Ugps.20 22.Alberta.Nd02

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Information about Ugps.20 22.Alberta.Nd02

Published on January 10, 2009

Author: sallymoe



My editorial about a visit to Edmonton, Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise in Alberta.

Is this Heaven? No, it’s Alberta B Y S A L LY M O E Chateau The Château Lake Louise, overlooking Lake Louise and the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park. Jasper Park Lodge’s heated pool features a protected intrepid souls can enjoy it any time of year. I t’s January, late in the afternoon. Snow thriving metropolis out of the dust, tough is falling softly in winter’s haunting nuts who not only tolerate, but flourish in bluish light. Red-nosed and bundled up extremes of weather. Yet despite those against the cold, I’m wandering the extremes and that apparent isolation, white-blanketed grounds of the majestic there’s no lack of quality of life in Château Lake Louise, in Alberta, Canada, Edmonton. With all its vastness—the city is where the annual Ice Magic International Ice larger in area than Chicago, Detroit or Sculpture Competition is presented. Philadelphia—its residents enjoy one of the Resembling a menagerie of crystalline lowest population densities of any North topiaries, the sculptures stand mute and American city. Countless festivals celebrat- Travel Alberta motionless, glistening in the pointed stare ing everything from arts and crafts to of spotlights. Off the lake’s frozen shores, theatre, street entertainment, comedy, film skaters wobble and glide past a roofless, gradually transformed (what was then) and the city’s heritage have justly earned it pale-blue castle of ice that begs to be Chalet Lake Louise into today’s plush, the title “Canada’s Festival City.” Alberta played in. In the hush of falling snow, year-round resort overlooking Lake Louise beef reigns supreme and restaurants teem against a backdrop of towering, snow- in Banff National Park. with sophisticated chefs who more than dusted mountains swathed in clouds, the My exploration of this spectacularly meet the challenge. Furthermore, Edmon- effect is pure magic. beautiful region of Alberta—the national ton boasts the largest stretch of urban The Château Lake Louise—inspiration parks and towns of Jasper and Banff, and parkland in North America—about 22 of Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, the village of Lake Louise—was framed by times larger than New York’s Central Park. General Manager of Canadian Pacific visits to Edmonton, Alberta’s capital. A And as if refusing to be pegged, Edmonton Railway—began modestly in 1890, with vibrant city that eludes categorization, also features the world’s largest shopping enough space to house 12 guests. Edmonton first brings to mind a city like and entertainment complex, the West Envisioned by Van Horne as “a hotel for Houston, with its sprawling vastness and Edmonton Mall, a premier tourist destina- the outdoor adventurer and alpinist,” the emphasis on the oil and beef industries. tion in its own right. (If you go, don’t miss single-level wooden chalet featured a Situated on the prairie, with oilwells on Mindbender, the Mall’s 14-stories-tall bedroom, a sitting room, a kitchen and a the outskirts—there’s a definite sense of indoor rollercoaster. But be sure you ride it veranda. Expansions and renovations the frontier, of gutsy people building a on an empty stomach.) 20

Jasper Pulling into Jasper’s vintage-style train depot made me feel as if I’d stepped back in time. The high-ceilinged station, with its charming alpine aura, was recently restored to its original 1925-era splendor and is now recognized as a Canadian Heritage Building. And Jasper itself, Travel Alberta surrounded on every side by spectacular The stunning pyramids of Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton, Alberta. mountain vistas, is a gem. With perma- nent residents numbered at about 3700, it is quiet, almost sleepy—an intriguing Park Pass.) year from the warmth of its heated mix of sophistication, rugged wilderness Though it’s only about 180 miles, allow pool—or drink cocktails in front of the and down-home charm. yourself a day for the trip, easily one of the crackling fireplace in the spacious lobby Consider Jasper National Park, one of most fabulously scenic drives in North lounge. Memorable fine dining is a regular the foremost protected ecosystems in the America. The Parkway slices through event at the Lodge’s four-diamond Rocky Mountains. Its 4200 square miles endless wild acres of ravishing scenery, restaurant, The Edith Cavell, or fireside of pristine beauty surround the town of passing brilliant lakes, striated peaks and in Pyramid Lake Resort’s The Pines. (And Jasper and protect 53 species of mammals, dramatic waterfalls. And at the border of just so you know, The Pines’ Alberta including elk, caribou, grizzly bears, Jasper and Banff national parks, the Park- Prairie Chicken—with sundried peach Fairmont Hotels and Resorts; Photo by Scott Rowed mountain lions and wolves. Consider, too, way passes the Columbia Icefield, itself cream cheese stuffing, rolled in roasted the rustic, yet elegant, Fairmont Jasper bigger in area than the city of Vancouver. pecans with a Southern Comfort pink Park Lodge, inside the park and about Seven thousand feet above sea level, the peppercorn glaze—is to die for.) four miles from town. Working in tandem Icefield contains eight major glaciers— As for Jasper’s accommodations, they with Parks Canada, the Lodge created a three of them visible from the Parkway— range from comfortably basic to ruggedly 4500-foot long wildlife corridor that passes and its meltwaters nourish rivers and luxurious. Just a few include the cozy through the forested middle of its award- streams that flow into three oceans. Jasper Inn in town; the relaxing Pyramid winning 18-hole golf course to give Saskatchewan Glacier, the longest glacier Lake Resort, overlooking Pyramid Lake; animals access to their preferred habitat. in the Icefield and just inside the border and the historic Jasper Park Lodge, at Lac (That’s the very same golf course where, of Banff National Park, is the source of Beauvert, visited by the likes of Anthony in 1947, Bing Crosby won the annual the North Saskatchewan River—the Hopkins, Jimmy Stewart and Bill Gates. Totem Pole Golf Tournament.) same river that cuts such a scenic path (Ask about the Lodge’s Marilyn Monroe Yet in a setting this remote—where through Edmonton. story; she paid a visit in the summer of nature is so close you can feel its breath Farther south, after crossing the North ’53 during the filming of River of No on your face—sophisticated comforts are Saskatchewan River, the Parkway passes Return to considerable dramatic effect.) no less close at hand. Fairmont Jasper Peyto Lake—one of the most pho- Icefields Parkway Park Lodge guests and health club mem- tographed lakes of North America. And Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise are bers can enjoy the divine attentions of its it’s no wonder: when the astonishing sublime destinations individually; but for spa services, including herbal wraps, dry turquoise of this glacier-fed lake glows maximum impact, visit all three and savor brushing, salt glow and eucalyptus steam amidst the surrounding mountains and the journey between via Route inhalation treatments. Lodge guests can pines, Peyto Lake is guaranteed to take 93, the Icefields Parkway. drink in mountain views any time of your breath away. (You will need a National Banff The 6015, an old It’s 8:30 on a Friday night. While steam engine vacationers are trolling the streets of permanently parked at downtown, sharing appetizers at Coyotes the Jasper Deli & Grill or night-skiing Mount Heritage Norquay, I’m probing the corners and Railway Station. shadows of Fairmont’s Banff Springs Hotel with the hungry curiosity of a five-year old. Completed in 1888 and built in the château style, this is another jaspe of Sir William Van Horne’s magnificent rcan Canadian railway hotels—so there’s adia plenty to explore. For instance, the nroc kies.c dramatic lobby, with its spectacular om 21

