My first ever visit to the flatter prairie provinces, Winnipeg, Manitoba was a whirlwind trip to attend a couple of biz meetings and snap scenic photos with my SLR. With two hours from the time my plane landed to my first meeting, I jetted to Viscount Gort hotel, dropped off my bags and proceeded to walk into what I was told should be the way to the beautiful "Forks" area, where Red River and Saskatchewan River meet.
As I started to take what I thought was the right turn, I started noticing a little less artsy appearance and a little more roughed up looking patrons at local outlets. Right next to the cultural centre and a giant poster proclaiming Manitoba's cultural diversity, straggly wanderers stumbled past. Assuming the Forks must be further on, I kept walking, until a bus driver told me to get on his bus, to take me away from the "rif raff". Well, it wasn't THAT rough around there, but I guess even mini cities like e-town and the 'peg have their sketchy parts.
Given the time it took to wander down Main St. the wrong way, I had barely forty-five minutes in the Forks to check out my shutter speed and aperture settings, adjusting white balance and hoping a few turned out.
While the buildings are more historic, and the river more rocky, I think I prefer e-town's slightly bigger downtown to here, at least with the revitalization plans in place (what, another 10 years to the next development, City of Edmonton?) Next time I'll take the time to pursue the city's museums, learn more about Louis Riel and take more walks along the river. A night view would also have been picturesque, but the tight business schedule did not allow for night perusing!
One stop I would recommend would be Fude Cuisine, a great restaurant on Osbourne Street, which likens itself to the Whyte Ave, Kensington or Kitsilano areas of Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver. Just a random find when the consultants and I were in a bit of a rush to attend a focus group, it turned out to be the perfect vegan restaurant for my diet!
Air Canada, taken ONLY because of the free points "bleh" turned out to be the tiniest Air Canada Jazz flight I have ever taken, with the worst service. They charge you for seat selections now! However, a generous gift from a colleague of Maple Leaf Lounge passes changed my perception of the quality they can provide. The free pass almost made up for the airline - Irish cream lattes, salad, soup, bread (which I couldn't eat), free alcohol, Baileys, tv, magazines, sofas, private rooms, and personalized service. Steph and I may have to look into this for Peru!
Look at the pics below to see what the "elite" pay for:
Back home with puppy - I am so happy to have time to work on my e-town projects, freelancing and tutoring again. Less than 4 more weeks till I get a real trip!