Monday, February 21, 2011

Chilling Out in Saskatoon

These 4 day long weekends are great.  I will be recommending a "Family Day" for Harvey at least once a month.
We decided to use this generous time to check out Saskatoon. The largest city in Saskatchewan (although not the capital for all you quiz night buffs). A visit to the city  was highly recommended and after a terrific four days we can see why.
We left Friday 18th February for the leisurely 270 km drive. We went through the Battlefords where we encountered an impressive statute of Canada's finest - a Royal Mounty.
Interestingly enough we had to call upon the real  RCMP the following day.
The Full Mounty
 We have noticed the Canadians are always well prepared for the weather: clothing for every degree of coldness; a Tim Horton's within snow shoe walking distance of every one's house and trucks that look like they could drive to the North Pole. A further example was a local who passed us on the road to Saskatoon, with not one but two skidoos. (We assume in case the snow become impassable by conventional vehicle and one skidoo broke down.)
Skidoo for two
 Saskatoon is a beautiful city. Numerous bridges over the wide river. Plenty of open natural space to enjoy and a friendly ambiance that belies its size. The pictures do not do it justice.
City of Bridges
City of Lights.

  Thanks to Dawn who suggested a range of eating establishments  we made our way to Broadway - a popular shopping and cultural district. Well if you are ever in Saskatoon do not leave without trying out Calories restaurant. We had a delicious meal and desserts worth braving  -32 c  for.
Check out the link below - they do "Take Out" so maybe you can have some home delivered?

Saturday was adventure day. We tried one of the many cross country skiing trails in Meewasin park around the river.

Making sure we only went on the track when upright, moving and going in the right direction......

We also encountered a cross country skiers best friend:

 Whilst on the trail we heard a distant cry for help. Someone was evidently in trouble. After calling to them several times we determined they did not need an ambulance. They called something about being on a bank. We assumed they had fallen in the river and pulled themselves out. Hanneke went to the closest house and called the police, Michael went to find the person in distress.The police arrived very quickly but after searching and calling we could not find anyone. We assumed they had been helped. Thankfully we have not heard about any incidents so hopefully this adventure has had a positive ending.

The University of Saskatchewan is a real eclectic mix of buildings and courses. It is close to the centre of the city and covers a huge area. We had a stroll round and really enjoyed the mixture of study from  Synchrotron research to a working farm. 

Where Saskatchewan teachers are made!

Looks like Metropolis!

True practical research 


For some cultural relief we visit the Mendel Art Gallery and Conservatory.
We were fortunate to view the "Koshashin" exhibition; a collection of 19th century Japanese photographs. Having visit Japan briefly last year it was amazing to view the images of pre-modern Japan. A spell in the Zen garden in the conservatory grounded us for another interesting day. 

On Sunday we had the pleasure of visiting the Western Development Museum.  The main recreation  is a fictitious place called "Boom town". A street full of 1910 buildings, shops and services. We were going to spend the morning in the museum but ended up being kicked out. Definitely have to go back and finish our tour.
Don't make shops like this any more.

The museum was so big I needed a car to get around.

Do you recognise any of these products?

And I thought going to the dentist was bad enough these days.

Looks suspiciously like my first classroom.

Hanneke now wants a harvester to cut our grass.

And Michael wants this bike to take the students on an excursion.


Another wonderful feature of Saskatoon is everything is so close. Can you believe it "Canada's Best Ice Skating Rink" (according to Readers Digest 2006) in the heart of the city. Naturally Hanneke showed everyone up with her smart moves

 We had a wonderful time over the four days but we have to say it was COLD, well in Australian it was "Bloody Freezing".

So it was with some relieve that on the way home we stopped at  Finlayson Island (between Battleford and North Battleford)  for some more cross country skiing. As it was only -10 c and a beautiful sunny day we were blessed with a wonderful conclusion to our extra long weekend.
Look no toque (beanie)
I may just be getting the hang of this!

Some real nature - Secret squirrel

Thank you for the tremendous response to the quiz in the last post. 
Yes you all picked up the trick questions - the deer was in fact a buck and the black things on the ground could have been  liquorice bullets!  

1 comment:

  1. I just have to say that you two sure take sightseeing seriously!! You have already captured so many Canadian moments to take back home with you - despite the awful weather! You will absolutely love Spring and Summer when it arrives.