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Exploring Edmonton and Jasper

by Stefan and Lisanne

Edmonton and Jasper National Park make quite the combination— from West Edmonton Mall and the beautiful river valley, to the glorious Rocky Mountains. After winning a contest in the Netherlands, Stefan and Lisanne were off on a trip of a lifetime to Canada. See what they got up to when they set off with KLM for Edmonton and Jasper, and the ultimate winter getaway.

A winter vacation like no other...

Full of excitement, we began our trip to Edmonton. The direct flight from Amsterdam to Edmonton with KLM is very convenient: Edmonton is the closest international airport to Jasper National Park and the Rocky Mountains. Once we arrived at our hotel, we were invited to watch an Edmonton Oilers hockey game. The game was a great way to get to know this Canadian tradition. Dutch soccer is nothing compared to this!

After getting a good night’s sleep, we headed off to Jasper. The views during the drive were beautiful. We did a Maligne canyon ice walk and went dog sledding. With special boots and spiky cleats we were ready to enter the icey canyon. The guide was extremely kind and showed us the most interesting spots to check out.

Around noon we headed to Valemount for the dogsledding. The dogs were as enthusiastic as we were. Most exciting was the fact that we had to drive or own dog sled and instruct the dogs ourselves. Proper braking was very important, as well as keeping the sled on track by moving your weight from left to right. Everyone who gets the chance to go dog sledding should do it! This is an item to add to your bucket list. The day after, we went skiing at Marmot Basin. We enjoyed a sunny day of skiing and the beautiful view over the Rockies.

It was time to leave Jasper, so we headed back to Edmonton on Sunday. Although we were already familiar with the roads between Jasper and Edmonton, we enjoyed the ride and were impressed by the differences in nature and size between Canada and the Netherlands. Everything is big in Canada: the mountains, the roads, the cars, the trucks... just everything.

On Monday we went to the world's largest shopping and entertainment centre, West Edmonton Mall. Big again, as always! The thing that surprised us most was not the number of shops, but the in-house ice rink, the waterpark, the mini golf course and the huge pirate ship. In the evening, we had dinner downtown and the view of the river valley was astonishing.

Too bad the end of our trip came so fast. Luckily we had a chance to visit the Silverskate Festival and saw the Ice Castles before our departure. 7 days in Alberta is really too short. Thank you, Edmonton and Jasper for showing us beautiful places and introducing us to your awesome activities and great Canadian culture!