the Banffshire Club, the resort’s luxurious If you go, be sure to cap off your soak restaurant, its harp music billowing into in the hot springs with a visit to Pleiades the hallway. Basking in the warmth of Massage and Spa, to indulge in one of that music, I steal a moment to comb their restorative treatments. Specialties through the Club’s wine list, from “one include aromatherapy, reiki, reflexology of the most extensive wine cellars in and hydrotherapy, among others; you will Canada.” Impressive. feel reborn. My traveling companions, comparing But for the ultimate natural high, Banff and Jasper, tell me Jasper is like don’t miss the Banff Gondola, adjacent Banff of twenty years ago. With Banff’s to the Upper Hot Springs pool. In less population at about 7700 and three than 10 minutes, the gondola will sweep popular ski areas in close proximity, plus you up to Sulphur Mountain’s 7486-foot a compact downtown brimming with summit for an incomparable panorama shops, galleries, restaurants and pubs, of the surrounding landscape—on a clear West Edmonton Mall there are more crowds and a greater day, your view can stretch up to 90 miles. emphasis on tourism; but the town At the summit you will also find two sparkles with jovial good spirits and a restaurants—also with excellent views— youthful enthusiasm. as well as an observation deck and several West Edmonton Mall is almost a city in itself. Maybe some of that positive energy hiking trails that lead to still more Two of its amazing array of attractions are results from regular visits to the Banff spectacular viewing spots. Bourbon Street and Mindbender, a gravity- busting indoor rollercoaster. Upper Hot Springs. Open year-round And that really is what it’s all about round chandelier, broad stairway and and 5196 feet above sea level, the here: breathtaking scenic beauty as far as Scottish baronial décor. And the gallery of Springs’ discovery in 1882 by Canadian the eye can see. Take a moment on top of vintage photographs and memorabilia Pacific Railway workers led to the the world to drink it all in. Inhale deep celebrating the hotel’s history. Or the creation of Banff National Park. A $4 lungfuls of that healing mountain air. At European-style spa—Solace—where I feel million restoration of the bathhouse to this point you’ll realize that no, you my blood pressure recede as the tranquil its original 1930s-era appearance was weren’t reborn, but rather, you’ve died...and gone to heaven. s waters cast their flickering aqua spell. Or completed in 1996. My Introductory Offer to New Cigar Customers It’s the complete package for the smoker: twenty-five Thompson hand- ONLY 29 95 $ All this for made, imported cigars, a dependable windproof lighter (may vary), and a solidly constructed cedar-lined divided humidor whose French quadrant hinges, humidification system and hygrometer make it a veritable vault to (regularly a $79 value) protect your puros. This exquisitely fashioned humidor is handsome enough to grace any smoker’s desk. At the low, low price of $29.95 for a regular $79 value, this really is quite an offer. I’m making it to introduce new customers to Thompson & Co., America’s oldest mail order cigar company. Since 1915 our customers have enjoyed a rich variety of cigars and smokers’ articles. Only one order per customer please. Thompson Cigar Co. Est. 1915 1-866-250-2498 America’s Oldest Mail Order Cigar Company Dept. T3881 P.O. Box 31274 • Tampa, FL 33631-3274 (Product #926855) Send me one Classic Combo For $29.95 + $4.95 shipping ONE ORDER PER CUSTOMER (Florida residents add 6% sales tax + appropriate county tax). Name Address Apt. # City State Zip Daytime phone # ( ) ❏ $34.90 Enclosed. ❏ VISA ❏ MasterCard ❏ AmExpress ❏ Discover Charge to my Printed name as it appears on credit card / / Credit Card No. (Print all digits) Exp. Date By responding to this offer and signing below, I certify that I am a smoker, 21 years of age or older. / / Signed Birth date – Mo./Day/Year (Your order will not be processed without signature and date of birth) OFFER EXPIRES 1/31/03 • OFFER NOT AVAILABLE TO MINORS • OFFER GOOD ONLY IN THE USA Dept. T3881 Fax: 813-882-4605 ©2002 Thompson Cigar & Co., Inc. • 22

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