Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Days 197 to 201, The Edmonton Mallrat

Day 197, Should be a nice day outside today, but now that I am an official mallrat, I may not get out to see it. While the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay heads off to Whitehorse, Yukon for couple of days, and other relay staff have gone home for a break, a few of us (15 was my count, normally we have from 30 to 40 relay staff on the road) will have a ten day stay in Edmonton. This could be interesting as our hotel is part of the City Centre Mall.

From my room, what a view?

We did have a couple of chores to do, which included taking vehicles for servicing and repairs. Here we are on the Edmonton low level bridge, which was built in 1900, heading south to Leduc to pick-up a couple of the shuttle busses.

First we had to stop in Beaumont, just south of Edmonton, to pick-up my roomie, Jeremy, who spent the night at his dad's house.
the backroads southwest from Beaumont to Leduc, where we pic-up the shuttles and took them to a shop in Edmonton for A/C repair (gotta get ready for spring!)

From there we took one shuttle to Freedom Ford in Edmonton, to get some warning lights on the dash checked out.

back to the hotel. When you look out of the room , the only thing you can tell is wether it is light or night, and whether the mall is open of closed, you start to lose track of what day it is.

So it was good thing we had to head back out and drop off a couple of more vehicles at Honda for servicing.
Green light to go through the gate of happy arrival in Edmonton's chinatown, Canada's third largest.

Then back to the hotel,

hard to tell if it is night or day, but it must be the next  day, because from my room I can see Ross getting some breakfast from the buffet.

Jeremy chillin with his guitar,
Time to head out, cabin fever is setting in! on the way to pick-up the shuttle busses, I spotted this huge plaque outside of the Hudson's Bay department store.

now you know!

This piqued my interest, the World Trade Centre Edmonton

Cruisin by the Hotel MacDonald, built in 1912 by the Grand Trunk Railroad (no, not the band)
Hopefully, this will be the end of the coolant leaks inside the shuttle busses, that actually left the floors a little slippery in spots.

Thanks to the gang at Autotemp in Edmonton for taking care of us so promptly

Look for this giant replica stanley cup, if your going down Gateway Blvd in Edmonton

Taking the shuttle to the parking lot a couple of blocks from the hotel.
The sign helped, but I could see where the city centre was!

back over the bridge and the North Saskatchewan river, which flows from the Rockies into central Saskatchewan

from the hotel, looking across to the Edmonton art gallery

the contrast between, the downtown core, the "haves'
and too blocks behind our hotel, this boyle street community services centre, "the have nots"

back at the parking lot, Pat is trying his hand, I mean feet, at straightening out the back bumper on the bus.

 On the GPS the Edmonton grid, actually it is pretty easy to get around, for the most  part it goes by numbered streets and avenues, I got confused once when I was reading the signs, I though we were on the corner of "walk" and "don't walk" , (that was bad)

Next was picking up the events truck aka  "little bird" at the Hino dealership in the northwest part of the city. It broke down in Wetaskiwin and had to be towed in.
Following Jeremy, my ride to Hino, back to the hotel.

A view of the city from the north side.

Not all work, I went over to Pat and Don's room to meet them to go to dinner. ,but not before Pat entertained us with "twinkle twinkle little star", on the new tin whistle he bought! (should of come with ear plugs)

Random blog, random statue in the mall, "it shar aint the town it used to be!" That is true, bronze guy, Edmonton is over 800,000 people now.
Living in the mall eventually draws us to the food court.

It was okay, wouldn't want to eat it for an entire 9 month relay!

Even though we can't see outside, I always know when it is time for breakfast, from my window I can see Josh and Marilyn, now it's time for breaky.

At least you can tell it's light out.

Healthy choices, Josh, and bonus points for presentation!

a good start for me as well, gotta watch it on these buffets.

the cool thing about the relay team at breakfast is not everyone shows up at once, so we pretty well have a communal table that everyone ends up hangin out at over the course of a couple of hours
My mall hallway to the World Health gym, about a 5 minute walk (indoors)

It was good weather today, so Ross and I headed out into the sunshine to take a walk around downtown. We saw quite a few wooden boardwalks along some of the main steets.

Nice to see a little green space downtown.

walking by the Bower building downtown

We headed towards the Alberta legislature building and came across this monument to honour the Italian immigrants that helped shape Edmonton
and the Ukaranian Centennial Pioneer monument

amazing detail

The Alberta Legislature building, built between 1907 and 1913

We want to see the wizard of oz!
The inside foyer, everything was first class

Looking skyward,
In the top of the dome are five palm trees grown from seeds believed to have been donated to the
Legislature by the U.S. state of California in 1932.

We decided to take the tour, we had about 20 minutes to kill so we walked around the grounds. This monument is in honour of the Catholic sisters of Edmonton for their pioneering contributions in education, health care , and social welfare.

view from the east side

The centennial flame, installed in 1967 in honour of 100 year anniversary of the Canadian confederation

The North Saskatchewan river
The statue on the northeast side of the rotunda is of Chief Crowfoot, a key figure in the peaceful
settlement of western Canada in the late 1800s. (i'm cutting and pasting from the legislature website)

There were a lot of these chandeliers hanging in the main foyer, the guide said there was electricity in the building back in 1913

The statue on the northwest side of the rotunda is of Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, the fourth daughter
of Queen Victoria, after whom the province was named.

looking back down into the foyer on the 2nd level,
The rotunda contains over 2,000 tonnes of marble from Quebec, Canada. The solid marble pillars weigh
16 tonnes each.

Incredible detail on the tops of the pillars

The "mace'  ,
The Mace is a symbol of the Legislative Assembly’s authority to make laws and is carried into the
Chamber each day the Assembly meets. Alberta’s original Mace (top of case) was made quickly out of a
variety of scrap materials in time for the initial meeting of the first Legislature. It ended up being used for
50 years.
On the 4th floor,
The north walls feature portraits of past Speakers of the Assembly and the Lieutenant Governors of the
Northwest Territories, which Alberta was a part of before becoming a province.

Portraits of King George V and Queen Mary hang on the south wall. They were the reigning monarchs
when the Legislature Building was first opened.

Heading to the legislative chamber,(we did not have to go through the metal detector, seeing as how the legislature was not in session)

The stained glass window in the viewing area. was just added in 2009
The tour guide explains the political process in the legislative chamber

the ceiling in the chamber has over 600 light bulbs

I spy a palm tree
The fountain down on the ground floor,
The present fountain was built in 1959 to mark the first official visit of Queen Elizabeth II, Canada’s
Queen and Head of the Commonwealth.

this brass circle is a spot on the 5th floor where they discovered by accident:
On the north side of the floor is an acoustic curiosity called the Magic Spot. The sound of the water
fountain in the rotunda below is reflected through the Grand Staircase and off the dome and seems to drop
from above the listener.
I stood on it and it was true, the waterfall sounded like it was right there.

In the hallway on the first floor, a portrait of Team Canada

Time to head back to the hotel (and mall)
Day 201 was another chance to get back outside, and clean the vehicles for day 202, our first relay day since day 196

and gas them up

I had to drive way across town to the north end to find a carwash big enough to fit our pace motorhome.

All ready to go!
My ride back from the parking lot to the hotel.

Back in the mall, everyday I see these dishes on display at the Bay department store, I think I am liking the yellow set, matches the medal bearer jackets!

I ran into Hank on the 3rd floor of the hotel by the piano, the sign says no, but the grin says otherwise!
No more fooling around, back to relay mode tomorrow.

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