We arrived in Calgary, Canada last night. However, we almost did not make it. We were flying out of Philadelphia airport via Toronto, but when we went to check in, it seemed that were were booked onto an earlier flight, but via Denver! There had been some miscommunication between me and the travel agent!
Thank goodness that there wa extra space available on the Toronto leg. So, 3 orchids to the very helpful lady from Air Canada that managed to sort everything out for us so that we could get onto the Toronto flight.
Calgary is a very pretty (and clean) city. Downtown has loads of great restaurants and pubs, mostly located on 8th Ave – Stevens Walk.
We had dinner at the Unicorn which was a great pub. I was told that they do the best fish and chips in the world, and they were pretty fine. We will go back later this week.
Not to be missed is the Calgary Tower, a climb of over 540 feet, with a great panoramic view from the top. They even have a section where you can stand on glass, and look straight down – an adrenalin inducing experience.
A long way down…
View from the top of the Calgary Tower
I just had to share this picture of our supper last night – boiled artichoke with Ranch dressing.
- Ranch Dressing
- boil artichokes for an hour
- drain artichokes
- smother in dressing
- refrigerate if you like
We spent the day at the Baltimore Inner Harbour. I am told that the V&A Waterfront is partly based on the Baltimore Inner Harbour, and you can really see the influence; the below picture could be the V&A. There are loads of pubs and restaurants, as well as waterfront activities, such as boat trips and tours.
Baltimore Inner Harbour
The Inner Harbour is popular with both locals and tourists – many people use the area for jogging. Although since it was over 30 deg, they were a bit too keen for me! It was far more leisurely to spend the afternoon sitting outside enjoying a light meal and a couple of beers, which of course we did. We ate a a great outdoors pub called J Paul. They have been going for 21 years, and the food was really great.
Enjoying a drink at J Pauls
Like all big cities, they had a Hard Rock cafe, and a Barns and Noble – in this case housed in an old power station.
Today, we went boating with Carlos and Cathy on Chesapeake Bay. We didn’t make it out onto the bay, but we were on one of the rivers leading into it. Cathy is Patty’s sister, and Carlos her husband.
They have a (small) 40+ foot cruiser, which was really fantastic. After sailing down the river for about an hour, we found a quiet cove in which to anchor, and we spent the afternoon swimming and tanning on the boat. The water was really warm – about 25 deg C. It was a very civilised way to spend the day.
What I loved about the area is how unspoiled it is – hardly any development, and no litter at all. I have also been told that property price is $3m+, so I had better start saving.
Life is tough…
Isabelle in her lifejacket – I think that Eccles would have jumped over the side ages ago!
Two years ago, we visited a Decoy Duck Museum on the bay, here are the real ducks!
The day was finished off having dinner in a little town called Chesapeake City, drinking red wine and eating Maryland Crab Cakes, which are just the best. The crab cakes are basically what we would call fish cakes in Cape Town, but make with garlic and cream, served with garlic mashed potatoes, which were especially effective at keeping the vampires at bay!
I had the whole of Sunday free, so Andrew – the president of Lilongwe Toastmasters club – kindly took me to see Lake Malawi, since as I was told, "you haven’t been to Malawi until you have been to the lake!"
So Sunday morning saw us bright and early off to the lake. Although the drive was only about an hour or so, you really start to feel that you are in rural Africa. We passed several road-side villages, with countless goats wondering across the road, and all manner of produce being sold on the side of the road – from live chickens to tobacco and vegetables.
When we arrived at the lake, I literally had my breath taken away. It is like standing on the shore of an ocean. The lake is staggeringly huge. What is even more remarkable is that the photos that I took are across the width of the lake, and you still cannot see the far shore! I even found a sign warning about dangerous rip-tides, which gives you an idea of the scale. If you ever have the opportunity, it is well worth the visit.
I would have loved to spend a few days at the lake, it is very tranquil (and also very hot – it was too hot to walk barefoot on the sand). But alas, I had to get back to Lilongwe in time for my flight back home.