Prague Trip 2016

Friday, December 17, 2010

Chinook Mall in Calgary, Alberta - Christmas 2010

Wandered around the Chinook Mall yesterday and took a few pictures.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hiking Ptarmigan Cirque in Kananaskis, Alberta

These photos were taken summer 2009.  Missed it this past summer but fully intend to get back there this coming season.  It is not a long hike by any means but stunning views.  Keep an eye out for the grizzlies.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Support your local health food store!

Do you like to be able to have the freedom to purchase the healthy products that you want?  Would you rather that Health Canada decide what you are allowed to use or not use? 

Would you rather that Health Canada decide what, if any, naturorpathic doctor you can go to? 

If fully enforced recent laws will prevent us from being able to purchase about 75% of the natural vitamins and other supplements that we now have available.  These products would have to be fully tested and approved by the part of the government that allows pharmaceuticals on the market that have side effects of death. 

Community Natural Foods at Chinook, Calgary
In Calgary you have Community Natural Foods and other good health food stores. 

It is also the home of the makers of Empowerplus! a natural solution to things like Bi-Polar(manic depression) and other similar problems.

Here is a good site that puts this law and the function of Health Canada in proper perspective.

Bill C-6

And please watch this video to the end - there are more on Youtube.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Where to swim in Calgary?

I thought I was in OK shape - I swim a little short of a mile a few times a week.  Thought I was ready to swim with a group.  I saw that the Glemmore Pool had a "Conditioning Swim" at a time that was more convenient to me.  I called and found that it was drop in.  It was either covered by one's membership with the city pools and recreation centers or one could pay the drop in fee. 

My workouts are generally about 3/4s distance and then a bunch of sprints - mostly freestyle and some breaststroke.  Well, Carol, the coach, put me eventually in the second fastest lane which I managed to keep up with - mostly.  I had to take a few breaks - my legs were killing me - We started with a short warm up and then went to a lot of lengths with legs only - mine were burning. 

If you are swimming regularly and want to see how you are doing then I would definitely advise going to one of their workouts.  Different times most days of the week.  Lanes for most levels of 'in-shapeness".

You can check their schedules here: Glenmore Swim Times

By the way - I loved the workout.  I'll be going more often.  Thanks Carol.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hiking Grassi Lakes near Canmore and Calgary, Alberta

Did this hike early November.  It is not a long hike or terribly difficult but the views are great.  Once you have parked at the bottom you will move up the trail - there is a fork with a sign: Easy/More Difficult  Take the more difficult - that is where you get some great views. We came back down the 'Easy' trail (which I advise).  If it is icy there could be some tricky patches - just be careful.  There are some streams that run across the path, so wear waterproof footwear.  You will miss some very nice scenery if you take the right hand trail. 

There is good rock climbing up at the lakes if you are into that. 

Lots of pictographs.  Don't touch please - oils from fingers/skin will eat away at the paints. They have been there for centuries - let's leave them a little longer.
Beginning of Grassi Lakes Trail(More Difficult)
View of the Falls from the Path
Looking back down at Canmore
Top of Falls
Water is very clear
Caves in the rock wall

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hiking Lower Kananaskis Lake, Alberta

This is an easy hike with nice views. We wanted to hike somewhere in Kananaskis yesterday, didn't want to go too far and didn't want to get snowed on.  We weren't looking for something challenging.  From Calgary we drove out to Highway 40 then south to Kananaskis Trail Road. (Took somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half.)  Take that to William Watson Lodge.  There is some public parking there.  Find your way to the path that runs north along the east side of the lake.  We walked along the gravelly beach on the way out and the path most of the way back.  The wind was behind us going north so the rain didn't bother us too much.  When we got to the top end the lake bends to the right and we were out of the wind and could sit, take some pictures and have a very nice view of the mountains to the north.  The yellows of the larches made for a beautiful accent.  We took the path going back south to be out of the wind and rain.  It was a very pleasant walk.  To altitude gain. The path is very easy walking. The walk along the beach is, well, gravelly/rocky.  It was a little slower walking along the beach but it is roughly an hour either way. 

