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Canada: A Walk through Calgary

Brash and bold, this Western city offers a mountain setting with a view, great shopping, rib-sticking cowboy cuisine and spirited cultural attractions. You don’t even have to participate in the official White Hat ceremony, as did recent visiting celebrity Bill Cosby, to enjoy that famous Western hospitality. This walk is about 3 1/2 to 4 km and should take most of a day if done with kids.

9— 10:15 a.m.: Start the day at Eau Claire Market for a quick pick-me-up of cappuccino and croissants. Originally an 1886 lumber market, this fresh food public market and food court is chock-a-block with intriguing restaurants, kiosks and specialty shops selling wine, sausages and gourmet foods. Get energized for the day by hiking around the scenic paths of Princess Island Park just behind the market (about a 2km loop taking 40 minutes at a brisk pace).
202, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.,
Open Monday—Saturday 10—6, Thursday—Friday until 8 p.m., Sunday and holidays noon—5 p.m.

10:15 —11:15 a.m.: Wander through the nearby Chinatown (20 minutes stroll) for a look at the bakeries, herbal emporiums and shops selling seaweed products. Don’t miss the authentic Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre with its amazing ceiling, modeled after the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. Stop for a look at the history, heritage and culture of Chinese people in Canada.
197-1st St. S.W.
Open T.K.

11:15 to Noon: Walk down Centre St. to the Calgary Tower (about 10 minutes). For a great view of the city and surrounding mountains, travel up the 626 ft. (191 m) tower, a landmark in the city centre. There’s a revolving restaurant on top for lunch. Or, if you want true cowboy fare, head for Buzzards restaurant (3 minutes away).
Palliser Square (101 9th Ave. S.W. and Centre St. S.)
Tower open daily May to October 7:30 a.m. —midnight.

Noon—1:30 p.m.: Trade in your old pair of cowboy boots for a free meal (seriously) at Buzzards Cookshack and Waterin’ Hole Authentic cowboy restaurant featured in Bon Appetit magazine. Try their hip side of Alberta beef served up with beans and washed down with tangy sarsaparilla juice made from root beer and limes. Check out the cowboy poetry on display in the washrooms.
140-10th Ave. S.W. (corner of 10th Ave. and 1st St. S.W.)
Open daily Monday—Saturday and holidays 11 a.m.—10 p.m., Sunday 4—10 p.m.

1:30 —2:30 p.m.: Sufficiently satisfied, stroll over to the Glenbow Museum (5 minutes walk) to experience the history and culture of the native Blackfoot people in the new Nitsitapiisinni—Our Way of Life gallery. Tepees, headdresses of eagle feathers and other artifacts tell this Prairie story from the native point of view. This world-renowned museum also contains a fine collection of Canadian art, including many of Canada’s earliest painters.
130-9th Ave. S.E.,
Open daily 9—5. Thursday and Friday 9—9 p.m.

2:30—3:30 p.m.: Shop along 8th Ave. (about 30 minutes at a window shopping pace) with a must stop at Riley & McCormick, Calgary’s origin al western store for cowboy hats, jeans and western wear. Pick up a silver belt buckle or an embroidered denim shirt as a souvenir at one of the country’s best-known sources for a Western look. Kick back in a new pair of boots, just hurtin’ for nighttime line dancing in a Calgary saloon.
220 Stephen Avenue Walk (at 8th Ave. S.W.) 403-262-1556
1-800-661-1585 for a free catalogue
Open Monday—Wednesday and Saturday 10—6, Thursday and Friday 10—9, Sunday noon—5

For more on what’s happening in Canada’s “Cow Town,” visit:

If you’re planning to visit this July, don’t miss the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” each July, the Calgary Stampede. To order tickets, call 1-800-661-1260 or 403-261-0101, www.calgary-stampede.com





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