As per subject line - just after some motoring and general info for my
holiday in West Canada and Alaska.
I've been looking on some of the Canadian Government Highways web
sites and noticed radar detectors are illegal - is this law enforced
strongly, or do you use them without any hassle. Any other motoring
pitfalls to avoid?
On a general holiday basis - are there any "tourist traps" to avoid,
and are there any "don't miss" places to visit / things to do.
Oh, I suppose my itinery might be useful! Flying into Calgary this
Monday Jul 5, picking up 4x4 hire car, drving and staying overnight in
Banff, Jasper etc. Continuing through to Vancouver, dropping hire car
and flying up to Anchorage, then hiring another 4x4 for 15 days,
touring Denali, Fairbanks, Tok & a few other places.
I know this is OT for the group, but there does seem to be some very
friendly and helpful people from the north American continent.
From Anchorage drive East along Turn Again arm. Great 40 mile trip and
visit the Ski area and the Eisenhower Glacier.
Going North to Fairbanks you should visit Holmer for a lot of gold rush
era history and local flavor.
Charter a plane ride from Anchorage to see things from another
perspective. There is a lake next to the Anchorage airport where all
Teutonic Tamer wrote:
Thanks for the quick reply.
I'll be flying into Anchorage from Vancouver on Alaskan Airlines (and
back again at the end of my tour) - will I not already see this on the
approach. Or do you suggest I get a ride on a small / light aircraft?
One other thing - food - any tips, 'cause this Brit and his Wife has
never been accross the 'pond' before! I am a big meat eater, and am
usually adventurous when trying different animals, but I am fussy with
vegatables. My Wife - well she eats anything you put in front of her!
What kind of eateries am I likely to find in the more remote areas?
You should be able to find anything you want. The thing you need to
experience is the frontier spirit of the culture. The people tend to be
very self sufficient. If you look past the scenery and get to know the
people you will begin to feel like you have walked back into the late
1800s. Outside the cities you are truly in the wilderness.
OK. That was in my plans anyway - I do like to get off the beaten
track, and I certainly don't like overly commercialised or overly
Great, that's exactly what I look for. Wherever I holiday, meeting
local people, and trying to get involved or at least understanding
local cultures and traditions, is vitally important to me. I'm a
great beliver in the sentiment of taking home the memories. As for
the wilderness - well, it seems I'm comming to heaven! England is so
so conjested and the urban sprawl is extending all the time, there
will be few areas of greenery left soon. The only true areas of
wilderness in the UK are in the northern highlands of Scotland, and
yes they are truly beautiful, but they also suffer in the summer time
from an overload of tourists, it's much better in the winter though.
Thanks again, I'm looking forward to this more and more!
I'm near Windsor, so here's some Ontario Province info on the motoring
aspect. I'm not certain if it carries across all Provinces.
The radar detector issue can cost you the device plus a ticket (last I knew
it was $250C). I don't believe that they have scanners to detect a detector
just old fashioned observation.
Speed limits are enforced like the UK. Pay attention to surroundings and
One last thing is that we drive on the wrong side. ;-) GS
First; in Calgary, the Calgary Stampede starts this weekend en there is
plenty so see even if you don't like rodeo. There's a big fair and a native
Second; I don't think you'll need the 4x4 at all, a nice big car or even
better a van would be my choice to do the trip to Vancouver.
In Calgary I can advice a visit, at supper time, to the Red Lobster, a good
variety of food, good service and not expensive at all. If you like meat,
good meat, do the Keg and ask for the prime rib Keg size, you won't be
disappointed. You'll never had a steak like that, even better is the sirloin
with lobster and you have some room left for a perfect desert.
Calgary Vancouver is about ten-eleven hours so you'll have plenty of time to
snoop around. Take the number 1 highway and stay away from the Coquithalla,
a toll road that will save you an hour, but that will be so boring that you
might as well do the autobahn from Frankfurt to Muenchen in Germany. How
expensive is it ? I don't know, I take the number 1 :) but somewhere around
the 10-15 $ Canadian.
Some stops if you get in the neighbourhood; the hot springs of Banff,
between Revelstroke and Sicamus the Giant Cedars, Emerald Lake in Yoho
National Park, go for a swim in Salmon Arms or rent a boat and check out the
lake, stop in Frazer valley and do Hells Gate, Lake Louise, the Columbia ice
field, there is too much to see, just plan next year 6 weeks and we'll show
you the rest.
They have to give you notice that they are controlling the speed,( Radar
enforced) turn on the local radio and listen where they check. It isn't
nearly as bad as in Europe, like Germany or worse Holland. The max speed is
110 km/hour but they start stopping you when you go over 120 km/hour or when
traffic is to dense. Calgary rush hour is nothing compared to a rush hour in
Bonn or Amsterdam, signs are good and easy visible, when in doubt take the
middle lane until you find the road number you were heading for. A walk in
the park after doing cities like Paris or Athens. Calgary Cops like to use
ghost cars, but if you behave a bit and go with the flow, there's nothing to
Have a great trip and take an umbrella for Vancouver :)
The Bald Ass Prairie Farm
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Hi, some hints after arriving in Calgary airport.
Long walk through narrow corridors until you hit the immigration/customs
booths, the nice Labrador they have there is not pettable, but will get
close to have a sniff :)
After customs follow the crowd through the doors, say Hi to the Cowboys and
Cowgirls and if you're a smoker turn left and enter Tim Horton's rear Tank
:) a glass thingy where you can have your first smoke after 8 or 9 hours.
This would be a good time to quit! Don't worry about you luggage, it wont be
there yet. Non Smokers walk straight ahead and wait for their stuff, smoker
finish their smoke and turn left (!! I wrote right to teutonic) when leaving
Tim Horton's and get their
luggage. Try to get a cart, to the rentals is an other nice walk, your
jetlag is hitting you and it is only one hour later then when you left
England, but it feels like the whole night:) Check before you leave where
you pick up the car, two companies work from down town, which means get a
cab. The rentals are back to Timmy and get the last door on your right,
cross the road and start reading the signs, they are all together, but try
to hide behind each other :). Get directions to your hotel/motel and book
in. This is stampede week and rooms are expensive and rare.
close and you don't feel like walking 2-3 miles just to get there. If you're
early, you can see the chuck wagon race of that day, else see the fair and
the native village. If you go to bed at this time you'll wake up at 2 in the
morning and you keep your jetlag for an other day.
Red Lobster in Vancouver too :).
Getting gas outside Calgary can save you some money, but you're doing the
tourist trail so it will still be expensive as long as you stay on the main
roads. We are up to 88 cents a litre for regular now. But you are on holyday
and unless you're getting hooked like I did you will never see it again, so
enjoy the trip and worry later at home :) Save all your recites and pick up
a form in your hotel in Calgary, they do sent you your GST tax back within 1
to 2 months!Unfortunately only of the stuff you take out of the country.
Yes bears are dangerous and so are deer, take pictures and keep your
distance, don't feed them. Buy a family size bottle of Off or Deep Woods and
Have the trip of a lifetime and talk to /ask the locals, they'll tell you if
it's worth doing or give you a better option. Check your email in a local
library, they all have some free internet connections.
when you pass them.
Nice having you in Canada, have a good flight.
The Bald Ass Prairie Farm
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