First of all, I’m going to start this post by apologizing to my friend, Lojo. We were in Calgary this past weekend for my cousin’s wedding and did not call you. It was a lightning trip, as we drove out Friday and came back Sunday, and the weekend was full of family events. And it’s worth noting that I feel extra bad about it, after realizing that it is your birthday this week. :( However, we did think of you every time we passed a sign for Red Deer or saw a rig worker. We do plan to return, as despite all the family events, we didn’t actually get to spend very much time with any one family member. We are going to try for before the winter, as we want to get out to Canmore and see some mountains.
Anyway, Alberta is a confusing place. Because Calgary is such a large city, I often (mistakenly) assume it to have a certain amount of class and culture, like cities are supposed to. Not so. We found this beautiful machine parked in a lot which contained about 80% pick-up trucks:
I hadn’t been to Calgary since about 2007, and that was for a wedding as well, so I didn’t do much. I’ve *never* driven myself around Calgary before, only ever on family trips where I sat in the back and gawked at the mountains the entire time they were visible. I really don’t understand the allure of this city. Many people in Saskatoon “aspire” to live in Calgary, or have some jealousy for those that have already “moved on up” to the city. Sure, it’s bigger than Saskatoon, but what is the real attraction? The only thing I can really see as being better than Saskatoon is its proximity to the mountains. In terms of the city itself, I see very few qualities that would convince me to move there. Although, their downtown skyline is much more impressive than Saskatoon, but the city still seems to opting to grow out, rather than up. But even compared to Saskatoon, Calgary is very poorly planned and sprawling. Everywhere we tried to go was at least a 30 minute drive and involved several different freeways. There is a lot of open/unused space and their signs are all screwed up. I still cannot figure out what is with all the directions on the street signs. The sign for Stoney Trail had two branches, South and North, but the road itself was running east and west? Then, add the fact that we were navigating with GPS on Matt’s phone, which was telling us what DIRECTION to head on Stoney Trail, it was all very frustrating. An instruction like “Head Southwest on Stoney Trail North” was written “Stoney Tr N SW” at the top of the screen. Wow, good thing I am an excellent navigator. We managed to get lost only once, and that was when the phone battery died and I was winging it. Not too bad.
That being said, before leaving Calgary, we did manage to get to the science center to see the Body Worlds exhibit. It was fascinating and surprisingly artistic and beautiful. I am considering filling out the donation paperwork, as I think it’s a wonderful and respectful celebration of the human form. Although, there was one method of the plastination that I was most excited by. There was a chicken, a lamb and a few body parts where the only part that remained were the arteries, blood vessels and capillaries. It’s amazing to see all these little blood rivers stand alone.
There’s some controversy about where the bodies come from. I think it’s mostly because members of religious groups have a hard time understanding that there are plenty of people who would gladly donate their bodies to science and education, and don’t view the human form with the same shame and disgust that the church would.
I quite enjoyed the exhibit, and if ever I have the chance to view any of the other versions (This one was Body Worlds 2 & The Brain – Our Three Pound Gem), I would gladly see them. And I would highly recommend it to everyone. There were even a lot of people with small children there, and I think that’s great. It’s important to expose your children to things at a young age. Respect to those people. Respect.