Street Team gave us each a CD to take home.  It was really interesting to see how a radio station works.

U of A

we set out for the campus of the University of Alberta (U of A).  We travelled together by city bus to the downtown area of Edmonton where the university is located.  One of our classroom teachers, Nicole, completed her degrees at the U of A and was a great leader for our tour.  We started our walking tour and were given a scavenger hunt to complete where we had tasks.  We had to take a selfie in the LRT elevator and sing a song in front of a famous cookie restaurant.  We walked through what is called, “The Hub,” where there are many small restaurants and shops and lots of students living in the school’s dorms.  It was super colourful, but not too busy because it’s summertime.

We visited the Butter Dome, which is the athletic centre for the U of A.  There were places to play football and basketball a huge swimming pool and other athletic facilities.  Benson lead our group in a March and song around the Butter Dome’s track.  We came across some girls practicing gymnastics, and one of them was from Ryan and Barry’s homestay family.  We said hello to Maren and moved on.  The campus is really beautiful with a lot of wonderful trees and plants.  Nancy and Pepsi were interested in the flowers and taught Paul a bit about what he was seeing. 

We went climbing on a simulated rock wall in the Butter Dome.  Students had to put on special climbing shoes and went into the climbing area.  The floors are very soft so you don’t get hurt when you fall.  The climbing expert that worked there showed us the correct way to fall without getting hurt.  Michael was our best climber with Daniel as a close second.

Rutherford House

After climbing we were off to Rutherford House.  It’s a home from the early 1900’s which is considered Edwardian-style.  It housed a former premier of Alberta, who was instrumental in the founding of the U of A.  A woman named Louise taught us about the house and played music on a Victrola from us.  She also showed us old picture and told us more about the Rutherford family.  We then went to the Rutherford’s kitchen and made our own lemonade before thanking Louise and heading back to school to be picked up by our homestay families.

Global Citizenship

Today was our second trip to the University of Alberta.  Today’s trip was for a very special opportunity offered to us by the U of A’s Faculty of Education; a Global Citizenship Workshop.

Our day began with our homestay families dropping us of at the university where we said our final goodbyes.  We had a great time with our families, and we really appreciate the time and effort the put into making us feel comfortable. 

After saying farewell, we went into the Faculty of Education building where we met our 4 instructors on global citizenship.  Lucy, Michelle, Thasnika and a woman named AJ are all with the faculty of education and greeted us.  They gave us a pile of cards with different parts of life such as healthcare, television, education and clean water.  Our job was to work in pairs and make 3 piles of cards; one for things people want, one for things people need and one for things we couldn’t decide upon.   We then talked about why we made the choices we did and what things a global citizen should be able to expect in life and what responsibilities we have to make sure that all people have these things.

We then borrowed iPads from the university and took a tour of the university campus to take pictures of the things we think represent global citizenship.  We saw many interesting ways in which the U of A tries to be responsible to the world including environmental measures, art installations and areas dedicated to equality.

After taking pictures we sat down to make digital collages which reflected our ideas on what global citizenship means.  Our students were most impressed with two things on their tour.  They all thought the green space in the quad was important as its nature is beautifully maintained and reflects environmental protection.  They hoped that many places in China could learn this from Canada and make our country a greener space.  Our students were also impressed by the way in which U of A separates its waste into several categories and none of it is mixed.  We agreed to try to get our schools back home to try a similar approach.

   

Jasper

Today was the beginning of our trip to the Canadian Rocky Mountains as we travelled to Jasper National Park.  Almost as soon as our bus entered the park we saw a bunch of deer slowly crossing the road and lazily munching on grass by the roadside.  Then almost right after we came across some goats.  Turns out the Rocky Mountains are a great place to see wildlife.  Paul asked Michael how often he sees bears in Jasper and he said that about 2 out of every 3 tours he leads see bears – normally black bears, but sometimes he sees a grizzly bear.  We’re really hoping to see one of these animals in the wild from the safety our bus!  As we drove through the park, it really would be too simple to say it was beautiful.  The mountains and nature are too breathtaking to describe fully. 

