6.30am rising and a free bus to Terminal 2. Well near T2, it’s still a fifteen minute walk from the bus terminal. Then discover it’s only business class and above that get to talk to people to check in. We plebs must tackle a mindless machine, which coped with Jackie’s passport recognition fine, but did not know what I was offering it, then told me I’d checked in already so it could not do anything for me. Went and asked the business class and above man what to do next. He took me to another human who sorted it out.
A mere 3 hours later, and a comforting pint of something vaguely interesting from the Fuller’s range (Redwood Ale) we got onto a plane.
Nine hours at 500 miles per hour got us to Calgary for 1.30pm local time. I watched My Cousin Vinnie, half of Taken 3 (how does it end) and listened to most of Apostrophe by Frank Zappa. A hour queuing to tell a blank faced immigration woman that I had not had contact with anyone suffering from Ebola, then a 300 bus downtown.
Calgary is in rolling countryside and as you emerge from the airport the downtown district appears in the middle distance – a cluster of 20 storey plus coloured glass towers, like a normal distribution bar graph just below the horizon.
The picture above shows some of the towers and one of the 19th century blocks overshadowed by them. This is on Stephen Avenue, the largely traffic free dining quarter of downtown, where we found a converted bank, now the Bank and Baron Pub. Excellent citrus hopped Calgary brewery beer – Tool Shed Star Check IPA. Also a Vancouver beer, Granville Island English Bay IPA, but it was just a sweet bitter really, nothing to write home about – but I just did.
Two Alexei Sayles in discussion was also on Stephen Avenue. Earlier we walked to the river thar bisects Calgary, and saw dozens of young folk paddling, rafting, messing with short boards in standing waves in the turbulent water, or just jogging, cycling and in-line skating beside it.
The city is proud of its role in public health, on the TV this morning I heard about Calgary City Health clubs, but their sewers are highlighted on the street.
All along the riverside are trees that I thought must be cotton woods because they were shedding cotton seeds that collected in drifts on the ground. I asked two likely sorts of young chaps, one had no idea, the other thought all the trees there were spruce. Hey Ho.
This morning the TV forecasts 30 degrees Celsius so I am glad we are moving on to Banff.