Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day 5 Canada, 25/06, Jasper

I and my camera were at war. I was carrying it my front pocket and every time I would pull it out, the dial adjusting the different scenes would move. Mostly I would notice it but at times I did not. Portrait is not a good setting for long distance photos. I just wanted it to stay on auto. The hotel obliged with some sticky tape and the dial was fixed into position and is still so.

I pondered for a moment over these cupboards before deciding they are for guests to store their skis.


The mountain loomed down on our Jasper hotel.


Just lovely to see a sprinkler like this.


We had chosen to take a paid tour to see parts near Jasper.


We drove not too far from town to Pyramid Lake.


I was curious about why the rubbish bins were so hard to open. You had to insert your fingers in the handle to release a latch.


Ah, it is clear now. Where the fingers go is too small for a bear paw.



It was then back to Jasper and the other side of the town. This is Medicine Lake. In spite of us looking hard, we could not see the eagle nest.


We are on our way to Lake Maligne. (Maleene)


Onto a boat with an all female crew and we zoomed across to an island. Oddly many of the group discussed how good the female crew's skills were. Ah, while driving a boat is not easy, I know, I see no reason why women would do it less well than men. Double ah, but then there is Mother.


I didn't see him catching any flies.


Rather picturesque? Non?



We spotted a black bear and her cub on our return. With the rush to the windows, it was hard to get a good photo, and I would rather see the bear properly than get a good photo of it. If you leave your car with a bear so close by and a ranger comes along, you will at the least receive a good telling off.


A little further along some mountain sheep stopped us. They are not unwell, just shedding the winter wool.




More beautiful hanging baskets.


We walked to the shops for a late lunch.


An old engine.

Jasper is quite a pretty town.



And why not use cones for mulch.



What happens when the bear finishes the pizza is of great concern to the delivery lad.





For some reason a horse stable was the venue for our dinner. I had the fish. It was quite a pleasant evening and I had never watched horses in a group and noticed how social and playful they are.


At dinner we sat with a couple in our group who lived in Melbourne's outer suburbs. They were very chatty and convinced us a second glass of wine was the only way to complete the meal. From then on, we often dined with T & B.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to write a little about the group we were travelling with. Earlier in a comment someone asked a good question, why did we choose to do group travel. Firstly, it is just so much easier when things are organised for you. You also get to see things you would not think to see yourself. If a feature is of note, it will be pointed out to you. Your luggage is dealt with, with you just having to put it outside your room at the advised time. At the end of our tour when we travelled on our own, how much time did I spend looking at maps, timetables, ticket systems, phone for directions and when you are hot and weary, your concentration is not top notch.

The group we travelled with was comprised of about 45 people, with most from Melbourne and Victoria, no doubt escaping the cold weather. They were all couples from Australia and none exhibited any issue with two men travelling together. A few were couples from other states with one solo traveller from Brisbane (we called her loony and she was), with maybe half a dozen from England and two widows from Wales, one of whom was quite old but very well travelled as her husband had been in the Welsh Male Choir. Two young sisters were travelling together from Wiltshire. While they never made an effort with any grooming, their accents were quite posh and at times they were a little hard to understand. Another English couple were very quiet. He was Italian born and moved to England in the mid sixties. His wife was ever so English but they conversed together in Italian. Then there was Nicky, 70 years old, petite and glamorous and always so well dressed, made up and coiffed. She was from Norwich, but no, Jane and Lance did not know her. Two of the men were train enthusiasts, but I did not really get to chat to them much, apart from an interesting discussion about terrible train crashes on the lines we had travelled on. As we departed from the group in Victoria on Vancouver Island, I went and hid while R did the kisses and hand shake goodbyes. Most were going on to cruise up to Alaska after going back to Vancouver.

So yes, a nice enough lot we travelled with. No one was really pretentious and only one Greek born Australian woman could be described as pushy.