We stopped for lunch and we were off to the Athabasca Glacier.  At the glacier, we got onto a snow coach called the Ice Explorer and drove out onto the glacier. Each snow coach costs about 1.3 million Canadian dollars and are made in the city of Calgary.  This particular brand has 23 snow coaches made; 22 at the Athabasca Glacier, and the 23rd sold to the United States government to move supplies to scientists in Antarctica.  The glacier can be quite dangerous, but our driver kept us all nice and safe.

The glacier itself is about 60km long and the section we visited is 250m think.  The bus stopped and we were able to walk on the ice field.  The snow coach driver told us that we could collect water from the glacier as it’s clean enough to drink.  It seems Benson is our bravest student; he can jump across the ice as smoothly as a mountain goat!  He also was super brave in walking on the glass bridge (more on that in a minute).  Collin collected a bottle of water from the glacier while Barry and Ryan played with the snow.

After walking on the glacier, we jumped on another bus and headed to the Glacier Skywalk.  About 280 meters above the Sunwapta valley, the Skywalk is a glass bridge which can hold the weight of up to 7000 people.  IT can be super scary if you’re afraid of heights, but again Benson was super brave, along with Daniel and Michael.  Though some were nervous, nobody in our group missed walking on the Skywalk.  We’re a pretty brave bunch. 

Along with the Skywalk, there is a long path way along the edge of the top of the valley with a whole bunch of displays about everything from looking flora and fauna to the water-flow patterns of the local rivers.  In fact, water from the Athabasca glacier leads into rivers which reach the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans.

The Lakes of Banff

 Day 10 was a day full of the incredible beauty of Banff National Park.

We started with breakfast at the hotel.  The Crossing Hotel is famous for being totally self-sufficient.  It generates its own electricity, collects glacier water for its water needs (it has the cleanest water of any hotel in Alberta) and takes care of all its own waste through recycling, composting and trash hauling.  After a buffet breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant we were off.

Our first stop was at the beautiful Peyto Lake at Bow summit.  We climbed high up to Bow summit to take pictures of the beautiful scenery and the cold water.  After climbing back down we headed off to Bow Lake.  We stopped by the roadside to climb down a short distance and feel the cold water. Bow lake is named for the trees on its banks which the First Nations peoples of Canada used to make their hunting bows.  We then visited Moraine and its cold waters.  The lakes of Banff and Jasper are all much colder than those of us in south China are used to.  Our fourth lake of the morning was Lake Louise which was named for the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta.  Soon after visiting these beautiful lakes we stopped for a hamburger lunch.

In the afternoon, we drove through the Yoho Valley to reach what has been our favourite place in Banff or Jasper so far, Takakkaw Falls.  The stunning water fall drops from a mountaintop glacier into the valley below, feeding the river.  We hiked along the side of the river, seeing who could throw rocks the farthest across.  Then we climbed the rocks towards the falls themselves.  The water spraying from the fast-landing water makes for a fairly cold mist, but we braved the cold to climb higher.  On the rock formations, we posed for group pictures and took selfies against the beautiful scenery.

In the evening, we headed into the Banff town city centre for dinner.  It’s a neat little area full of shops and tourists with a lot to see and do; but mostly to buy!  We then headed to our hotel which is located in the beautiful Banff Centre.

Mountains, Cable Cars and Boats

The last day at Banff National Park, our tour guide, Big Michael, picked us up at the beautiful Banff Centre hotel at 8 o’clock to get an early start on the day.  We started off with a picturesque buffet breakfast with a spectacular view of the mountains.  Eggs, bacon, waffles, pancakes, toast, sausages, ham, fruit cereal and more were all available.  This breakfast buffet has been the best so far.

We drove the short distance thorough Banff until we arrived at the base of Sulfur Mountain.  Big Michael gave us all tickets for the cable car to the top of the mountain.  The cable car here is called a Gondola, and it climbs up the mountain to a height of about 883 metres.  Ryan was very brave today, conquering his fear of heights to take the Gondola ride. 

