July 25,26 and 27
We got up early today and had our breakfast in the hotel. It was very similar to the breakfast we had in Holiday Inn Express. We decided to leave early to reach Edmonton as early as possible. Edmonton is a very big city and we have two days in Edmonton.
From Grande Prairie to Edmonton, the road is a dual carriage Highway and allows you to drive at a high speed of 110 km per hour. The Highway is very straight and less scenic. We saw vast fields of canola and other vegetations on the two sides of the highway. Canola fields look like a huge yellow carpet from a distance. We however saw one deer appearing from the woods. I managed to take a photo before it ran away and disappeared in to the distant jungle patch.
Deer running into the woods
We arrived in Edmonton by 2:00PM and checked into the hotel Hampton Inn and Suites. This is a good hotel with similar facilities to Hilton Hotels. At the reception, we were told that the hotel operates similar to other Hilton hotels. It was a Wednesday and they had a special function in the evening with free drinks for all the guests. We could come down and meet their management if we liked (although we didn’t).
We have booked a big room with two queen beds. The hotel has a swimming pool and serves free breakfast. We selected this hotel mainly because it is very close to the Edmonton Mall. Edmonton Mall is supposed to be the biggest shopping mall in North America and Canada.
I knew these two days were going to be hard. Shopping is not my favourite hobby. I can tolerate it for a few hours - but spending one full day shopping in a huge mall is not an easy task.
Malisha and Mala in the shopping mall
Malisha enjoying a ride in the Mall
The Edmonton Mall did not have the very famous department stores that are available in American malls. There were many small shops - some of the shops carrying clothes under popular brand names were not to be seen. The prices were similar to what you get in Australia. We did not see any advantage in buying things that are available in Australia.
We were in Edmonton for two nights. After shopping, we came back to the hotel and relaxed watching the TV. On the third day morning, we left the hotel and drove to our next destination Lethbridge.
We are now slowly moving towards Vancouver. Lethbridge is a small town, about 472 kilometres from Edmonton. On our way to Lethbridge, we stopped at a few small towns. In every small town, we invariably find the popular chain restaurants like McDonald, KFC and Subway. Then there is another popular chain restaurant called Tim Hortons which has become very popular in Canada. I have not seen this restaurant in America. It has more variety to cater to different pallets unlike McDonald and Kentucky. They have sweet things like cinnamon buns and doughnuts. They also have bagels and sandwiches and a variety of other things. First time I had hot coffee, but later I preferred to have an ice coffee from Tim Hortons. We also really enjoyed their jalapeno bagels. We’ve gone there several times just to eat them.
We also bought cherries, raspberries and blueberries from fruit stalls on the road. This is the Cherry and blueberry season. The berries were very fresh and cheap. There were several places where you can go to the farm and pluck your own cherries for an extremely cheap price (50c per pound!).
Raspberries looking fresh
We arrived at Lethbridge around 4:00PM and checked into the hotel Holiday inn Express. This is a good hotel like all the other Holiday inn express hotels. But we had booked a luxury family suite in this hotel. The room had two queen beds, a spare sitting area with a sofa bed, and two big TV sets. We were not planning any activities in Lethbridge. Malisha checked the internet and found a very good restaurant called Firestone Grill. We went there hoping we can get a table without a booking. We were surprised to see the place packed with people and there were more people waiting to get a table. We had to wait for about 20 minutes before getting a table. The food was extremely good and well presented.
Firestone Restaurant from outside
I and Malisha ordered steaks while mala ordered a Paella dish. Paella is a Spanish rice dish and wanted to see how they make it here in Canada. All three dishes were very tasty. We understood why the place is packed with people.
Mala’s Paella dish