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Alberta's Main City Calgary

Alberta Canada's Wonderland


Named after the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, she was the wife of the Governor General of Canada from 1878 until 1883; the prairie province of Alberta sits, landlocked in the western area of Canada. Becoming a province of Canada in 1905, the capital city of Edmonton is located to the center of the state, with over 1 million people and almost 190 miles below it is the biggest city in Alberta, Calgary. Calgary is the main transportation and distribution center for the province; also one of Canada's main commerce centers. About three quarters of the people live in the area known as the Calgary-Edmonton corridor, in and around the two cities.

The largest oil fields are located in the province with large ranch country making up the majority of the province's plains. The north is forest, as well as the southwestern border in the Rockies; with the area containing the most people also containing the most fertile soil. It is here that dairy and grain farms thrive. In southeastern Alberta, where once dinosaurs roamed, the Red Deer River flows across the plains; with deep gorges and incredible landscapes; and the badlands are.

Part of the Hudson Bay company empire since 1670, French explorers and traders established settlements at Lac La Biche and Bonnyville. Fort La Jonquiere, now Calgary, sprang up in 1752. The first European to the area was Peter Bond built Fort Athabasca on Lac La Biche in 1778 and 10 years later Mackenzie erected Fort Chipewyan. His cousin Sir Alexander Mackenzie followed the North Saskatchewan River to its end near Edmonton then headed north on foot. He went until he came to the Athabasca River to the lake and discovered another river flowing northward that now holds his name; the Mackenzie River, following it to the end in the Artic Ocean. When he came back along the route to Lake Athabasca, he went along the Peace River until he reached the Pacific Ocean, thereby becoming the first white person to go across North America north of Mexico.

Pre-Clovis people had settled in the area later known as Calgary, as early as 11,000 B.C. David Thompson, a cartographer, wintered in the area in 1787 with some tribesmen of the Peigan Indians. He was the first European to this area with John Glenn settling in the area in 1873. It eventually became a post of the North-West Mounted Police, at first called Fort Brisebois, after Ephrem Brisebois, a NWMP, then later changed to Fort Calgary in 1876. This post was created to stop the American whiskey traders from coming to the area to trade with the Native Americans.  In 1883, the Canadian Pacific Railroad arrived and brought a better economy to the area. Its headquarter is in Calgary today.
In 1886, a large fire occurred and burned 14 buildings; causing the officials to make a law that the buildings be built with Paskapoo sandstone.
 
Oil was uncovered in 1901, but nothing large, until 1947 when gigantic reserves were uncovered and creating a boom in the area. During the oil embargo of 1973, prices of oil went up and brought more people to the area. Skyscrapers went up and the downtown area grew with them. The 1981 slump in oil prices affected the area and its population, but with the resurgence of oil needs and prices in the 90s, the pendulum swung back to recovering.

In 1988, the XV Olympic Winter Games were held in Calgary and the city was put into the limelight of the world. With the oil profits, the city put great sums of money into other areas such as high tech and tourism. In 2007, Forbes Magazine claimed the city of Calgary was the cleanest city in the world, in spite of the gas and oil industries in the area.


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Tours in Alberta

 Alberta Canada Tours

Touring Alberta can be one of the most exciting of your life. With over 440 listed things to do in this province, you will never lack for anything to do, see and enjoy. It is a marvelous place to visit and the people are always glad to help out or give you answers to your questions.

The lakes that are located in this province are amazingly beautiful all the year round, but during the seasonal changes with the trees becoming absolutely brilliant with colors; it is breathtaking. At Lake Louise, in the Banff National Park, you can view the lake from many delightful angles. Whether in a canoe, kayak or raft; you will paddle along the shoreline viewing great woods and trails that will have you wanting to pull in for a hike. In the winter, this lake, like most others are fantastic to ice skate on. Also located in the park is Moraine Lake, quite famous for being on the back side of the Canadian dollar. It also is gorgeous with plenty of woods for camping and hiking, as well as canoeing, kayaking or ice skating. At nearby Johnston Canyon, you will be mesmerized, awed by the majesty of this beautiful area. The hiking trails are perhaps some of the best you will ever travel, as they cross over the river, with canyons and waterfalls beckoning your attention.

If you have wanted to try dog sledding, here is your chance. The dog sled tours are so amazing, well organized and guided. You would want to go in the winter, or if you do go in summer, the dogs will pull you along in an atv. A great time for the first timer or the old pro; the scenery is just wonderful, if you take time to notice.
The Glenbow Museum in Calgary happens to be the biggest in western Canada and is full of wonderful exhibits, scenes, stories and information about the tribes of this area and even the tribes of western Africa. Describing the many traditions of the First Nation this is a must see for anyone visiting the province. From piercing, tattooing, history, culture and geology; this museum is awesome and inspiring. Check out the Bog mummies, the buffalo, the tools, weapons and even teepees.