25 comments:

  1. Wow , Andrew another lovely and busy day. I love the snowy mountains. And the sprinkler is a good idea in hot day and it is getting more and more popluar here, too. The old engine is fantastic and well - maintained.It seems you had a great company..

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    1. Gosia, snow is such a novelty for us suburban Australians.

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  2. Some great views of Jasper and its surrounding areas.

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    1. Marie, I paths, a few weeks apart, really cross over the next few days.

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    2. I paths? What an odd thing my fingers did.

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    3. Marie, our paths cross over in the next few posts.

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  3. I'm all for group travel. You get to meet some interesting people, and you don't have to worry about details.

    Me personally I love a bus tour. So many people are snobby about them.. seriously? there is nothing better than sitting back, relaxing, looking out some enormous windows, and enjoying the commentary from the driver. :)

    The alternative is to have yourself a Snoskred, who fully researches each destination in excruciating detail before leaving home, including mapping out routes and travelling them via Google Street View.

    I am lucky because I have an inbuilt compass and I somehow always know exactly where I am. When I was a child and my parents took me to the UK, they got lost in country lanes, and I gave them exact directions which led them out of there.

    The biggest problem for me is convincing people I know what I'm talking about. I think my parents have finally figured out I do my research and 99% of the time, while they resist my suggestions with every fibre of their being loudly and annoyingly, once they give in and do what I say, they always enjoy themselves.

    I think I will have to do some posts about this topic. :)

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    1. Snoskred, I am pretty good at such things and I do a lot of checking before I travel but you can't prepare for everything. Working out the direction you are facing when emerging from the New York subway was the hardest.

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  4. Ours was a group of 28, all from Australia apart from one English couple (he with dementia) and a solo well travelled Englishwoman. We got on very well and were a bit sad our group was diluted once aboard the Alaska cruise where we found ourselves amongst 300 other Australians on a passenger list of 1400.

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    1. Victor, I wondered if that would happen once on the ship. People were urged by our tour leader to swap details before boarding the ship.

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  5. Giggling at you hiding from the goodbye kisses and handshakes. I plead guilty there too.
    Jasper does look very pretty indeed. And thank you for explaining the bin access mystery. I was racking my brains until I read further.

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    1. EC, I have more than once be known to just disappear from a social event. We don't have any creature here that could open a heavy bin lid, do we?

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    2. I think people are the bin openers here. Both my partner and myself run away from social events often. Probably too often.

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  6. I need to get me one of thise bear bins... Effing badgers

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    1. John, even a basic bin costs enough. These very strong ones must cost quite a bob to buy.

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  7. Jasper looks lovely and those lake and mountain views are so good as to be almost like a stage set. I understand the benefits of group travel but being rather an anti social animal, I don't think I could ever partake in one. But pleased to hear that the group were nice enough.

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    1. Craig, I am not very social but R is much better at chat and basic interaction. It does help when you know you will never see people again.

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  8. Normally I am not very interested in natural history and much prefer to examine human history in big cities. But I must say that the train travels through sensational scenery, including Jasper and Banff. And the air is 100% clean!

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    1. Hels, Canadians should take some pride in the cleanliness of their country and its stunning clean air. What is better than dozily looking out at passing scenery from a train window.

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  9. Haha, ski cupboards, bear proof bins and pine cone mulch - not so common downunder! Who says travel doesn't broaden the mind?!

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    1. Red, our minds were certainly broadened, and then there was New York.

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  10. Jasper certainly is a most pretty town. I'll add it to my 'win lotto and travel' list.
    I'd be going with group travel if I went anywhere. On my own I'd be sure to get lost and never be seen again.

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    1. River, it is funny how some can do it on their own and some like group travel. It really doesn't matter too much but group travel is so much easier.

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  11. Nice photos of the tourist attractions and beauty around Jasper. Your travel companions sound like an interesting group and you must have one whacko, to talk about later.

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    1. Stayer, they were a typical group of people who can afford such a holiday, admittedly at the budget end of the scale. During our Euro cruise last year, there was certainly someone who stood out but for this trip, there was not really.

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