I'm including some pictures of the drive back along Route 40 - The drive alone was worth the trip.  It was stunning!  I know that the colours don't last that long but if you get a chance to take a drive through when they are out, it is worth it.
Near Entrance to Kananaskis Village

Looking South Along Lower Kananaskis Lake

Along Highway 40 Alberta

Fall in Kananaskis

Fall at Kananaskis Village

Kananaskis Village view

Barrier Lake - Kananaskis

Lower Kananaskis Lake

View north Lower Kananaskis Lake

Lower lake trail

The woods off the trail

Route 40 Kananaskis Highway

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I got Inked at Smilin' Buddha Tattoo by Stacie-Rae (Calgary, Alberta)

I've been wanting a tattoo for some time but wasn't sure what to get.  At some point I decided that I wanted the concept "Live Life" but didn't want it in English.  I wanted some sort of stylistic writing.  I mentioned to my friend Leah some months ago what I wanted and she suggested that I get it in Hindi because of my family history.  (My father was a doctor in India for about 30 years amongst other factors.)  I thought that this was a great idea and when I was in Vancouver working in August I had a very nice lady put this phrase on my arm.  I was working at the PNE and she owned a Henna Tattoo booth.  I asked her if she could write Hindi and told her the phrase.  I really wanted to get an idea of what it would look like before I got the real thing. 

It looked great but I was concerned about the lettering - this was going to be permanent so I wanted it right.  I also met Zhilicka at the booth next to ours - she is originally from India and could write Hindi very well.  She was kind enough to send me several different scripts of what I wanted. 

For the first fed hours I had the Henna Tattoo I had to keep my shirt off my arm where the henna tatto was as it was still wet.  I had several Indian people stop to look and one couple actually took a picture!!

I was still concerned about the style of lettering and nervous about actually getting a tattoo - hell, it's permanent!  I was not only relieved when Stacie-Rae did the stencil of the tattoo that she was going to put on my arm, I was thrilled.  While she was inking me - I didn't mention that I don't do well with needles did I? - Stacie was friendly and kept me distracted. 

I absolutely love the finished product.  Stacie you rock!! You are a god!!

If anyone reads this and they note any sort of misspelling, please keep it to yourself.  The tattoo is permanent and I don't want to go through the rest of my life thinking that it is incorrect :)

Thanks Leah, Zhilicka and Stacie for your help on this.
"Live Life"

Bialetti Espresso Maker from Myric Electronics in Calgary

I like esspresso.  Regular coffee is OK in a pinch but espresso rules.  At home we mix espresso with our coffee - we make pressed coffee.  I like my cappuccino and had been looking around for a machine that wouldn't break the bank when I was visiting a friend in Vancouver and she had a Bialetti.  It is a single cup stovetop coffee maker. 
I looked in all the usual places when I got back to Calgary but couldn't find.  At the Home Interior Design Show this past weekend at the Stampede grounds I found a booth that had all sorts of electric ones.  I asked the girl there about stovetop espresso makers and she told me they had some at the store.  She was quite nice.  She gave me their card: Myric Electronics - their address is A-13 Meridian Road, SE., Calgary.

I went up there on Monday and found exactly what I was looking for.  The owner was very helpful and also treated me to an espresso while we chatted. 

I also got one of those thingys to froth the milk for my capaccinos and lattes.  I'll still do the sit down in some of the nicer coffee places but I think I'll probably save myself about $100 a month or more.  And it is a nice little ritual that gives me a break while working at home.

