Calgary, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, and Waterton.

With some cities, it’s love at first sight; others grow on you, and yet others leave you cold. Calgary is the latter. It is tidy and orderly; undoubtedly offering a comfortable lifestyle, but with no personality. Insipid and bland, it boasts no cutting edge architecture nor ancient ruins to stir up your emotions. The buildings are plain and functional, the streets are clean, the people ain’t no fashion forwarders. The only radical side is manifested in numerous tattoos and some wacky-colored hair. Most of the population, though, and the city itself are utterly boring and forgettable.
The ride to Waterton was just as forgettable save for the stop at the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump: a museum on the site where the tribe of the native people called Blackfoot used to hunt bisons, running them off the cliff. The site is run by the members of the Blackfoot nation. One stately old man named Little Leaf welcomed us in, and another man, young and handsome, bearing a prosaic name of William, gave us a tour. William would not look out of place in full feathered regalia, riding a hoarse to a battle. Hollywood should really seek him out. Chingachgook he was; the Big Snake incarnate. A handsome Indian brave with a big smile and dimples. I was smitten.
Waterton is a tiny resort town at the feet of the Rockies. It sits on a pretty lake and has a nice backdrop of the mountains. The best view is from the most adorable Prince of Whales Hotel – a structure out of a Russian fairytale. A terem in the heart of Canada. As behooves a proper terem, it is constructed out of ornate carved wood decorated with colorful paint. It is coming on its 100th year soon and exudes the characteristic order of old wood. The view from the lobby is drop dead gorgeous: overlooking the lake between the mountains.
The town itself is reminiscent of a small trading post town, stuck in the 1960’s or earlier. Kinda cute, but the size of a small housing development. Again, tidy and orderly, not much personality. Oh, and the people everywhere are so obedient! Nobody crosses the road on red light and, God forbid, jay-walks!


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