•  Dear readers of my blog!

    On the eighteenth day of my summer vacation through Central and Western Canada, I drove from Medicine Hat, Alberta to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. I decided to have a long walk at Police Point Park in Medicine Hat and hiked for about three hours in Cypress Hills Provincial Park in Elkwater, Alberta. The weather was great and made me appreciate the gorgeous natural landscapes even more. When I arrived in Moose Jaw late in the evening, I decided to go to the cinema and watch the new Aladdin movie which I appreciated a lot. Overall, it was a rather calm and inspiring day.

    Day 18

     Police Point Park in Medicine Hat, Alberta

    Day 18

     Exhibition at Cypress Hills Provincial Park in Elkwater, Alberta

    Day 18

     Beaver Creek Loop

    Day 18

     Tom Trott Memorial Forestry Museum

    Day 18

     Horseshoe Canyon Trail

    Day 18

     On the way to Elkwater Lake and its surroundings

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  • Ladies and gentlemen!

    On the seventeenth teen day of my epic summer vacation, I drove from Calgary to Medicine Hat in Alberta. My day was mostly dedicated to dinosaurs as I visited famous Royal Tyrrell Museum and Dinosaur Provincial Park. I discovered the Albertan Badlands while driving on isolated country roads. It was a long but peaceful day that made me discover yet another facet of Albertan culture.

    Day 17

     Entrance sign to Drumheller, Alberta

    Day 17

     Royal Tyrrell Museum - a place to visit for those who admire dinosaurs

    Day 17

     Statues of dinosaurs inside Royal Tyrrell Museum

    Day 17

     Fossils found in and around Drumheller

    Day 17

     Badlands Interpretative Trail

    Day 17

     Unique landscapes in Central Eastern Alberta 

    Day 17

     Rotary Spray Park in downtown Drumheller

    Day 17

     View out of the mouth of the World's Largest Dinosaur

    Day 17

     Miners Memorial Park in downtown Drumheller

    Day 17

    Looking east of Dinosaur Provincial Park 

    Day 17

     Looking north of Dinosaur Provincial Park

    Day 17

     Red Deer River

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  •  Howdy and yeehaw!

    I decided to spend the sixteenth day of my epic summer trip in Calgary and visit the famous Calgary Stampede which bills itself as ''The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth''. It was almost a culture shock to visit Calgary as I got the impression to be in Texas rather than in Alberta. One could see plenty of cowboy boots and hats, people greeted one another by saying ''howdy'' and ''yeehaw'' and everybody listened to country music and talked about farming. Obviously, this cultural side was enhanced by the impressive fair and rodeo. It was certainly interesting to discover this type of culture for a while but I couldn't identify with it over a longer period of time and live in and with it. Personally, I actually preferred the city of Edmonton and its working culture, natural landscapes and historic buildings. It's funny that most people who visit Alberta usually prefer Calgary but I always had unusual opinions. If you grew up dreaming to be a cowboy, you should certainly visit Calgary and especially attend the impressive Calgary Stampede. 

    Day 16

      Entrance to the Calgary Stampede, the greatest outdoor rodeo and fair in the world

    Day 16

     The Calgary Stampede traces back to 1886

    Day 16

     One of the numerous exhibits, this one comes from the Remington Carriage Museum

    Day 16

     Advertisement for Agriculture Zone at Calgary Stampede

    Day 16

     Statues in front of Scotiabank Sattledome

    Day 16

     First Nations exhibits at ENMAX Park

    Day 16

     Military march music performed in front of Scotiabank Saddledome

    Day 16

     Dog Bowl with its entertaining thirty-minute shows

    Day 16

     A ceremony and vote for the most beautiful cows

    Day 16

     Stampede Park in front of Stampede Grandstand

    Day 16

     Chairlift across Calgary Stampede fair

    Day 16

     Exit of the Calgary Stampede at SB Victoria Park / Stampede CTrain station

    Day 16

    Courthouse Park 

    Day 16

     Downtown Calgary

    Day 16

     Peace Bridge across Bow River

    Day 16

     Prince's Island Park

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  • Ladies and gentlemen!

    Like millions of Canadians, I watched the federal debate of the six leaders broadcast on CBC last night. The debate lasted two hours and took place at the Canadian Museum of History, only a few kilometers away from my apartment and workplace. The participating leaders were Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party, Andre Scheer of the Conservative Party, Jagmeet Singh of the New Democratic Party, Elizabeth May of the Green Party, Yves-François Blanchette of the Bloc Québécois and Maxime Bernier of the People's Party. The five female moderators were Rosemary Barton, Susan Delacourt, Dawna Friesen, Lisa LaFlamme and Althia Raj. Here are my impressions on the leaders' performances, ranked from worst to best.

    6. Maxime Bernier (People's Party): Maxime Bernier didn't do a great job at all. It has to be said that quoting his tweets and pointing him out as a rude radical as one moderator did wasn't very objective and gave him an unfair disadvantage. However, Bernier made enough mistakes to make himself look disrespectful on stage. He aggressively and constantly interrupted the other leaders, more than anyone else on stage. He only repeated that he favours a balanced budget but didn't give any other details on his program. He seemed fairly limited in his propositions.

