Final Day- Calgary

Greetings from our last hotel in Canada on our final day. Calagary has been the last leg of our journey and we’ve had some of our most chilled out days here... and what must count as one of our most terrifying adventures ever!

 Some might have remembered that this is where we were to have hired a car to go zipping around the countryside. Well, we did hire a car. For an hour.
The city of Calgary is a lot bigger than either of us imagined- filled with confusing one way streets, construction everywhere not to mention the fact that everyone drives on the wrong bloody side of the road! So this little adventure falls straight into the catagories of What the Hell Were We Thinking and Know Your Limitations.
Starting the car proved a challenge. I’d broken out into a sweat before I’d even turned on the ignition and had to call some guy from the parking area to help. Reversing the car was the next hitch (it’s been almost a decade since I’d driven an automatic!)and by the time we’d pulled/jerked/shuddered up to the rental kiosk to check out my legs were like jelly, my heart was in my throat and my head was saying ‘I should NOT be doing this’. As with all airports, the maze of exit roads were impossible to make sense of...it was a case of pick one and try to move the car forward as if you know where you’re going. We had a map but nowhere to pull to the side to actually use it! Plus this map reading stuff is not what Valerie and Leanne do best.
We stop a local, we chat, we talk about the World Cup soccer and eventually we’ll get a set of directions that appeals to us the best.
 Long story short- we drive into into An Accident Scene ...or what one of the three Very Pissed Off police officers called A Crime Scene!!! Shock horror! When they finally decided not to ARREST US they told us to bugger off.
We did. I pulled into a garage and burst into tears and twenty minutes later the car keys were back in the hands of a very confused Alamo employee.

It turns out that there’s free transport running through the length of the city of Calgary and plenty to see and do here so we really didn’t need to worry about hiring a car after all. Our remaining days here have been warm and summery (at last!) and we’ve sat in the sun soaking up the atmosphere, sampled the local beer, walked lots and eaten, for the most part, great junk food.

It’s been an unforgettable two weeks. The sights and sounds, the people we’ve met and the precious time we’ve spent together. The memories will live on for a long time to come.

Thanks mom!


Lol said...

OMG!!! You poor thing behind that automatic! Thank goodness for public transport.
Looks like you and your mom have had such an awesome amazing time together - can't wait to see more photos.
Safe travels home girls!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that the car spoiled your last day :( :( Having driven on both sides of the road in both left and right hand cars it is easy to forget how hard it can be for the first time - particularly in a large city. But anyway I am pleased that you have enjoyed yourselves. Take care and have a great journey home.


Jocelyn said...

It had to end with a bang somehow but you would not have expected this kind. Still, the previous 8 days more than make up for this hiccup right? I know you got more up your sleeve so let's hear it....after you've recovered/unpacked (ha!)/rested. Speak soon.

Sam said...

What?! Final day already? Good lord, how time flies. Unpleasant car experience aside, it sounds like you've had an absolutely wonderful time. Also, thank goodness for organised Canadians and their public transport! But enjoy your last day and have a safe trip home. Looking forward to hearing more about it, and maybe seeing some more photies.

Litchi said...

Thanks for your comments everyone! The Day We Were Nearly Arrested in Calgary will make a good story...to be embellished and over exaggerated as time goes by, no doubt. ;-P We're laughing about now.
We're sitting in Heathrow atm- trying to stay awake after our first night flight. The eight hour leap ahead means that not only have we missed an entire morning but we also face yet another night flight before arriving in Cape Town. Hectic.

Charleen said...

Welcome home. Thanks for sharing your holiday with us. Looking forward to more photographs. I'm sure the cats are very happy to have you back.