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Canada Diary Part 12 – En Route to Lethbridge

Canada Diary Part 12 – En Route to Lethbridge

We bade a very sad farewell to Two Jack, Banff and the Rocky Mountains and headed East in the direction of the Canadian prairies, for a week of luxury at the Paradise Canyon Golf Resort in Lethbridge, thanks to a South African timeshare swap.

 

As we headed out of the mountains, the landscape changed from towering peaks and dense forests to wide open farmlands. Field after field of bright yellow canola in full bloom, mixed with green wheat and other crops in all their summer glory. Cute picture perfect farmhouses were dotted around the place, with neat American style barns and hers of colourful horses grazing in the open meadows among wild flowers.

Bright yellow fields of Canola

Bright yellow fields of Canola

Lured by large billboards on the highway showing photos of happy families welcoming visitors, we stopped for a picnic lunch in a little town called Cayley. Everything looked neat and tidy but it was really strange as there was not another soul in sight. After driving up and down the empty streets we found our way to a wooden shed labelled as the community centre with picnic tables on a green lawn and ate our lunch in this odd ghost town, before hitting the highway again.

Cayley's "Community Centre"

Cayley’s “Community Centre”

We drove through fascinating hamlet after hamlet and were lured into stopping at a place called Nanton when the boys spotted two huge mounted fighter jets marking the entrance to an air force museum. It was sadly poignant to read the monuments at the entrance which listed all the names of Nanton’s young men who lost their lives in the two world wars (so many names from such a tiny place in the middle of nowhere) as well as a list of all the Canadian soldiers who died serving the bomber squad in World War 2 – thousands and thousands and thousands of names … heartbreaking.

Nanton Air force museum Air force 1

The museum was fascinating and contained many real life aircraft, including bombers riddled with tennis ball sized holes. The boys loved it, but all agreed that they would definitely NOT like to go to war. Ever.

Captain Cian

Captain Cian

Lieutenant Luke

Lieutenant Luke

Air force 4 Air force 5

Nanton also hosts the most fabulous sweet shop. Who would have thought that this tiny little town would be home to the biggest candy store we have ever seen? We acted like kids in a candy store and stocked our basket full of sugary treats. Next door was an ice cream parlour packed with people licking their way through its huge menu, and next to that was a vintage fashion store and antique shop. Nanton’s streets are lined with historic buildings and houses that look like they are straight out of the Wild West. I guess this little gem of a town with a huge history is probably a well-known destination here in Alberta, but our self-discovery made it all the more delightful for us.

So full of sweets!

So full of sweets!

Kids in a candy store

Kids in a candy store

On arrival in Lethbridge, we were immediately impressed with the quality and state of its facilities. Neat, large roads, brand new housing estates, loads of shops, well-kept gardens – it was gorgeous.  And as we rounded the bend and descended into the canyon, verdant green golf course grass framed by a river and dramatic red rolling hills, we were taken aback by its beauty.

A pair of mule deer running on the golf course

A pair of mule deer running on the golf course

Hee-hee, as I entered our condo I felt like a kid in a candy store for the second time that day. Beautiful kitchen, plush carpets, luxurious en-suite bathrooms. I ran from room to room squealing in delight at all these creature comforts. Devices plugged in and charging, hair washed and blow-dried and the comforting hum of the washing machine sanitising our clothes – I fell asleep on my cloud of crisp white linen – clean, content and with a big smile on my face.

Paradise condo

Paradise condo – a step up from canvas!

 

Yours in travel

Signature

 

 

Did you miss any of our previous diary entries? Click below to catch up:

Canada Diary Part 11 – Beautiful Banff

Canada Diary Part 10 – Johnston Canyon and the Abominable Blanket

 

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