canada, alberta, edmonton
i'm back in canada and have been enjoying it a lot. it's nice for a little while to speak the language with the same accent as the locals and know the money. but the change in the gst has me a bit confused. it's been a while since i've shopped somewhere where the prices don't include taxes.
my brother was in edmonton for the first few days i was here so we went to see a movie: bon cop bad cop. i really enjoyed it but he didn't. i guess that the fact that it played a lot on stereotypes was great for someone who hadn't been in the country for a long time. we also went to the fringe festival and saw some interesting (a cappela group called apocalypse cow) and less interesting street performers( a guy doing pushups on the back on his hands).
i also went on an overnight trip down to calgary with a friend. there was a skateboarding competition in town (apparently tony hawk was around) so a lot of the places were booked. we ended up in a modern art museum, sorry hotel. very modern in everyway, from the washroom to the tv to the art in the lobby (large glass bowls of various colours hanging from the ceiling). we enjoyed the calgary night life, getting into a bar where we were underaged (it had a 25+ age restriction and about 4 different bachelorette parties. the music was decent for dancing) and then another bar where a friend knows the owners.
i haven't done much sight seeing but then again i've already seen most of what there is to see in edmonton, so i don't have to rush around in 3 days to see everything. this coming weekend will be a trip down to the rockies so i'm really looking forward to that.
bye bye europe
so in a few hours i will be getting on the plane to calgary and then on a flight to edmonton. europe has been really great! there is so much to do here that i could spent another few months here. but i am so looking forward to not being a complete tourist for a little while before heading off to australia. so in less than 24 hours i will be back in my home and native land.
on a side note i went to westminster abbey yesterday and got a guided visit. other than seeing some scouts from sherbrooke (really cool), there was a memorial to wolfe, the english guy who died on les plaines d'abraham. i thought that it was really funny, i guess b/c all the museums i've ever been to in quebec just mention that the guy died. and prefer discussing the death of montcalm. not this huge thing glorifying the way he overcame the obstacles and then died in battle (the thing is about the same size as the one for newton, maybe a bit larger even). but the nice part of the memorial is that there are flags that candian soldiers left after the end of the first world war. and they do look like the are 90 yrs old! so i should get some breakfast and head off to the airport. apparently they expect delays at heathrow, i wonder why!?!
last few days in denmark and london
i am now in london and in 2 days will be back in canada. it's really exciting. so the last few days in denmark were great. i saw a lot of family members that i hadn't managed to see previously. cousins in both sides of the family and family friends that go way back, like the grandson of my grandmother's brother's bestfriend or my mom's cousin and kids and grandkids, or my mom's cousin's son's very pregnant wife (another kid who will be bigger the next time i see her).
but i think that my favourite thing was going for a ride on a viking boat. well the reconstruction of one discovered in the roskilde fjord that dates back to the 10th century. a family friend is on the crew of one of the ships and every so often the ppl on the crew go sailing for fun in the evening. it worked out perfectly that on my last evening in denmark i was on a viking boat. the thing is rather impressive as in it sails so nicely, not that i've sailed before. and it has to be made using the same method as a thousand yrs ago. to cut the wood, axes are used. the wood used to build these things come from oaks that were planted nearly 200 yrs ago. during the napoleonic wars, britain stole the danish navy b/c they didn't agree with what denmark was doing while it was 'neutral' in the conflict. so the navy planted oaks to rebuilt the boats and the country joined napoleon. the result was that denmark lost norway to sweden and there is wood to build these viking ships. so we sort of meandered across the fjord. and even got to row the boat back to the dock.
london so far has been really nice. everything here is really expensive but luckily there are free museums. on the first afternoon, i saw the british museum, just across from the hostel where i am staying. yesterday, i took a guided tour of the parliament, saw the outside of westminster abbey (will see the inside tomorrow), visited the science museum (they had a section on materials and i could identify graphite and diamond just by looking at the structural representation of it, and i thought i wasn't really a chemist). the museum is really close to the royal albert hall so i went to see it and turns out there was a concert starting in 15 minutes. so i got in line and got a cheap seated ticket. it was shostakovich and tchaikovsky. rather insteresting. and the hall is rather impressive. so today it will probably be the tate modern and some other free museum. off to sight see.
lego was invented in denmark. it's short for 'play well' in danish. so it only made sense that i go see legoland in denmark on this trip since the last time i was there, i was 7 yrs old.
i was staying with family friends in the north of denmark and one of the days there, we drove all the way across the country to go to legoland. it only took 2 and a half hours! but by danish standards that is really really really far away. but it was totally worth it.
my favourite thing about the place is that they recreate places and settings out of lego, so you can see mount rushmore and the statue of liberty and most of the danish castles and dusseldorf and hollywood all at lego land. it's really amazing. (it was good because i saw places i hadn't visited yet)and the trains at the train station go around on the tracks and the boats in the copenhagen harbour move from one end to the other. the rides are the usual thing you would have in an amusement park, although not has many or as crazy and they all have lego decors. so on the roller coaster, you see little men made out of lego oiling the tracks. and can take a boat ride where you see scenes with pirates where everything is lego. did i mention the lego? so when i get to canada, photos will be posted.
one week left in europe then off to edmonton and vancouver. i so don't want to leave europe, it sort of grows on you. but i really look forward to seeing canada again.