Wednesday, December 31, 2014

On the way to Edmonton

Today we drove from Calgary to Edmonton, where our host lives. We enjoyed seeing how flat the Canadian Prairies are. And so much snow!
After 3 1/2 hours, we made it to Myra's house. She made some hot tea to warm us up before we headed to bed.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Boxing Day

It turns out that Boxing Day is all about shopping! The day after Christmas, Canadians go out really early to shop and the stores have huge discounts to bring people into their stores.
We were amazed with all the crowds of people who were out just a day after receiving Christmas presents!
And the line ups to get into some store were crazy long! Luckily Myra didn't want to go in those stores.
We thought about buying this board game to help us learn more about Canada.

We watched people making these interesting candy apples. We don't think we could tackle the double candy apple snowman!
These boots are styled like the Inuit kamiks or mukluks. They look like they would be very warm for the cold Canadian winters.
We got tired of walking around such a big shopping mall so we hitched a ride on this horse.
All the shopping made us hungry so Myra got us a Canadian snack called poutine. Originally from the province of Quebec, it has French fries, cheese curds, and gravy.

The three of us got bored with the shopping so Myra introduced us to some Canadian wildlife that happened to be in the mall. This brown bear was awfully mean.
This deer was much friendlier than the bear.
We found a hunting store with lots of animals to play with!
These moose were huge! We'll make sure we don't get them riled up.
We met a very tall polar bear.
We found that this black bear was much nicer than the brown bear.
Ummm, Hans? Are wolves friendly?
Paul told Myra that he caught a huge fish like this once! Hans just laughed!
We couldn't decide if we wanted to hang out with this bison or take a ride on the ATV behind him.
This bull must get awfully cold waiting out here to greet shoppers.
Well, that was enough shopping for us! We are ready for nap time. See you all later.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas dinner

 Wow! There was so much food for Christmas dinner. This is lechon kawali, fried pork belly. It's a popular dish at Filipino potluck dinners.
 This is lumpia shanghai, fried spring rolls. It's one of Myra's favourite foods so we tried it, and we agree it's quite yummy.
 There is always a fish entrée at a Filipino potluck dinner. "Look how huge those fish are, Paul!" "I don't think I can eat all of that, Hans!"
 This dish is called Bicol Express. It's a stew with pork, coconut milk, shrimp paste, garlic, and long chilies. We thought it was very spicy, but Myra said this was a very mild version. We can't imagine what the spicy version would taste like!
 One of the desserts was called bibingka. It's a rice cake with cheese and a piece of salted duck egg on top. The cake was tasty, but the salted egg was a little odd.
Oh, we are so full! That was a great dinner. It is amazing that we are in Canada, but we got to learn a bit about Filipino culture. Myra says that's the great thing about living in Canada. Everyone can share their cultures and traditions. We are off to bed. We are going to experience something called "Boxing Day" tomorrow, and we have to wake up very early for this. Merry Christmas, or as it is said in Tagalog "Maligayang Pasko"!

Christmas in Calgary

 We made it to Calgary in time for Christmas with Myra! Everyone is getting ready for a big Filipino dinner so we are looking forward to seeing all the delicious food! Merry Christmas to everyone!!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

St. Raphaels ruins

We traveled to Glengarry, Ontario to see St. Raphaels ruins!

Built in 1821, the church of St. Raphael's was one of the earliest Roman Catholic churches in Canada. Consumed by a fire in 1970, the church was completely gutted. However, the walls remained standing. Since 1999, this site has been declared a National Historic site.
Here we are inside the St. Raphael's Ruins! To the left you can see the bell that survived the 1970 fire, although half melted, it now sits on display. It was very cool to see these beautiful ruins; a wonderful part of Canada's history!

Canada's Smallest Jail

We traveled all the way to Coboconk, Ontario and were able to see "Canada's Smallest Jail."
This jail house was vacant for 50 years before it was purchased by the Coboconk New Horizons Club in 1974. Since the construction of the jail in 1899, the limestone walls that were mined from a local quarry and the iron bars remain unchanged. It is now a designated heritage site and museum.
With only 2 cells and a single wardens office, this is truly a very small jail!

Merry Christmas

Dear friends and followers, we wish you a merry christmas! Best geratings from Canada your Hans and Paul!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Ottawa Adventure (part 3)

 There's not much water in the canal right now because it's being drained to make it better for skating. Someone is keeping a very large boat in this lock over the winter.

This is the oldest building in Ottawa. It was built in 1826 and was part of the headquarters for 

building the canal. Today it is a museum about the history of Ottawa.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ottawa Adventure (part 2)

 This is the library on Parliament Hill. It's not open to the public because it's only for people who work in the government. In 1916 there was a fire that destroyed most of the original center block of parliament. The library is the only part left from the original building.
  Here we are sitting in front of the Canadian flag along with the flags of each of the provinces and territories.
We decided to get a closer look at the canal so we walked down to see it. In about a month the canal will be frozen thick enough that people will be able to skate on it! Each winter, 8km of the canal in Ottawa is open for skating. It's known as "The World's Longest Skating Rink".

Next part is comming tomorrow...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Ottawa Adventure (part 1)

Here we are sitting on a bridge in downtown Ottawa over the Rideau Canal. The canal runs 202km from Kingston to Ottawa and was built in the early 1800's. This is the end of the canal where it runs into the Ottawa River. The strange gates are locks that let the boats pass between the different water levels of the river and the canal. 
Here we are outside Parliament Hill. This is where Canada's government meets. The tall tower in the middle is called the Peace Tower and it has a clock at the top that chimes every hour. Our host assures us that Parliament Hill is much busier during the summer, especially on Canada Day when there are people everywhere! 
 his is the view from the back of Parliament Hill. You can see it's a very tall hill! The building across the canal on the right is the National Art Gallery. Across the river in the distance is the province of Quebec.

Next part is comming tomorrow...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Christmas tree

Now that exams are finished at Bishop’s University, we are visiting Ottawa with our host. It was a very long bus ride from Sherbrooke so we have spent the past couple of days recovering from exam stress with our host at her home. She has a beautiful Christmas wreath on her door which we climbed into for this picture!

Yesterday we helped decorate the Christmas tree so we rewarded ourselves with some delicious gingerbread cookies and a glass of eggnog, typical foods for a Canadian Christmas.

Here we are in front of the Christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

At the concert

We attended a concert given by the Bishop's University singers and the Orchestre symphonique de Sherbrooke. The music performed was Handel's Messiah, which is commonly performed at Christmas time. We watched from the balcony and discussed the amazing performance during the intermission.   

On a chilly afternoon, we went to a Christmas market in Sherbrooke. We saw a Ferris wheel, a giant decorated Christmas tree and vendors selling a variety of things, from fur hats to pottery. We also sampled delicious local cheese. Canada is beautiful during the holiday season!