The Golden Kangaroo Awards

The awards for irritating two Australian travllers go to:

1) BELL for its infuriating internet terminals – I feel a case of RSI coming on already.

2) LA – for being a krispy kreme donut. Where did the centre go?

3) Toilets – Dunny technology in Australia is far superior. Don’t ask me why.

4) Hibernating tourist operators in PEI and the Rockies. What’s up eh?

5) Pull when you ought to push!

Next time we’re going on the three day 5 city express. Arggh ask us more.

Nothinglike a good whinge while waiting for a connecting flight at the airport, eh?


Libraries in PEI…


There are a number of libraries all over the island which are connected. They still appear to be using Dynix (surprise!).

we went to two – one in Summerside and one in Charlottetown. The one in Summerside was titled “Rotary Public Library”, and was housed int eh old train station. Packed the collections and equipment in (8 PC terminals + more OPACS). There were two staff on duty – given that there was approx 7 people in the library apart from us – seems resonable.

Teenagers in these libraries don’t appear to be served well. They have their standard book collection and magazine collection. Graphic Novels? I don’t think anyone has heard of them there! I know I shouldn’t be so harsh – given that I didn’t ask anyone about it.

When we called in the library at Charlottetown, they were setting up for a session of adults near the fiction at the back of the library (session on a Sunday afternoon – sounds familiar!! 🙂 ) The library itself was fairly busy. They did have a security guard… why I don’t know. It is PEI – they don’t appear to take money for anything. He wandered around the place and flicked through magazines & books every so often. Poor bloke he looked bored!

Teen section there was sooo small – I couldn’t take a photo because a person was sitting in the area and I was trying to be inconspicous. Children’s section was upstairs – looks roomy.

Sadly no Library Bag!!! Don’t these people realise their marketing potential??? “We used to have them a few years ago but now we have plastic bags”. Sigh. At least they publish a large booklet on activities for the season.

HK 🙂

PEI and Montreal

Montreal is one of my favourite cities. But this time we didn’t get off to an auspicious start. Some old man with a bag decided that it would be a good idea to fall backwards on the escalator onto me. My poor right ankle (yes it is the same one) had to support my weight and his weight!! Thankfully, some quick thinking Viarail officials sorted out the situation and we went on our merry ways, with a slighly puffy ankle.

Montreal was interesting in the fall, you could sense all the activitiy was about to move indoors. The waterfront, very busy in summer and good fun, had all but shutdown as they prepared for ice and snow. Quite a contrast. Helen and I tried to navigate the underground city this time, but unlike Calgary Montreal does not have very good “wayfinding”.

PEI is a rural rolling landscape. I suspect it becomes a swarming tourist mecca in summer. The key is to try and find it in between, without the tourists but with some of the infrastructure operating having said that CBC1 PEI has been an invaluable source of information – so when you see some buffalo pictures you’ll know why!

Bye for now.


Currently in PEI.

Its cold & windy.

Fall colous are lovely.

Not many tourists – Anne of Green Gables fans will be pleased to note that Cavendish is like a Ghost town.

We are staying where there are speed skaters in town – it feels like Eugene all over again.

More later.. someone is wanting to use the computer!

I’m Back

I know that it has looked like that Helen had left me somewhere without a computer… But it is not true, she is just very keen to let you know about libraries and all that stuff and I can’t get on the computer.

The last time I wrote we were in Banff, from there we drove into Calgary. It was a cold and rainy day. It is interesting how the weather can alter your general impression of the place. I found that on the first day I didn’t like Calgary too much. But the very next day we had some sunshine, and I liked it much more.

Our B&B had a great view of the City and the rockies in the background. Overnight they had become completely covered in snow. The day after we left Calgary received 10cm of snow. So far, we’ve been lucky with the weather.

In Calgary nearly all the public and private buildings are connected with the +15 (+15 feet in the air), a series of corridors and over-street walkways so you can stay warm by never setting foot on street.

We are now enjoying our stay with Canadian Kwakas. It is certainly a pleasure to stay with family as part of our holiday. We’ve enjoyed fall colour in and around Bowmanville. To keep the gunzel experience going we visited the York – Durham Railway – run earnestly by volunteers and had a ball! For those with a polish influence, the local Oshawa Polish Club has great perogies and cabbage roles, highly recommended.

As I write, I am watching the weather forecast, there appears to be a lot of snow…. But not here yet!!!!

Calgary to Toronto…

After a short but interesting visit to Calgary we went to Toronto with Westjet Thankfully we escaped before the 10 cm fall in snow!

We were lucky enough to get two seats at the back of the plane (no I don’t really want to discuss plane flights). The service was good. The flight attendants were amusing, and given once we landed the journey to the terminal took 10 minutes which was taken up with jokes. The service is simple and much like Virgin but includes a drink and light snack.

Once met by my cousin we had a leisurely drive down the 401 to Bowmanville. For those people who are uneducated about the 401 knows that this aint the truth.

Calgary Public Library

One of the first things we did in Calgary was visit the main branch of the Calgary Public Library .

The building was 6 floors high and the public space is on the first five floors. The main entrance includes the checkout/checkin desk the information desk and open shelves full of staff recommendations from all the different genres in fiction and non-fiction.

Each of the different floors has a different theme and colour – good way finding! Lots of shelving for the collections.

As a tourist..

In Bannff we went up the Gondola and swam in the Banff Springs.

At the time we went up it was 7 degrees at the top.

However, while staying in Banff we did lash out and stayed at the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel. Our most expensive place on the trip – but it was delightful. However the reason I mention this was that on the map they give you it says “a short walk/hike to the Banff Springs and Gondola.” I am sorry to inform these people – but it is in no way a short walk. A hike, yes. To me a walk is a covered footpath with SIGNS. The signs on this path were few and few between – okay the signs were coloured tape attached to trees. Ah a yellow peice of tape we must be going the right way. Of course we didn’t take the umbrellas and it was about 10 degrees out, and the path was slightly muddy, and it was a horse trail. I’ll leave the rest of the walk up to your imaginations. All I will say is that we made up it, and back down again.

The spings themselves were a hot 41 degrees – and there was light rain fall. We had the pool to ourselves for 15 minutes – given the cold weather this turned a few people off. The cost was cheap $7.50 (trust me this is cheap). A holiday highlight.


Banff is a pretty town – well it has to be given it is surrounded by a few mountains. All the street signs are animals (bear street, cougar… I think you get the picture), and all the buildings aren’t too high. Although I will tell you it is a very tourist town.

There must bee a large number of tourists in Banff who spend their money in the shops. All I bought was a couple of postcards and chocolate fudge – ah.