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Day 11 - Bye Bye Campervan, Hello Fairmont Palliser, Calgary

This is the day where we go from the sublime to the ridiculous - from a campervan in a snowy trailerpark half way up a mountain to a five star hotel in the middle of a city on a very flat plain. And I can't say we're disappointed to leave the van behind - I've been finding it very difficult to sleep in the van, as the heating (which was essential) kept on turning itself on very loudly at regular intervals during the night. Plus, if we have to be honest, RV/campervan holidays haven't suited us. We've found the last week frustrating, as one of the pleasures of touring for us is just that - touring! Not having to worry about every extra kilometre we drive because of the cost of the surcharge and the petrol. We haven't driven anywhere near as much as we would usually, and because of the very cold weather, most of the other activities (like lake cruises and horse riding) that we would have been tempted to do haven't been open to us either. So - dare I say this? We have been bored. We've felt as if we've been trying to find things to do every day, just to get through them. Let's face it, when the highlight of your day is a visit to the Laundromat, or the Whistle Stop pub, you have a problem!

Acordian Players in the park

So it was with some pleasure that we looked forward to our stay in Calgary. The sun was out - and everything always looks better when the weather is good. We were dropped off at the front entrance at around 11:00 am, and our cases were whisked off by the bell boy. Our room is on the third floor, and is very old fashioned and plush - I am reall looking forward to sleeping in a comfortable bed tonight. The first thing I did was to wallow in a hot bubble bath - it sure beats the dribble of a shower in the loo of the campervan!

Then we picked up the backpack, grabbed a map from the reception desk, and set out exploring. The bell-boy recommended we head down Stephen Avenue Walk (an outside pedestrian mall), then turn hard right and head north towards the river and Prince's Island Park. This was a great walk - and everyone was out running, in-line skating, cycling, and just generally having fun in the sun. We took a slow walk back, and had a snooze before finding ourselves a restaurant for dinner.

Now, this didn't prove to be as easy as we'd imagined. After our expensive week in the campervan, we decided to try and economise. Most of the restaurants around the hotel seem moderately expensive. Art had the good idea of heading for Chinatown. In Calgary, this area is not quite the mass of restaurants that you find in other cities - but there were a number of various Asian cuisines, all at reasonable prices. We ended up in the 'ABC Bakery & Restaurant'. Not posh, but a set meal for 2 was $24.99, and the hot Chinese tea just kept on coming. Tomorrow night, I want to persuade Art to try Korean or Vietnamese - but he's not looking too sure…

Cost of Renting a Campervan

We did a very quick calculation about how much our 8 nights in a campervan has cost us. Bear in mind, we did around 1,260 km in all.

Van rental - 8 days @ $52.39 CAD per day = $419.12
Additional insurance @ $15 CAD per day = $120.00
500km package @ $170 CAD
760km @ $0.39 CAD per km! = $296.40
Add 5% tax = $50.28 CAD

So

Van cost - $1055.80
Petrol - approx $300 CAD
Trailer Park fees $32.30 CAD x 8 nights = $258.40

Total cost of 8 nights RV rental was $1614.20 CAD - which is over $200 CAD per day!!!

Just to put this in context: looking on www.wotif.com at hotel rooms in Jasper, we could stay at the Lobstick Lodge (Rate includes WiFi, use of computers, business centre, car parking, hot tub, coffee and tea facilities, toiletries, newspapers, fitness centre, sauna, swimming pool and guest service shuttle) for $110 CAD per night. And we could have rented a Suzuki Swift with unlimited milage for $222 CAD for the 8 days (that includes all fees) - $27.85 CAD per day.

So - would we rent a RV/campervan again? Just so we can stop and make a cup of tea whenever we want to? No way!

The Fairmont Palliser foyer
Stephen Avenue, the restaurant area

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terris_travelogue/canada/k_calgary.txt · Last modified: 2011/05/22 16:07 by tel
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