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For this article, I am breaking my road trip timeline a little bit, to write briefly about three cities I have visited in southern Alberta before and after going to Waterton Park, the subject of my next article.
Vulcan, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat
July 19th – Vulcan and Lethbridge
I left the “Provincial Dinosaur Park” early in the morning and I hit the road to get to “Waterton Park”. Along the way, I made a detour to Vulcan, to take pictures for a friend, but also out of curiosity. Vulcan is the self-proclaimed Star Trek capital of Canada. Despite what one might think, it is the name of the city that created this tourism development around Star Trek, not the movie that gave its name to the city. Vulcan exists for a long time, long before the first the Star Trek movie, and has been named after the Roman god of fire.
Most of the “attractions” are around the tourist information centre, but there are some others in several places in the city. The tourist information centre has the shape of a spaceship and also acts as a museum with some seemingly authentic pieces from the movies.
I have not spent more than an hour in this town, but I have not regretted this fun little detour.
Before arriving at Waterton, I stopped in Lethbridge, solely to see the railway viaduct. So yes, it is impressive seen from below, but you have to be very specific for it to break records: it is the highest and longest steel trestle bridge in the world: 1624 m long and 95.7 m. In comparison, the railway bridge “Beipan River Shuibai” rises at 275 m and the railway bridge “Danyang-Kunshan” is 164 km long!
I parked next to it, and after a nap, I went to walk around and to take some pictures. Nothing more 🙂
July 20th – Medicine Hat
I discovered Medicine Hat while searching what would be interesting to see in Alberta. This city was on my way and a at good distance from my departure to have a break there. Again, I did not stay long, but the city seemed pretty quiet to me … too quiet for my taste. I arrived in the evening, before nightfall. The tourist information centre was already closed and clearly highlighted the prohibition to park there for the night. Waiting for the storm to pass, I looked on the Internet where I could sleep.
My first instinct was, as usual, to locate a Wal-Mart: no luck, it still exists, but is closed down, and again, from the comments, the municipality banned the parking there for the night. After 15 minutes of fruitless searching, I decided to trust my instinct and I hit the road in search of a quiet place.
It was not long, next to the tourist information centre is the Giant Teepee, and below it, I found a parking lot next to a park. I parked as far away from other cars as I could, against a wall. It’s only by walking in the park before going to bed that I realized that this park is actually golf course … and I returned quietly to sleep in my car: P
The next morning I went to take some photos of this Giant Teepee (the highest in the world, another record!!) and I went downtown for a coffee. It’s pretty nice, with old brick buildings. I then drove to the main attraction of the city: the historic industrial clay district. I did not take the time to visit the museum, but I walked around the facilities, and again took some pictures. 😉
I left Medicine Hat toward Saskatchewan noon.
Photos de Vulcan
Photos de Lethbridge
Photos de Medicine Hat