The Calgary Zoo is a wonderful place to stop by and spend the day viewing the 1000 animals from all over the world. Separated into different themed lands, Canada, Africa, etc. the zoo is well laid out and the staff are very friendly. Of course the best part are the many animals that will interact with visitors making the whole day more enjoyable. Some people have said this was the best zoo they have ever been to, but you will have to decide for yourself.

In Banff, the Gondola that takes you to the top and back is a wonderful way to view the surrounding beauty. Once you get to the top, there is a small trail to the very top that will give you the most breathtaking views anywhere in the world. The panorama that unfolds before you is just amazing and often you will see some big horn sheep milling around the slopes. The trail to the gondola itself is great and well worth the trip. A great place to see the mountains, valleys and lakes that surround the area.

The Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology in Drumheller will give you some awesome idea about the many dinosaurs that roamed this area thousands of years ago. Home to skeletal remains and fossils, it is a wonderful place to spend some time learning about the way it was so many years ago in this great land. Along the Icefields Parkway, among the Canadian Rockies, you will see some great glaciers, wildlife and scenes that will stop you still in your tracks. Be sure to bring plenty of film or make sure your digital camera is empty as you click picture after picture along the most scenic highway in North America. Beauty doesn't even come close to describing the magnitude of the views you will encounter.


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Things to do in Alberta

Alberta Canada Things to do 

After you have hit all the tours that you can handle for a lifetime of vacations, then you can slow the pace and do things on your own. Of course in winter, there are many areas to ski, cross-country ski, snow mobile, ice skate, snowboard and many other winter activities to keep you exhausted but quite happy and thrilled. The scenery that was viewed in summer is altogether different in the beauty of winter's snows.

There are many areas to go horseback riding that follow the trails of hunters and hunted years ago, worn over the years by continued use, with all the scenic views you can handle. In Jasper, you can hike a fantastic trail to the Maligne Canyon, full of rivers, waterfalls and gorgeous limestone canyons. While in Jasper, you can visit the National Park of the same name that contains the most beautiful, awesome waterfall you will ever see.
Stampede Park in Calgary is home to the best rodeo in Canada and when the main event is not in process, the small rodeos and chuck wagon races will keep you going.

The West Edmonton Mall is supposed to be the biggest in the world, with entertainment, roller coaster, indoor bungee jump and tropical rainforest; along with 800 stores and 20 restaurants. Spend some time in Heritage Park Historical Village set on 66 acres by Glenmore Lake in Calgary. Another of the more than 100 attractions in Calgary, Prince's Island Park is in the Bow River with fishing, hiking and biking being all that you want it to be and more. A beautiful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the tourist attractions.
The Muttart Conservatory is an unusual place to visit in Edmonton with 5 glass pyramids containing flora of different ecosystems. 

At the Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump, an Indian name translated, you will see a cliff where thousands of buffalo jumped to their death chased there by Native Americans long ago. It is in Fort Macleod and the scenery there is quite wonderful.  You can go skiing just about anywhere in the province where the mountains are, but the actual hill where the Olympians skied is one that you will always cherish. Besides skiing, there are luge rides, wall climbing, bungee trampolining and the best mountain biking you will ever come across. Located in Calgary, this fantastic thrill ride is something that nature has created and man has utilized for the thrills of a lifetime.  Museums are located throughout the province and well worth the visit and time to do so. With different themes and artifacts, these places take you back and forward through time explaining, teaching, showing you the exhilarating planet you live on.
If you or better said, your children tire of the everlasting lure of the natural resources that call to you; there is the Calaway Park in Calgary with all the exciting and adventurous rides an amusement park can have.

The Cave and Basin Hot Springs in Banff are very popular to visitors and have been for almost 150 years. Sulphur springs and a geyser will give you some relaxing moments or hours and positive relief from the stress of every day life or vacation. Another hot springs, often called the hottest in the Canadian Rockies are located in Jasper National Park at the Miette Hot Springs, where 2 hot pools and a cold one give you a gorgeous view of the Fiddle River Valley.  In Canmore, visit the Rat's Nest Cave at Canmore Caverns, well worth the hike and the crawling you will have to do.

In this wonderful country, you will enjoy the many hot springs, cool rivers, majestic mountains and breathtaking trails that will make you forget you are on vacation. And if you don't have to work anymore, so much the better, as you will get lost in the wondrous scenery found in the province of Alberta. If you plan on a trip to Canada, and love the outdoors more so than the thriving cities, then head to Alberta and thrill more, hike and bike more, paddle more, see more and live more than you have so far in your life. Learn to love nature again as it once was and become the part of it that your ancestors were. Learn to live as they did without all the electronical toys that have taken you out of the great outdoors.

Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site will take you back to the early days of Canada and the massive fur trading that went on there. Two gigantic trading companies, set apart by miles of rugged, beautiful terrain; mountainous and riddled with rivers and lakes, learned to trade furs with 9 different Indian tribes. During the 75 years of fierce competition and rivalry, the North West and Hudson Bay companies stood their ground and thrived in this incredible business. Today, you can actually visit and remember their triumphs and failures at the four remaining trading posts left.