    5. Justin Trudeau (Liberal Party): Justin Trudeau remained calm and composed throughout the debate with a charming smile on his face. Those are the only positive elements that could be mentioned. He was very defensive, justifying his actions as Prime Minister of Canada with vague statements that he kept repeating endlessly. He never elaborated upon precise strategies to save the environment or fight poverty for example. When Blanchette asked him two precise questions, he didn't answer either. In the interview after the debate, he continued to avoid precise answers and sounded like a broken record. As a Prime Minister, he failed to inspire change, courage and progression in the debate.

    4. Andrew Scheer (Conservative Party): Andrew Scheer surprised us right from the start by attacking Justin Trudeau with clear and harsh words that rarely come from this publicly mild-mannered politician. After an energetic start however, Scheer went back to his usual strategies consisting of speaking in a boring monotonous voice, repeating old party slogans and overtly criticizing anything Justin Trudeau said. The only element he promoted repeatedly was to guarantee more money in citizens' pockets if he were to be elected.

    3. Elizabeth May (Green Party): Elizabeth May spoke with a lot of passion and promoted environmentalism throughout the debate. She was able to integrate this topic on numerous occasions without imposing it obnoxiously. Her ideas, messages and strategies were clear and she managed to get much more attention for them than one could have thought beforehand. She can be considered one of the winners of this debate. The main reason why she didn't perform better than Singh and Blanchette is that she only ever spoke about one single topic. If the Green Party aims to be elected, it must present more topics than just environmentalism. In addition to this, Elizabeth May mentioned some uninteresting personal anecdotes such as discussing restaurants she had been to and she attacked Justin Trudeau in such an aggressive way towards the end of the debate that it almost seemed hysterical.

    2. Yves-François Blanchette (Bloc Québécois): Yves-François Blanchette expressed himself really well and made a respectable effort to speak English for two hours even though his political party promotes the use of the French language. He was always polite, very rarely interrupted other leaders and even made a few jokes to improve the atmosphere. His statements regarding religious symbols and pipelines were very clear from start to finish. He also asked precise questions to other leaders who often failed to respond. His conclusion was however slightly awkward since he suddenly spoke about Quebec's independence which hadn't been mentioned throughout the debate and which is a proposition rejected by a majority of Quebeckers. The Bloc Québécois must promote rights of Quebeckers but should stop being stuck in the mid-nineties and promote the creation of a country. Still, Yves-François Blanchette can be seen as a winner of this debate because of his clear statements and polite manners presented to a large audience.

    1. Jagmeet Singh (New Democratic Party): Jagmeet Singh is the greatest winner of this debate. He rarely interrupted other leaders, gave very clear statements and showed how flexible his propositions are. He managed to balance jokes and meaningful ideas which made him look dynamic, entertaining and intelligent alike. He presented himself as more progressive than the Liberals but less radical than the Green Party. The fact that he clearly stated that Maxime Bernier's radical statements don't represent Canada was an additional positive point. Jagmeet Singh is probably the leader who might have convinced the highest number of undecided voters, which was also underlined in CBC's analysis following the debate.

    The last time Canada had a Prime Minister from a different party than a conservative or a liberal party was back in the 1920's. After Harper and Trudeau weren't able to fulfil their promises, the time has come to finally give a new party a chance. The NDP has a dynamic leader, fresh ideas supporting real people with real issues and is more progressive than the Conservatives and the Liberals but less radical than the Green Party, the People's Party of Canada or the Bloc Québécois.

    Vote NDP and vote Singh on October 21st 2019!

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  •  Ladies and gentlemen!

    On the fifteenth day of my epic summer vacation, I travelled from Banff over Canmore to Calgary. I spent most of my time in Banff which is just as beautiful as Jasper. My day started with an excellent breakfast at The Keg. Visiting Cave and Basin National Historic Site and Cascade of Time Garden were definite highlights. Canmore is a beautiful city where you can hike along rivers, mountains and lakes. I also found some medicine for my aching feet over there. I arrived in Calgary in the late afternoon and the weather was very unstable as it was shifting from rain to wind to sunshine and back again. I had an excellent dinner at Big T's BBQ & Smokehouse. I had traveled so much over the past few days that I decided to stay one entire day to visit Calgary and regain some energy the next day.

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Cave and Basin National Historic Site

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     A view of the Basin from above

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     A view of the buildings around the cave

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     A look towards the Marsh, Bow River and Vermilion Lakes

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     An exposition about the desperate fates of citizens from enemy nations during the First and Second World War

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Bow Falls Viewpoint

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Fairmont Banff Springs

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     A rare picture of me, standing in front of the Banff National Park Administration Building

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Cascade of Time Garden

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     A view of Bow River in Riverside Park in Canmore

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Canmore Engine Bridge

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Looking southwards on Bow River

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Mount Lawrence Grassi above Bow River

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Bridge Road in Canmore

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Mount Lawrence Grassi as seen from Quarry Lake Park

    2019 summer vacation: Day fifteen - From Banff to Calgary

     Bridge connecting McMahon Stadium and Banff Trail in Calgary

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