Refold the Map

‘All of life is a journey which paths we take, what we look back on, and what we look forward to is up to us. We determine our destination, what kind of road we will take to get there and how happy we are when we get there’.

Day by day I notice little things that differentiate Calgary from places I’ve lived before.

For one, public transport. Calgary has a tram service, the C-train, which passes through the downtown core, 7th Avenue, bustling with energy, people and business deals. Projecting out into the NW, NE and SE of the city and supplemented by bus routes to go further afield.  I find it pretty easy to navigate my way around the city, want to go to the zoo? – you got it , the malls? – bingo!

The connectivity of the system is important as though I passed my driving test when I was 18 I haven’t touched a steering wheel since.

I was told by Calgarians and expat forums that the public transport was dire. I see their point as I notice the reliance on their cars. When the city become a snowglobe and you have to step out into subzero temperatures to make your way to a platform that might have suspended or disrupted winter services, you’ll be wishing you were nursing your Tim Horton’s vanilla latte at a stop light and pulling into your underground parking stall.  But right now I’m just happy to be able to get to where I need to be when I need to be there.

Fares are dirt cheap here, $2.75 for a 90-minute ticket that gives you access to all routes (bus or tram) within the time allowance. This harshly contrasts with the UK which is laughable, with the fares going up and up.

The only gripe I have with the public transport here is getting to other cities. I know it’s due to the vastness and spread of the cities and towns across Canada but I miss being able to hop on a train without a second thought and go to London for the day to see the museums, Nottingham to see a rock concert or York to see the more traditional ye olde England side of Britain. It’s great for visiting people and places, and means I’m not stuck in the confines of one place for too long. No one wants to be barricaded inside the city limits.

C-train in the shadows on 7th avenue. 10/05/2010

Pacific Railway train tracks going into the city. 10/05/2010

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2 Comments

Filed under Calgary, Canada

2 responses to “Refold the Map

  1. Julie

    ugh…i take public transport and I live in SD. All my coworkers are suggesting I should get a car because the reason why I . But in the meantime I’m trying to settle (pay loans and finish the very last of my credit card debt) and have a set address. I’ll probably get a car in a few months but for now, I’m doing fine. I live in a very central location and very lucky to have friends who can give me a ride. can’t wait to hear more adventures of you in a new city/country/continent.

    oh speaking of address, I have to put my postcrossing on hold because I am moving out of my apartment at the end of this month. In June, I change my address so I can start sending postcards again!

  2. My parents are just coming back from spending some time in SD and they loved it, I think my dad is hoping to talk my mum into living out there.

    People think I’m nuts for not having a car too. Think of all the money we are saving in the meantime, says she who splurged on 3 magazines today.

    Email me your new address when you get it I found another epic scenery postcard for you 😀

    New city/country/continent – I like that! And I will !

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