Category Archives: Days Out in Alberta

Watch out for the bears…

…as they are innovative forragers and this bunch have taken up residence on our front porch.
We bought these at Spruce Meadows (a local show-jumping venue) when they held their Christmas Market recently. We spent an age choosing just the right three bears, each of which had a slightly different expression.

Danny, the chap who makes the bears (with a chainsaw!) was selling his wares directly and it was nice to be able to speak to him personally about his work. Here’s his website.


Mmmm Pie!

We went to the Calgary Farmer’s Market today, which was really nice. It is an indoor affair.

We stopped off at a pie stall and the stall holder, picked up on our accents immediately. We were drawn to the stall by a sign saying “Melton Mowbray Pies”, which you don’t expect to see 4,400 miles from the UK and the stall holder advised that the owner of the business had been trained by Melton Mowbray. We got a steak pie for tea, with a tub of extra gravy thrown in and two pork pies (made just yesterday) for our lunch. These were very possibly the finest pork pies we have ever had!

At another pie stall, (honestly, there were more than pies for sale at the market!), they were giving away samples. We tried the Steak and Kidney Pie and we both thought that it would put up a fair fight with the fabled Ye Horns Inn Steak and Kidney Pie (for those of our readers who know that very excellent establishment/fayre).
We also bought organic meat, in the form of Bison Steaks, Chicken, Beef and Sausages. We sampled the sausages while we were there and they were delicious. There seemed to be a good range of organic and non-organic fruit and veg on various stalls, as well as fruit cakes, biscuits and other baked goods, gift items and so on.
It’s open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, year ’round and as long as the meat we have bought tastes good when cooked, we would definitely make the Calgary Farmer’s Market a regular haunt.
After the farmer’s market, we drove to Millarville Christmas Market at the Millarville Race Track.

There seem to be an abundance of Christmas Markets coming up in various locations, so that should be fun. Janet enjoyed some roasted chestnuts as we strolled and there were a number of stall holders that we might consider buying from if we see them at future markets…but for today, we were very disciplined and kept our dollars in our pockets.

Calgary Hitmen V’s Everett Silvertips

We went to our first Ice Hockey match today. It was held at the Pengrowth Saddledome (we have attached a picture of the Pengrowth as we will hopefully be attending lots of events there over the coming months). This was also where we went to see the Brad Paisley concert we mentioned in an earlier post.

We were invited along to the Hockey game by Brian, the teller we end up using most often at the bank we’re with here. We don’t recall Lloyds TSB ever inviting us to anything at all over 7 years with them in the UK!

Well what of the game. Everett Silvertips are a Washington State based team so there was a good level of USA/Canada rivalry – mostly on the ice – where punch-ups were interuppted by occasional passages of play! Notably, any time the puck went near one goal or the other, it seemed to trigger a mass scramble that would develop into a mass brawl. On occasions players would shed helmets, gloves and sticks and dive into eachother, fists flailing, knocking seven bells out of eachother. What fun!

Seriously though, it was fast and furious and skillful but not without danger to the crowd as, surprisingly we thought, the puck disappeared at speed into the crowd on at least half a dozen occasions, despite there being barriers and nets to mitigate that risk.

Unfortunately, the Calgary Hitmen went down by 4 goals to 2 and played the last several minutes without a Goaltender (goalkeeper in soccer speak) as they threw on an extra attacking player in a desperate attempt to make up the deficit.

One of the joys of going to the Pengrowth (situated just south of Downtown Calgary) is that you seem to be able to drive away from it with ease. We made it from the exit of the building to the car and then to the southern edge of Calgary in about 20 minutes…which encourages you to go and see such events as it’s not a major drag to either get there or get home.

A good first experience of Ice Hockey and we think we could well see ourselves going along to a Calgary Flames game (which is sort of at the Premiership level, tonight’s game being a sort of Championship level affair…apologies to those that don’t know what that means in terms of soccer).