Tag Archives: skylines

Isolation In The Midst Of A Big City: Nose Hill Park, Calgary, Canada

Optimized-DSCN2269An entrance to Nose Hill Park in Calgary, Canada, accessible off John Laurie Blvd.

After travelling Southeast Asia a second time in the winter of 2012, I decided to settle down in the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta for a while. My motivations were twofold. One, to spend some quality time with my sister’s family, who I felt I hadn’t been seeing enough during my time in the mountains and travelling overseas. And two, to give myself time to save up some badly needed cash while considering my next move.

Being a lover of the outdoors, it took me little time to seek out the many expansive parks that this city has to offer. Nose Hill Park in Northwest Calgary is chief among them. It is one of the largest parks in North America, and features undulating buttes, pocket valleys with tight, thick brush, and killer views of downtown Calgary, and the Rocky Mountains.

Optimized-DSCN2271The wide open grassy plains that comprise most of Nose Hill – yes, you are the middle of a city of 1 million people … but you’d never know it here.

Optimized-DSCN2306The long, lonely path leads you through a land of sweetgrass, puffy clouds, and nobody else to keep you company but your own soul (except in popular areas, where you will encounter dog-walkers and joggers 😛 )

Optimized-DSCN2281Looking Northwest, we see the low density of suburban Calgary, and the beginning of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Calgary is within visual range of the Rockies, but sometimes, it can be hard to see, depending on atmospheric conditions. Strain your eyes, and you might see the silhouette of them in the distance 😛

But it is by walking around to the south side of the park, that views of Calgary’s formidable skyline of gleaming glass skyscrapers can be had in abundance…

Optimized-DSCN2309Seemingly sprouting out of a field of daisies, Calgary’s urban core stands in stark contrast to the nature that will surround you on your meaderings through Nose Hill Park. It makes for a killer photo opp though, so bring along your telephoto lenses and snap a much better pic than I did (NOTE TO SELF: Get a DLSR ASAP!)

How do you get here? If you have a rental car, drive north on 14th Street until you’re in the N.W. The park should be unmissable, rolling up on your left after driving approximately five minutes north of the downtown core.

For those without a car, you could take the train to Brentwood station and either walk along Charleswood Drive until you reach the park, or then catch the #72 bus, and then get off as soon as you cross 14th Street N.W. From there, it is a short walk to the park near the Calgary Winter Club.

Have an urban park that you are dying to share with the world? Tell us about it below!

Photo: Bangkok Skyline, Sukhumvit Road Area

The view of the Bangkok Skyline from near Sukhumvit RoadThe largess of the Sukhumvit Road area of Bangkok, as seen from the highway headed towards the Eastern Provinces of Thailand

Known as the Big Mango, Bangkok is essentially the NYC of Southeast Asia. It is a massive city filled with people from every corner of the world. Some are here for business. For others, pleasure.

The former have no doubt made their mark on the Bangkok skyline, gracing it with innumerable skyscrapers. From food to entertainment to the palpable buzz generated by everyday life in this megalopolis of 14 million people, it’s clear to me personally what I feel when I roll into town from the Southern or Eastern islands after dark: I’m home, baby!

Photo: The Calgary Skyline, As Viewed From Scotchman’s Hill

Calgary skyline Downtown Calgary, as viewed from Scotchman’s Hill

More Philippines will be coming on the blog later this week, but first, let’s pay homage to the city I’m about to leave in 3 1/2 weeks. Calgary, the largest city in Alberta, home of the 10 day Calgary Stampede (one of Canada’s best known festivals), and one of the wealthiest cities in all of North America, has been my home for the past year.

I took this time to save some green, see my sister and her young family, and plot my next move (teaching English in South Korea, May 2013!).

In between these main preoccupations, I did a fair bit of exploring, being the uncurable traveller that I am. The picture above is the highlight of one of these outings … a view of the Calgary skyline from the Southeast side, taken atop Scotchman’s Hill.

Want to capture this shot for yourself? Take 12th Ave east out of Downtown Calgary, until you come to a steel bridge. Turn onto it and cross the Elbow River. Once across, turn night at Pop’s Dairy Bar (and grab an ice cream and a hot dog while you’re at it!) onto Bellevue Ave. Proceed up the hill until you come to Salisbury Ave on the right. Turn onto this last street, and once you round the corner ahead, you should be graced with the view of the Stampede grounds directly below in the foreground, and the forest of steel and glass that is Corporate Calgary in the background.

It is an excellent place for a picnic lunch on a fine summer day, and the jaunt through the neighbourhood of Ramsay on your way to the top of Scotchman’s affords excellent views of unique, stylish, and well-kept homes, just a stone’s throw from the centre of the city, making it a treat for urbanites and nature lovers alike!

Got a killer view of your hometown/city? Share a link to it in the comments below!