Monday, January 28, 2008
Here is a picutre of our thermometer which shows a temperature of minus 30!! The wind chill apparently makes it feel more like minus 40!
This is the ice on the INSIDE of our double glazed windows. Oh and by the way we kept the heat on all night!
This is Eamonn clearing the drive after last nights snow!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
As we drove into the Bragg Creek Provincial Park, we stopped by the near frozen river to take in the scene.
One of the tributaries to the river had a frozen shell beneath which the water was still running in places.
On the way home, we stopped at Spruce Meadows, the Horse Jumping site that we have mentioned in a previous post, as we wanted to capture a shot of their own, equine focussed "Stop" sign at one of the road intersections within their grounds...As the sun began to set, we took a further slight detour on the way home as we knew of a place we could get a decent shot of Downtown Calgary in the distance.
And then we headed home and ended up outside the Okotoks church again, to catch the sun setting in the west.
All in all, a very satisfying day.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Not 50 yards further on, we had to stop again for these fellows!
We popped up to take a shot of the new church in the north east corner of Okotoks that acts as a land-mark for several miles around.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
They've been promising a return to severe temperatures and snow from Tuesday coming, so it was nice to get out and enjoy the weather like this.
The "post-it note" flipcharts and flipchart markers that stayed with Eamonn when he left BT have proved to be extremely useful for keeping score!
We'd like a Pool table but the Wal-Mart one is a bit flimsy so we'll have to keep looking.
OK, the truth is a handful of us went down to the local ice hockey venue, Centennial Arena, to watch the Junior level game between the Okotoks Oilers and the Canmore Eagles. Here's the Oilers' website.
It was the first time that any of us had seen a game at this level (the players are in the 16 to 18 age range) and we were all really surprised by how skillful an affair it was. It was a close run thing for much of the game, with both sides having the lead at different points. However, the Oilers came through in the end, with two goals in the last minutes, the last when Canmore had sacrificed their goaltender for a further outfield player to try and rescue the game. It finished 4-2. In the best traditions of Hockey, I can report one good punch-up in the second period and a bit of a free for all at the end of the game, which was quite amusing! At just $10 (approximately £5) admission, it's a good couple of hours entertainment.
The Centennial Arena itself is a very modern facility, only having been officially opened in 2007. It's small, seating only 1,500 (and there were only a couple of hundred fans there on Friday), but that means you feel really close to the action.
Afterwards, we walked the hundred yards or so to The George pub, which, rather unusually for these parts, really feels like stepping into a UK pub. It gets a mention and a small photo on the review site below.
Indeed, we were sat at the bar just to the left of the "The George" sign you can see in the photo, directly in front of the Kokanee Beer "Glacier" that you might just be able to make out. Actually, the Kokanee (a British Columbia brew) was light and refreshing and slipped down rather nicely as the night progressed. The conversation was good and the hours flew by and I ended up stepping back over the threshold of home at 1.30am in the morning. Not so good, as I had to be up at 7.30am in the morning to catch the 'Boro v Liverpool game live on Setanta!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
We decided to spend it in the Rockies as we had been desperate to see what they are like in the winter. Having now returned, we can’t find the words to describe the beauty of it all, (some blog this, eh!) We hope the following photos and videos will give some sense of what it is like.
The drive up to (and in and around) the Rockies was spectacular.
We had Blue Crab & Shrimp Cakes and Almond Crusted Cheese Pate to start, followed by a lovely juicy steak for Eamonn and steak and lobster for Janet. Unfortunately we didn’t have room for desert. It was a fabulous feast and it warmed us nicely – which was good as it was absolutely freezing outside!
Whilst in Banff we saw some rather large Elk complete with their winter coats.
Banff townsite looked the picture of Christmas. Here's the high street.
We then headed to our hotel, located about 30 miles north of Banff, at Chateau Lake Louise.
We were held up slightly on the way by a snow plough that had fallen over! We can't imagine why...it's not like they get much snow up here...just the occasional "dusting"!
Our room at the hotel was fantastic. The view by night and day was stunning. As you can see, we had a view of the lake with the mountain backdrop. The room was cozy and warm and we really didn’t want to leave! They had horse drawn sleighs taking people for rides around the lake.
The hotel foyer looked exceptionally seasonal.
And over the preceding months, the catering team had spent countless man hours constructing this “to scale” replica of the hotel, apparently correct in every detail, made entirely out of sugar!
The hotel had prepared an area of Lake Louise as a skating rink, and just for good measure, planted an ice sculpture of the hotel in the middle of the rink! At "minus plenty" degrees Centigrade, there’s no danger of this melting until Spring!
Dawn breaking over the mountains on New Year's Day was a fairly special view from the hotel room window...
On New Years day we went for a walk on the frozen lake (just to prove we can walk on water!) and to take a closer look at the ice sculpture. That was quite something. The video below gives you a little panoramic tour of Lake Louise, from the middle of the lake, starting and finishing at the hotel and circling around the tree lined mountains. Needless to say, the only way we would have achieved this when we were here in the Summer would have been to rent a boat! The crunching sound you can hear is the snow beneath our feet as we circled around.
Obviously, it's no surprise to see icicles in this sort of environment but we had never seen any quite like these - you really don’t want one of these falling on your head.
We then drove on to Johnson Canyon which, in the Summer, is a series of waterfalls. We have done the walk several times, but never like this. First of all it was -20°C and Janet’s scarf and hair froze! Also, if you blow your nose and put the tissue in your pocket, it freezes, (bet you’re all glad we shared that snippet of info with you aren’t you!)
The walk was cold but amazing. The river that normally rages through the canyon was still running in places but under a thick layer of ice. It was making an eerie banging sound under the ice which made us think of horror films where someone gets trapped beneath, (are we weird!?!). When we got to the lower Johnson Canyon waterfall, it was covered with a thick shell of ice and icicles but you could still see it flowing in places underneath, which was completely bizarre! The ice was blue and white. This is really hard to describe but really amazing to see. The video below doesn’t do it justice.
We both had a really lovely time. It was the perfect way to see in the New Year. The drive home on New Year's Day wasn't too bad either as we had an opportunity to pull over and watch the sun set over the mountains.
Lots of Love