Canada, my new home
I landed in Edmonton in June 2006 without knowing much about the city. Only what I could find out online. Not that the internet can prepare anyone for the vastness of this city - it stretches over 684 km2 - and the long, bitterly cold winters. For comparison, Zurich covers just 88 km2. More numbers: Alberta is about 16 times the size of Switzerland, but has only 3.6 million inhabitants, about two thirds of which live in the two biggest cities, Edmonton and Calgary. So the rest of the province is pretty much empty.
I try to use my time in Edmonton to see as much as possible of this vast country travelling far and wide and of course also exploring closer to home.
By way of extended weekend trips and short holiday I visit the vineyards in the Okanagan (and of course taste the wine), Vancouver, magnificent Vancouver Island, Montréal, Toronto, parts of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and of course Alberta's southern city, Calgary.
Canada is keeping me hooked. Since returning to Switzerland in 2008, I have been back to Canada three times to visit friends and loose myself in the vastness of big sky country, something I do miss so much in tiny, crowded Switzerland.
Edmonton is a city which takes some discovering, it is not as obviously attractive as Vancouver. But Edmonton has a lot to offer if you care to look for it: the stunning Saskatchewan river valley which winds its way right through the heart of the city and forms one of the largest urban parks in North America, or vibrant Old Strathcona with its quirky boutiques and huge Farmers’ Market, or the great Fringe Festival, where you can go and see countless offbeat theatre productions. Or leafy Garneau near the University where you can enjoy a delicious home made gelato in one of the many excellent cafés frequented by many students.
Seven years after my last visit, I was finally back for two weeks in June 2019. This time, I chose Calgary as my base, as quite a few of my friends live there nowadays. It is only about a two hour drive to Drumheller so I took the chance to explore the Alberta Badlands. Dinosaurs used to roam here and a huge number of fossils have been dug up in the area. The surreal rock formations and deep and winding gullies created by the force of erosion by wind and water are absolutely spectacular!
The other photos are from a trip to the Devonian Botanical Garden and the Clifford E. Lee Sanctuary southwest of Edmonton which I had a visited on a number of occasions.