And really, I do, now, make a pretty good capaccino/latte!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hiking at Lake Louise, Alberta

From the Tea House at Agnes Lake
It is a couple of hours to drive to Lake Louise from Calgary with the construction and all but well worth it.  We drove up yesterday and went on the hike that took us up to Lake Agnes and the Tea House.  The top is a little over 1000 feet above Lake Louise.  The trail is wide and well kept and an easy walk for the most part except for some muddy sections this time of the year.  It is all upgrade on the way up - no breaks unless you stop.  I think it is about 3.4 km each way.  About half to 2/3s of the way up you will come to Mirror Lake.  At the top we sat outside and had our tea and coffee and took some pictures.  Quite a few people on the trail and at the top.  Languages and accents from all over the world.  The view from the top and some spots on the way up were spectacular.  If you are not hiking regularly, you will likely feel some sore muscles for a day or two afterward.

Tea House On Agnes Lake, Alberta

Starbucks Coffee at Spruce Meadows, Calgary - Worst ever!!

Working at one of the booths in the Market place selling Thentix last week at Spruce Meadows.  I wanted a capuccino and someone told me there was a Starbucks on the grounds.  I went and waited in line, got my coffee, went back to my booth and took a sip.  What a disappointment.  Tasted like watery coffee, not even strong coffee much less expresso.  I had my co-worker try it just to make sure I wasn't be too harsh.  Nope!  I went back and told them - the girl told me it was because it was a single.  I didn't have much hope for the replacement cup at that point.  Anyway, she made another and it wasn't really any better.  I spoke to another vendor that I work near and she said it is pretty much the same every year.  If you want a Starbucks while you are at Spruce Meadows, get it one the way.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hiking at Forgetmenot Pond -Little Elbow Campground - near Calgary, Alberta

This isn't really a hike - more of a walk if you are just going around this man made lake.  Take the road to Elbow Falls and keep going past the gate that is closed in the winter.  Go to the end of the paved highway - if you go straight at that point you will be on gravel - the route there is called PowderFace Trail.  It goes all the way through north to the highway but, well, I think you need the vehicle for that.  Anyway, hang a right there and you will come upon Forgetmenot pond.  It is quite pretty there and the area is quite photogenic.  There are some other longer trails there - we didn't have time to try any out the other day when were there - we were out driving late in the day and ended up here.

Here are a few pictures of the road in and the area:

The first two photos are the road past Elbow Falls on the way to Little Elbow Campground and Forgetmenot Pond.  The third photo is the river running behind the pond.

Above are more views of the pond.

Yes, we almost got caught in the hail storm that day.  The next one is near the pond.

I hope you enjoy these photos - It's a beautiful drive out there and there are plenty of trails.  Lots more info on the trails here: Elbow Valley Map

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bragg Creek Wine Store - Creekers Liquor

We were in Bragg Creek a week and a half ago and wandered into the Liquor/Wine Store there. I always like to look in different stores - always different selections.  The fellow in the store asked me if he could help with anything and we stared talking wine.  Turns out he purchases the wine for the store and is quite knowledgeable - and even better - his tastes apparently coincide with mine.  He turned me on to a couple of South African wines that I had never tried before - we like them so much we went back later in the week and got some more.  Got to chat some more with Percy about corks, screws tops and the benefits of both.  I recommend chatting with Percy if you go there - whether you are a novice or experienced wine drinker. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hiking near Exshaw which is near Canmore Alberta

Went on this hike on Saturday as far as the Hoodoo with the cave.  Was a great day for it and when the cold water of the stream kept the edge of the heat off.

This is at the start of the actual canyon - there is about a half mile walk from the parking lot to here.

Wear sturdy boot or shoes.  It is very rocky.  Lots of stream crossing.  I appreciated having a hiking stick.

Cool rock formations...cold water

 Looking back down the trail and getting cooled off by the icy water.

Climbers.  There were a few at different spots.  A few feet past these rock climbers were the pictograms.  I would have missed them if someone had not pointed them out to me - that's standing actually looking for them.  They are pretty faded.  Apparently, they are easier to see when the sun is on them.  They have been there for hundreds of years but are probably fading now as the body oils affect them so it is better that you don't touch. - thanks.

