The City Of Edmonton Will Totally Catch You By Surprise

On my way to Ft. McMurray Canada in the Alberta oil sands, I arrived in Edmonton yesterday to take a tour of a big oil research facility here today.

The Edmonton airport was small, and walking from the jet to the door I couldn’t help but thinking how it made the Williston, ND airport seem almost cosmopolitan.

The drive in from the landing strip was filled with industrial operations blowing steam and smoke, motels, and a lot of truck traffic all under a steel grey sky. Not the most picturesque place.

Looking at downtown from the hotel it was hard to be impressed and the drive to the city centre was filled with strip malls, a handful of strip joints, and massage parlors. The parlors are now open 24 hours a day though new legislation is trying to change that.

As I crept toward the city I passed the historic district, a farmers market, and before I knew it I was on a road overlooking the North Saskatchewan River and the city of Edmonton seeming to hang off a bluff on the far side, hundreds of feet above the water.

I know this sounds like a tourism campaign run amok, but the skyscrapers built over the wide waterway,  the massive bridges for rail and car, combined with spots to walk and look around, were stunning. I did my best to capture it all in one shot, but it proved impossible and I settled for a few that that will have to do.

Across the river and in the heart of downtown there were more types of restaurants than I can name including Sri Lanken and Persian, loft apartment buildings, and plenty of parking.

The clouds are even thicker today, but there is still no rain so I’ll be sure to get some great pictures on the tour coming up in a bit and post them later today.

EdmontonEdmonton from the fourth floor of the Best Western and yes that’s a sea gull flying in the middle of the shot. They’re everywhere.

Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider

EdmontonThat castle looking place on the right is the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Edmonton’s oldest hotel open since 1915 — King George VI stayed here in 1939 with Elizabeth when she was just a girl

Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider

EdmontonThat stadium is home to the Edmonton Capitals a pro baseball team known originally called the Edmonton Cracker-Cats

Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider

EdmontonThat white train is part of the Edmonton Light Rail Transit system built in 1974 to help commuters get in and out of the city which is home to more than 800,000 people

Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider

EdmontonThe bluff from were this shot was taken was at least 100 feet above the water

Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider

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