I’m always fair in my evaluation of cities by first stating, I’m not a city girl, but when I drove up to the neighborhood where my AirBnB was for the week, part of my soul died. It was a cookie cutter neighborhood with big box stores—houses, condos, and apartments built on top of each other void of character. My negative gut reaction to the neighborhood was powerfully strong and confirmed I will never be able to live in a place like that again.
Let me also add, the road network in Calgary…is absolutely terrible. I’ve never encountered so many car accidents before and found a road network so profoundly jacked up. The lanes merge at exits, expanded at entryways causing drivers to have to cross over multiple lanes to get on the correct highway and offered limited options to get to where you need to go.
The oil industry caused the rapid expansion of Calgary and the required planning to develop a thriving city and surrounding outskirts didn’t happen.
I arrived on a Friday and planned to use the weekend to explore the city and then venture to Banff that upcoming Monday. The Stampede was going on and while these types of events are not normally my thing, I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zones on this trip. Plus, it’d been a long time since I’d been to a rodeo.
Saturday was raining all day so I took advantage of the bad weather to escape to the gym. On Sunday, I made it to the Stampede. It was as expected fair full of food vendors, games, rides, and pavilions with various animals and other things to see. I walked around for a while but my true purpose was to catch the rodeo. After paying a cheap seat, I settled in to watch some rodeo, barrel racing and bull riding. Unfortunately, it began to rain and I had to escape inside to avoid getting soaked. I was bummed out because I was enjoying myself.
By the time I made it back to my car, it was pouring down rain. I was looking forward to getting to the mountains!