Climb up to see the waterfall - quite cool if you go right up to look at it head on but for that last section that you can see here take your shoes off for traction - it is extremely slippery - stay near the cliff face.

Here is a shot of looking straight on at the waterfall - I would love to know where all that water is coming from - looks like the top of the mountain to me. Hmmm.

Looking back down the canyon - some more cool rock colours and formations.

I wanted to take a shot of these trees but at the same time to give you some perspective.  Tenacious. (definition: tenacity - doggedness: persistent determination)  I'd say!

That's his house right behind him.  We were sitting here for a bit.  Wasn't afraid of us at all.

Hoodoo you think you're foolin'.  This is as far as we went this trip.  Another mile or so the canyon apparently opens up in to some really nice meadow.  We didn't go up to the cave.  It is pretty shallow - you can pretty much see the back of it from our vantage point down here.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Calgary Coffee Shops - The Roasterie in Kensington

Just across the river from downtown, a short walk if the weather isn't too bad is Kensington. Lots of different kinds of restaurants, shops - several of which are coffee shops. Being from somewhere else I can't help comparing - to Queen Street West in Toronto - particularly The Roasterie.

Absolutely marvelous coffee. A corner of the very small cafe is taken up to roast and sell the many different kinds of coffee from around the world to take home - you can watch the coffee being roasted. The place is rich with the aromas of roasting coffee. Pick your roast and take it home or brave the baristas on the other side and order one to stay and find a seat if you can. The baristas are both cheerful and sometimes antagonistic - in a friendly way.

Not your usual Starbucks crowd but believe me the coffee is worth it.

They can be found at:
The Roasterie‎
314 10 Street Northwest,
Calgary, AB T2N 1V7
Phone:(403) 270-3304‎

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Calgary Farmer's Market

calgary farmer's market
At Richardson Way SW and Richard Rd SW.  I'm exploring and cycled to the Calgary Farmer's Market on a recent sunny Sunday.  Great place to get your organic foods - meats, vegetables, fruit and a lot of the bakeries will let you have a small taste of their wares.  You can get lunch or a snack if you need a break while you are shopping. 

Someday organic foods will be cheaper than the alternative - I hope!

If you want something a little more, just across from the market is the Wild Rose Brewery. Sit outside and have lunch and a brew.  At the other end of that building is the wine store. 

Both buildings are on the former grounds of Currie Barracks - used to be the home of the Canadian Forces in Calgary - they kept their aircraft there.

More about the Calgary Famer's Market here.

Addendum(May 2011) - This market has closed down - see our entry on one of the new markets - MacLead Trail just south of Glenmore.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Coffee and coffee shops in Calgary

railway cafe coffee shop calgary
I'm not much for Tim Horton's coffee though I will have one from Starbucks in a pinch.  I prefer stronger coffees generally - I'll drink an espresso or a cappuccino normally.  If we have a day off and we are out and about, we like to visit one of the many good coffee houses in the Calgary area.  On our bike ride the other day we decided to stop at Heritage Village on the east end of the Glenmore Reservoir.  They didn't have any espresso so I opted for the regular coffee.  I was amazed how good it was.  It was strong enough but so that the strength of the coffee wasn't everything - with great flavor.  We asked what kind of coffee it was but weren't told... hrmpf!  It really was one of the best coffees that I've had in a coffee shop - would love to have it at home.  You can see more about the Railroad Cafe at

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Brave Rocco Mikayla

A few weeks ago we did a photoshoot in sub zero weather.  We had been trying to get together for a few weeks and had set up the time with some good locations but that day the temperature plummeted.  Calgary is like that - if you don't like the season - wait a few hours.

In and out of the car to many times to count in such cold weather and still to get such great shots:  She has professional written all over her.  And has made herself look relaxed even though incredibly cold.

Contact at: rockorman   @

Thanks for a great shoot.