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Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

A beautiful winter morning in Calgary

There is nothing better than getting out and exploring the city, town, area that you live in.  Actually it can become quite fun and you never really know what you are going to find, experience or see.

Last winter I’m sure that many people thought that we were stupid getting up early on Saturday and Sunday mornings to go for walks along Calgary’s many river paths, but when you get the opportunity to witness, to photograph and to enjoy unspoilt scenes like the one above.. it makes it oh so worth while.

With the many pathways and parks along the river and the quietness of the weekend downtown core.. it’s hard not to feel like you are a million miles away from the hussell and bussell of the city.  Another thing that I love about Calgary – That city feel that isn’t quite city.

Explore your neighbourhoods and the ones next door. Check out the local diners, the local cafe’s and of course the local pubs. Find out what makes this city, your city beat and what makes you fall in love with it everyday.

Challenge yourself to see as much of it as you can.  To enjoy every tiny detail and to search out those hidden secrets that no-one, absolutely no-one knows about and share them with the people you love and care about.

If I could take my little pieces of ‘Calgary’ home with me.. one would be the place in the picture above.  The quite little Island park between the Bow and Elbow Rivers. A park that is not frequently visited, but more likely to be home to the homeless.  A park that has its own peaceful stunning views of downtown Calgary and the iconic Calgary Tower.  It’s own suspension bridge that makes it seem so much more unique and special.

The other.. well that’s a secret…..

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Ink Pots, Banff National Park

Without doubt I think that the self timer on a camera is the BEST invention.  Without it I would not have a million photo’s of me in random, beautiful places.

Living in Calgary in summer is the best of both world (if I could ski or board.. it might almost be the best of both worlds in winter too.. but alas, I am destin to have BOTH feet planted firmly on the ground).  Monday to Friday, 9 – 5 you have an awesome job, the city is alive every night with people on patio’s socializing and when Friday comes, it’s only 20 minutes and your out of the city and into the beautiful rocky mountains and the millions of hikes, trails and spectacular views.

I admit, my hiking experience is less than high.. and definitely on the shorter side as far as trails go, but I’m glad to say that there have been a couple that I have managed to conquer whilst I have been here, and MANY more that I will have to come back and do.. By far one of the best was definitely the Ink Pots at Johnson’s Canyon.

I was first introduced to Johnson’s Canyon on a cooling spring day in October 2010 by my new-found Canadian friend, Lori, and her husband Mark (and beautiful daughter Ellie).  It holds a very special place in their hearts and I was honoured that they wanted to share this with me.  So in July 2011 I decided that I wanted to explore further past the touristy lower falls.

Simply being away from the millions of tourists visiting the lower and upper falls at the start of the trail is blessing enough, but when you find yourself finally through the trees and into the open field, surrounded by spectacular mountain views.. and of course the ever-changing colours of the ink pots.  The 5.8km hike is so so SO worth it.. and once again I was in awe..

how could you not be?

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Simply Breathtaking

During the final days of preparation in Oz before I left to come to Canada, I made the decision that no matter what, I would live close to downtown.  Generally it means that rent is higher, but it also means that you don’t have to have a car, you can walk to work everyday and should you decide to hit the town… the taxi fares are much cheaper.

Luckily I found a place that allowed me to do just that.

Xenex 1209 was stunning.. it was love at first sight and while the 12th floor apartment was a simple bachelor suite, what it lacked for in size, it defiantly made up for in stunning views.

Admittedly I was pretty devastated when I found out that I would be facing the city, rather than the mountains, but falling to sleep to the twinkling city lights and waking up to stunning sunrises like the one above…. meant pretty much that I slept every night with my blinds open, staring out my floor to ceiling windows and taking it all in.   In the end, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world..

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Enjoying Christmas Day at Lake Louise 2011

I love living in another country. I love the ability to step outside of what I know are my comfort zones. To reach out on a limb and take a chance. I love experiencing new things. Love the sensations that I feel when something is new to me and the happiness I feel when I accomplish something that I may never have tried at home.. but I LOVE my family more!.

The past eight to nine weeks have been a whirlwind, but a weekend visiting extended family in southern Saskatchewan in early August gave me the clarification that I needed.

The wide open spaces of the prairie lands. The golden fields of wheat. The sweet sounds of nothingness. The clear skies scattered with a million stars… and the photo’s of MY family hanging on a wall… It was all that I needed for my head and my heart to align and for me to know that I wanted to go home.

Golden Fields of Saskatchewan

The last two and a half years have been amazing. There have been days when I could not have been blissfully more happy and days when I wanted to pack it all in. Curl up, close my eyes and wish that I was somewhere else.

I will miss EVERYTHING here in Calgary..I will miss my amazing friends that have made the two and a half years I have been here so much better, my adopted Canadian family, complete with nieces and nephews and our annual Thanksgiving get-aways and the colleagues and clients that have become part of my everyday life.

I will miss the summer day’s when hiking in the mountains makes you feel alive and the coldest of winter days when it feels like moths are stuck up your nose and you can’t open your eyes because of the icicles on your eyelashes have frozen them shut… but it is not a goodbye.. more simply a see-you-later.

Hiking the ‘Many Springs’ trail in Bow Valley Provincial Park (July 2011)

I am looking forward to coming home. Spending time with my ever-growing family. Meeting my new niece and spoiling all over again, each and every single one of the ten nieces and nephews in my life and annoying my four bigger and older brothers (and their wives).  Catching up with friends and preparing for the next adventure.

