Well I had just posted 8 more photo's but when I was in my usual rush to type I actually converted my Blog into Beta Blogger which so far has sucked. It went through and said it posted the last two sets of pictures but they aren't here.
Anyways this is on 9th avenue in Calgary on my way to the airport. Back in 2001 when I used to live here and do this drive everyday to work it took me in rush hour traffic 45 minutes. By the time I got there today it had taken me 1 hour and 30 minutes. I just couldn't believe all the traffic. Basically you move one set of lights at a time and considering I started on the complete South West and was going to the North East that is a lot of slow moving !
This picture was during the stop and go which actually proves useful to get pictures. This is the Calgary Tower which is an observation deck and restaurant. Never been up there but I am sure its a nice view. Back when it was first built it was the highest building around and towered over the downtown core as seen in this picture. Today its dwarfed by many new high rise office buildings and sometimes is hidden behind them when looking at it from the North.
To read more about Calgary click here to go to its Wikipedia reference. Calgary is a beautiful, clean, wealthy city and is situated only an hour drive from Banff National Park.
If you ever plan to visit Calgary it is a great starting point for your trip. Here is some quick info:
Calgary Stampede (second week in July) Free breakfasts for a week
Ski hills around Calgary
Canada Olympic Park (1988 Winter Olympics, Ski jump, and bob sled track)
Nose Hill Park (Great views and excellent walking paths, a must to get a birds eye view of Calgary)1 hour drive to Banff, Lake Louise (alpine hill for 1988 Winter Olympics, and actual Lake of course)
1 1/2 hour drive to the Continental Divide by Field, BC also Spiral Tunnels (CPR Rail)
2 1/2 hour drive to Golden, BC. Nothing there of interest just put that in for Lostav8tor ;)
2 hour drive to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, AB (Dinosaur exhibits)
2 3/4 hour drive to Frank Slide (half the mountain collapsed onto the town)
3 hour drive to Rogers Pass
3 hour drive to Edmonton, AB the Capital of Alberta (West Edmonton Mall)
7 hour drive to Kelowna, BC (Kelownatopia)
8 hour drive to Jasper National Park or you can go up the Icefields Parkway (more scenic)
12 hour drive to Vancouver, BC (or 1 hour flight on WestJet, or Air Canada)
That is just a few things to go see. There is two main routes if you want to drive west and see the sights from Calgary. One is the Trans-Canada through Banff, Golden, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Vancouver. This route offers many sights such as Banff, Spiral Tunnels, Lake Louise, Rogers Pass, etc.
There is the southern route which takes you by Pincher Creek, Fernie, Cranbrook, Creston (Kokanee Beer comes from here ;), Trail, Osoyoos (hottest average temperature in Canada) and Hope.
The north route is via Jasper and takes you along the Yellow Head Highway. You will go through Jasper National Park, go by Mount Robson (Highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Logan in the Yukon is the highest point in Canada), south through Kamloops and down the Coquihalla highway to Vancouver. I have done all three routes and they all are beautiful. For more rugged mountains the Banff, Golden route would be best. The north route through Jasper is rockies early on then the path from Valemount is more interior mountains and from Kamloops to just outside of Hope is more rolling mountains and the southern interior's semi desert conditions.
The route through Cranbrook is rugged mountains with more trees, lots of snow also. Always check the road reports before setting out as avalanches can close the highways for at least a day at a time (Rogers pass has snow sheds to allow avalanches to flow over the road but at times hits in areas that aren't covered.
To sum it up basically hit Calgary or Edmonton and keep heading west and you won't be disappointed, guaranteed !