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Calgary street art "Holey Cow"

Hole-y Cow, I'm in Calgary:
a photo journal
by the Phantom

I spent a week in Calgary awhile back, Fall of '07 to be exact. As you can see by the wilting flower basket and the dry leaves, winter is heading towards this part of the world. We hit a relatively warm week of blue skies and very nice weather, which is lucky for me since I don't own any winter clothes.

Holey cow and a number of other public art cows can be found grazing on Stephens, a street mall in downtown Calgary. Remember those Chicago cows from about 10 years ago? It was an idea that really caught on. I cannot remember number of the cities I've been to that have copied this silly idea in one form or another.

Homer Simpson
"Don't have a cow!"
Here's Bart Simpson, of course, with his skateboard.

This was my first trip to Canada since the dollar did its nose dive. What a change. I remember when we referred to Canadian money as "play money" since it was worth so little compared to ours. Gulp! While I was there, the US dollar was going for about $.95 to the Canadian dollar. Many stores took ours at face value. Now I've heard that the US dollar is worth even less. It was a shocking turn of the tables.

Calgary seems to be a prosperous enough city of around a million people. There are many flights each day from all over the US, something that sort of surprised me. Then I read that Calgary is an oil and coal city so lots of business people show up. Oh, now I get it. (However, we did see a number of homeless people hanging around. We were admonished to be nice to them, whatever that means. We also saw lots of drug dealing going on right under our noses. I know it happens everywhere, but somehow I didn't realize it would be so prevalent in Canada, of all places.)

Now you've seen a purple cow!

We wandered around the downtown area looking for a quick meal, and all the other stuff that tourists do. There are the usual sites, the museum, the mall, the public art, the Calgary Tower, I think it's called, it's fun to find the best place for breakfast and the best place for a drink. Most of us did our pub crawling at the hotel bar, which was convenient but expensive. Ah well.

Here's another piece of public art on the same street in downtown Calgary.
I thought it was interesting to see all those odd rusted iron pieces welded together into
a horse, one of the city's pervasive symbols.

I was in Calgary for a Sweet Adeline convention, our chorus was competing in the international championships. We didn't do all that well, we are now 15th in the world. I guess that's not all that bad considering how many choruses there are throughout the world, but we were disappointed.

Since we were in town for a week, there was plenty of time for sight-seeing after we got knocked out of the final round of the competition. So a group of us decided to make a run to Banff and Lake Louise for the day since we were so close.

This was fun, it's a blow-up of me in the rear-view mirror.
As most of you know, I just love to take photos from the car
as we speed along the roads. It helps with the boredom factor.
  Canadian Rockies
Along the Road to Banff.

However, this was not really a boring drive. The roadside scenery between Calgary and Banff is exquisite. The Canadian Rockies are so impressive. This was an interesting mountain. My pal Carol said it had been pushed up out of the earth. Easy enough to visualize, sort of like a giant dirt clod that you might dig up in your garden.

This was one of the many photos I took of
the Canadian Rockies from the car. Amazing, eh?

As I mentioned earlier, we had a lovely day for this little side trip. Some of our buddies had been here earlier in the week and couldn't see much of anything because of clouds and show showers. We were v/lucky. Isn't this an amazing site!

Banff and Lake Louise are in a National Park. Banff is a mountain ski town, we've all seen them before. Cute shops filled with souvenirs and ski clothes. We had lunch and took off for Lake Louise.

Lake Louise
Lake Louise
Lake Louise was beautiful, emerald colored clear water, a gem of a lake. However, it was sort of smallish. I was expecting something larger, maybe like Lake Como, but no. It was just this small lake with a hotel on its shore and a path around it for the tourists. No boaters were evident. Maybe they rent canoes or kayaks, but it's a quiet mountain lake, serene in its setting.
Lake Louise
Shore side of Lake Louise. This hotel might be a great honeymoon location.
Lots of privacy and quiet!

I guess we were on the road about four hours total that day going up and back. It was a great change of pace to get outdoors and breathe that bracing Canada air. The scenery was outstanding. After a week of hotel rooms, bars and the Saddle Dome convention center, this day was a memorial one.
round up

As you know, Calgary is most famous for its Rodeo, the Calgary Stampede. Cowboy, horse, and Cow imagery is everywhere. So when I found this little snippet of information about "round-ups" I couldn't help but think of Calgary.

So round 'em up and head for Calgary! Yippee!

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