Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ice carving Festival

 There is an ice carving festival going on in Edmonton this week. We were very excited to see all the sculptures!
 Oh no! The weather has been warm the last few days, and many of the sculptures have melted and fallen apart.
 We found a few pieces still standing.
 Or partially standing. This one was made by a team from New Zealand.
 Ha ha! It's true. The sculptures have gone back to nature.
 A pirate skull and crossbones
 This was a very cold bench! Maybe we should have grabbed one of the scarves off that tree!
 There were 6 ice slides for both kids and adults. We would have needed snow pants to keep warm while sliding.
 It was +2°C today. Even though that's warm for this time of year, we were happy to rest by the fire for a bit.
 There were other ways for the adults to keep warm, but the Grog Stop was closed during the daytime.
 An ice tractor
 An ice cannon
 This dancer was from the novice category. We think it would be fun for us to try making an ice sculpture.
 Hey, that's not an ice igloo! During the evening there are events held in here for kids.
 In the igloo, kids can learn how to carve ice into figures like this owl.
 We love our adventures in Canada so far. But we are starting to get homesick for Germany. It will be time to go home soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fort Edmonton

The North Saskatchewan River runs through Edmonton. Myra showed us 3 of the many bridges that cross the river: the High Level Bridge for cars on top, the Edmonton transit light rail bridge in the middle, and a pedestrian bridge underneath.
 Ooof, I'm so tired Paul. We need to take a break!
 We rested at the foot of this spot that marks the original location of Fort Edmonton in 1830.
 This is a statue of Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal who, among many accomplishments, was one of the founding members of the Canadian Pacific Railway.
 Can you see us? We are sitting on the feet of this totem pole, built by the Kwakiutl people of British Columbia in 1971.

After all our exploring, we had fun in the snow. I kept asking Paul to help me build my snowman, but he felt like making snow angels instead.
 We enjoyed learning more about Alberta on this lovely winter day. We can't wait to see what is next on our trip here.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Alberta Legislature Building

Today we explored the Alberta Legislature Building and the surrounding grounds. Edmonton is the provincial capital, and this is where the Legislative Assembly and the Executive Council meet.
 It is an impressive building that was started in 1907 and completed in 1913.
It took us a while but we made it up all the stairs to the front entrance.
This is the shield of Alberta, and it represents the natural resources of the province.
There are a lot of monuments on the Legislature grounds, so we were able to learn a lot about Alberta. This statue was unveiled in 2011 to commemorate the Catholic sisters of Alberta for their pioneering contributions to education, health care and social welfare.
 This monument commemorates those who have fallen in the line of duty working for the province.
The North-West Mounted Police eventually became the current Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the national police force.
Behind the Legislature Building, we saw the Centennial Flame which was lit December 31, 1966 to commemorate 100 years of Confederation.
We took the time to honour the Canadian Merchant Navy.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Second day at the optician

What?  I need eyeglasses.  Hans thinks this is very funny.  We took a look at the glasses in Myra's clinic.  Perhaps I should get this blue pair.
 Or maybe these glasses...they are made of wood!
These glasses are very interesting.  They  have wood inlays on the top.  But all the glasses are too big for me!
Myra showed us the smallest pair of glasses in the clinic, and they are still too big for me.  I guess I will have to wait until I get back to Germany to get some glasses.
So, Myra and her coworkers showed us how eyeglasses are made.  This is a lensmeter that measures the prescription in the eyeglass lenses.
Whoa! This is a prescription lens that has not yet been edged to a frame shape.  I had to help Hans pick it up.
That's better!
Myra showed us a few examples of lens blanks.  The higher the prescription for nearsightedness, the thicker the lenses are along the edges.
Myra's coworker Nicola let me help her make a pair of eyeglasses.  First we put a chuck in the middle of the lens to hold the lens in the edger.
Next we traced the shape of the lens in the new eyeglass frame.
Then we placed the lens inside the edger which uses a grinding stone to make the lens match the tracing we did.
There is the lens after the very noisy edging process.
And there is the lens after I have cleaned off all the leftover debris.  Now it is ready to go into the frame.
These are just some of the tools that are needed to adjust and repair eyeglasses.  Those screwdrivers are as tall as me!
Hans and I had a lot of fun at Myra's workplace.  If only she had snow goggles that fit us properly...