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Day 6 - Bus Trip to Calgary, AB

After an unexpected delay, we boarded the bus for our day trip to Calgary.

Arriving in downtown Calgary, we spot The Calgary Tower in the far distance.

Our first stop is the Glenbow Museum. The complex includes a museum of Blackfoot values and traditions; an art gallery; and a library and archives of fascinating men and women who contributed to the development of the province of Alberta.

The Calgary Tower was in the next block. An observation deck and revolving restaurant provide a panoramic view of the city and nearby Rocky Mountains.

This beautiful aluminum and acrylic structure dominates several floors of the lobby as you enter the building. There are three floors of displays; and although the AAA guide suggests allowing 2 hours minimum to visit the museum, I doubt you could thoroughly tour each floor in two hours!

On the second floor, the museum hosts their featured exhibitions from Glenbow's collections, or traveling exhibitions from other leading museums and galleries. The Yousuf Karsh exhibit was on loan from the Chicago Museum of Art. Karsh has photographed most of the important people of the last half of the 20th century. They did not allow use of cameras on this floor, but I could have spent two hours in this gallery alone! The iconic Hemingway and Schweitzer photographs were in this exhibit. Each one of the photographs (in black and white) was accompanied by Karsh's enchanting personal recollections and comments about the sitting experience. What an extraordinary exhibit!

The third floor explores Alberta's past through the spirited personalities that shaped and continue to shape the province in their Mavericks exhibition. This display focused on the grassroots politics and the impact it had on developing the province.

This caught my eye because I used one of these as a kid. You use the levers on the sides to pump the amount a gas you want into the glass containers at the top and then you use the hose to gravity-feed the fuel into your gas tank!

This map shows the approximate boundaries of the First Peoples territories. It was fascinating to see how different the cultures were when it came to art, clothing and means of transportation. The West is a smaller area because they mainly lived by the ocean and the rivers feeding into the ocean.

The art work of the four areas gives you an idea of the diversity of the cultures.

Each culture had it's own environment so they had to adapt to whatever challenges they encountered.

The wonderful beadwork in the East was probably influenced by the those who used the beads for trade.

The art of the West is completely different from the other three regions.

The displays excellently depicted the general life styles of each region.

Each nation's transportation was adapted for their area. The kayak was used in the North for seal hunting. It was made from seal skin, wood and sinew.

While the birch bark canoe was used in the East where wood was plentiful. Those living in the East were heavily involved in fur trading.

The West-most nation was located on the ocean and rivers, and survived by fishing. Their canoes were carved from cedar trees.

The clothing on display was just beautiful!

The fourth floor featured a wide display of minerals

...in well organized displays.

This gallery had an exhibit of West African Cultures

and featured many hand-carved totems.

The last area on the fourth floor is called Warriors, and displays weapons and armor covering five centuries.

There were exhibits of armor and uniforms worn by many different nations.

The exhibit also had weapons from centuries ago,

to the Gatling gun of 1875, up to the Vickers machine gun of the 1940's.

Next, we boarded the bus again and headed off to the Calgary Olympic Park.

As we approached the park, we could see the three ski jumps that were built for the 1988 Winter Olympics that are still in use today. (Betty Lenneman)

This beautiful mural wall greeted us as we disembarked the bus.

We were served a delicious luncheon; staff members then briefed us about our tour of the bobsled run.

We went outside to board the quad chairlift for the trip to the top of the ski hill.

The Shallbetters and Candeloris board the chair for the ride to the top. (Betty Lenneman)

There were still large snow piles on portions of the hill!

Our guide gave us a short talk on the history of the bobsled track and answered our many questions.

We then had an opportunity to walk a short way down the track ...but

Larry Lee walked a little further down that track for a good photo-op.

This is a cross-section of the track showing the refrigeration tubes imbedded in the track. These tubes allow technicians to lightly spray water on the track to form the icy surface.

On the way out, Betty spotted this gigantic cockroach... how does an insect that big survive in this climate?

Skeeter and Betty give us a demo on how to push a bobsled ...

and then, with Wayne's help, demonstrated how to board and sit in one. Whooopeee!!!

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