My Mum and my beautiful nieces and nephews (before Jorge)… so cannot wait to spoil them all again

By far my adventures, travel and personal, are not over.  They are simply beginning the next chapter.

‘Home James’ …. looking forward to seeing this sign once again

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Yep.. I’ve been on the road again.. and honestly yesterday and today I have been struggling to come up with the right words, the right sentences, the right paragraphs to tell you all about it.

I could tell you that the scenery is beautiful, amazing, picture perfect, awesome, unbelievable, spectacular.. honestly.. I could go on and on with every other word in the dictionary to try and describe it, but the truth is, I wouldn’t do it justice.  I wouldn’t even come close, so instead I’ve decided to sit back and let the pictures speak for themselves.. (I just hope this does it justice)

xx N

A picture perfect sunset on Castle Mountain and the Rockies

Excited to be on the road again.. (thanks Fi)

Castle Mountain Reflections

Enjoying the quite evening at Lake Louise (no other tourists.. yay!!)

Moraine Lake

Saturday morning at Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake…. picture perfect.. still, calm.. spectacular

Boats @ Moraine Lake

The road ahead..

Up high on a mountain pass..

Tangle Falls… (thanks Fi!)

Tangle Falls

Spectacular mountains

Rocks at Athabasca Falls

Canyon at Athabasca Falls

Sunlight in the Water Lillies – Entrance to Mount Robson Park, BC

Relaxing at the entrance to Mount Robson Park, BC

How tall is a Moose?? How tall are you? I’m as tall as a 1 year old Moose (Geezzzzzz remind me never to come across one on foot!!)

Every which way there is a mountain…..

Mount Robson, BC

It’s an elk!

Just a couple of random “Pocahontas” miners

A disused mine entrance at the Pocahontas ‘Ghost Town’

breathtaking all the way

Morning at Medicine Lake

Maligne Lake Boat House in the morning mist

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Canoe’s on the docks – Maligne Lake

A worker plays her banjo and sings on the dock of the Maligne Lake Boat House …. AWESOME

Maligne Lake

WoW.. Maligne Lake

Getting to know the local’s at Maligne Lake

A perfect morning with the mist rising at Maligne Lake

being attacked by the Maligne Lake Lodge Bear

Just one of the falls in the beautiful Maligne Canyon

Taking a break from the drive – Athabasca Glacier

Simply Stunning.. The Glacier fed waters are AMAZING

Waterfowl Lakes…

Crystal clear waters of Waterfowl lake with the mountain backdrop

Postcard perfect Peyto Lake
(yep.. that’s the one that most of you see in the brochures)

Enjoying the view from the platform at Petyo Lake

Taking a pic of a couple of lads at Peyto Lake, AB

Panoramic view of Peyto Lake

Herbert Lake… anyone that knows me.. and knows my family will know that my dearly beloved brother Jase calls me Herbert or “Herb”.. so it just seemed fitting to have a pic taken with a sign for the lake..

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‘my favorite quote around Calgary.. and it’s just on the doorstep at work in Eau Claire’

How can we help but get into the olympic spirit?

I love my sports, no matter what it is, but in Olympics, it’s swimming (and basketball) that have me hooked.

Mum had me in the pool at a young age. It was never competitive (well to me it was) but seriously a first in the breaststroke or butterfly in a 25 meter pool at the local primary school sports was never going to get me (let’s face it) anywhere near an Olympic sized pool or a gold medal for that fact.  Plus really, 4am to train.. pfft.. I had trouble getting up to go to VicSwim at 8:00am!!!

No, give me the pool at the pub, the dam and eventually our (read my for my brothers) own pool and I was happy..

But watching the Olympics over the last couple of days got me thinking.  I have lived in. No, let me rephrase that.  I LIVE in a city that has hosted an Olympic games.

I know, I know.. Winter Vs Summer.. I’m from a summer country, but who has not heard of the 1988 Calgary Olympics?

They were famous.

Cool Runnings? The Jamaican Bobsled Team? any of this ringing a bell for you??

Most of the lines from the movie have haunted me for the two and a half years that I have lived in here and yes, I have been to Canada Olympic Park (or C.O.P. as it is affectionately known in this neck of the woods.

‘The closest I will come to driving a bobsled.. safe inside C.O.P’

I have seen the Ski Jumps. I have seen the Bobsled track.

Even ventured out one Friday evening and saw the Canadian Bobsled Championships (it was friggin cold!!).

‘Getting a look at the angle on that bobsled track’

‘One of the competition team’s ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOMING by’

‘Finish Line’

I have been to the Olympic Oval and to the Saddledome.  I’ve even driven up and checked out the ski hills at Nakiska.. but I’ll be honest.. there is a place called Olympic Plaza downtown that I have only really ‘skirted’ around.

Sunday I decided it was the day. Sunday would be the day to enjoy Olympic Plaza and check out a couple of other Olympic ‘relics’ that have been left behind and dotted over the city.

‘Olympic Plaza Refection Pool’

Officially (or so I have been told), Olympic Plaza was built to hold  medal presentations for the 1988 Winter Olympics, however since then it has been turned in to a beautiful urban park complete with ‘reversible’ reflections wading pool for the summer and refrigerated ice skating rink for the winter (two birds..one stone!).

                           

‘As close as I will probably come to the Olympic Rings’

But walking around there is still definitely a feel of Olympics in the plaza..from the official Olympic rings embedded into the top railing of the black iron fence, to the athletic statue below the Olympic cauldron and the Honor plaques of Canadian athletes who have represented their country and brought home medals.. How can you not get excited by that?

‘The Olympic Cauldron’

‘Some of the honour plaques’

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