At the top of Mount Sulfur, Benson, once again, was a leader of our students to the upper level of the mountain’s observation decks, while Daniel, Pepsi and Barry were the first to reach the top of the mountain.  The 360-degree view from the top of the mountain is truly incredible providing great opportunities to check out the surrounding mountains and the town of Banff.  Our kids did a little bit of souvenir shopping at the mountain top gift shop and then we took the gondola back down to the base of the mountain.

Also at Sulfur Mountain, we checked out the natural hot spring.  We were going to go into it, but Nancy and Pepsi went ahead to check it out and told us that it was a bit like a swimming pool.  We decided to follow their advice and spend more time at our next destination.

After the mountain, we took a drive out to Lake Minnewanka.  We played for a while on rocks by the edge of the lake.  We rented to small motor boats and headed out onto the lake.  Each boat could hold 5 people, so one boat was piloted by Paul and he took Pepsi, Nancy, Collin and Ryan out in his boat.  Big Michael piloted the other boat and he brought Benson, Small Michael, Barry and Daniel out for a ride.  Lake Minnewanka is a glacial lake which is 21 km long and 142 m deep, making it the longest lake in the mountain parks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

After boating it was time for a late lunch of Chinese food and then some shopping along Banff Avenue in Banff town.  Amy and the girls went ahead while Paul and the boys moved a little bit slower.  Collin led the charge to get souvenirs and showed us to some cool shops for buying things unique to Banff.  Small Michael bought a cool scale replica of the snow coach we rode on the Athabasca glacier.  We shopped for a while then got back on the bus to head to Calgary. 

Calgary

Our first stop was to have a look at the Chinese Consulate building here in Calgary.  It’s high walls and modern red building reminded us all that China is well represented all over the world.  Most of our foreign teachers coming to China from Alberta would have had to have processed their visa at this consulate.

After a quick stop at the consulate, we visited the Calgary tower.  At 190.8m tall the tower is the tallest Canadian building outside of Toronto and was opened to the public in 1968.  This was our second chance to walk on a glass floor high above the ground.

After the tower, we went to  8th Avenue Southwest to walk along the car-blocked shopping street.  We didn’t really buy anything, but it was an interesting walk in Downtown Calgary. We split into two teams with the boys going with Paul and the girls with Amy.  There are some interesting art installations along the street, and it’s fairly peaceful for a downtown location.  After 8th Ave. we went to a Canadian-style Chinese buffet for lunch.

The afternoon was another shopping excursion, where we went in search of any of the items we hadn’t yet gotten for ourselves.  We went to a massive outlet mall for its low prices.  Once again, we split into two teams, with Paul and the boys and Amy and the girls. 

As we wrapped up shopping we headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner.  After dinner in Chinatown we returned to the hotel again.  The boys went swimming in the hotel pool with Paul while the girls relaxed upstairs with Amy.

Drumheller

Drumheller features terrain commonly referred to as “Badlands” and looks a bit like the setting for a film or video game.  We started, in Drumheller, with the Little Church.  It’s a tiny building, just big enough to hold our entire group of 10 people.  It’s a funny little building that makes for some great photos.

Next up, we visited the Royal Tyrrell Museum.  Alberta is famous for its fossil fuels, which come from the remains of dinosaurs and other creatures buried deep in the earth here.  In addition to fossil fuels, many paleontological discoveries have been made here owing to the high volume of dinosaurs which once roamed the land in this province.  The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a great stop for anybody interested in paleontology and dinosaurs.  It’s a fantastic combination of fun and educational.

Our final stop in Drumheller was to the hoodoos.  Hoodoos are naturally eroded land formations with really unique shapes.  They typically stand 5 to 7 metres tall and are a popular tourist attraction anywhere in which they have been formed.  The Drumheller hoodoos stand at the base of a large rocky hill which 5 of our brave exploring students managed to climb to the top of along with our tour guide.

After the hoodoos, it was time to make the 3-hour drive back to Edmonton for dinner and to check into the hotel.  We have to be up at 4 A.M. tomorrow to make our flight. 

Our trip has been to an end.  It’s been a great time, with many, many memories formed.  As much as we all love Canada it’s time to get back to our loved ones, who we’ve all missed so much these past two weeks.  Farewell Alberta, we’ll miss you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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