Vintage finds and long, tall bridges in Lethbridge Alberta.
Well, yesterday the underground parking garage was going to be jet washed and we needed to move our truck. This was a very welcome procedure as the dirt and dust down there was getting to be really annoying. Our truck was forever covered with a think layer of dust and it was even getting inside the truck and the air filter. We were told we could park in the visitors parking area, but of course, everyone and his dog was trying to park there, so we decided to go out for the day.
At first, we couldn't decide where to go. Should we go into the mountains again, or stay around Calgary? In the end, Chris came up with a plan to go to Lethbridge for the day.
Lethbridge is about two hours south of Calgary and we had never been, so thought it was time we did. There isn't anything really special about Lethbridge and it wasn't somewhere we particularly had on our bucket list, but it was going to be a nice day and we had to go somewhere!
So, we set off about 8:30 am and put a shopping mall into the navigation to get us into the centre of the city. The drive down was uneventful and we didn't hit nearly as much traffic getting out of Calgary as we thought at that time of the morning. We normally like to wait until after the morning rush before venturing out in the truck, but as we had to be out of the garage by 9 am, we had no choice.
We got to Lethbridge and found the mall easily enough. We decided to go in to get a coffee before anything else and started off by wandering around the mall to stretch our legs after the two-hour drive. The mall is called Park Place Mall and is apparently the largest mall in Lethbridge. It's not a bad mall at all, bigger than the Quinte Mall we used to go to when we lived in Ontario, but obviously not as big as most of the malls in Calgary. It had a new food court which was okay and we found a Tim Horton for a coffee/tea and muffin. We would have preferred a Second Cup, but there wasn't one here, so Tim's was the best option. We haven't actually had a Tim's in months as unlike many other Canadians we are not very impressed with them, but beggars can't be choosers.
Anyway, after wandering around the mall and getting a snack, we wanted to go to an antique mall I found on the internet. We love antique shops and are always on the lookout for content for our Etsy shop in which we sell vintage ads, magazines, books etc. We had no idea where it was in relation to the mall, so we got back into the truck and put it in the navigation. It told us it was only a few blocks away, so we decided to walk.
It was a really lovely day, despite it being December 7th and we only needed to wear a hoodie to be comfortable. So it was lovely to be able to walk around without being bundled up in winter clothes. We found the antique mall and as soon as we got inside, we were in heaven.
It is called Urban Prairie Antique Mall as is full of stuff from many different vendors. There is a bit of everything here and was a great place to wander around. Chris loves vintage cameras, so was on the lookout for them and I was looking for vintage magazines, maps and anything else for our Etsy store.
I found a pile of old magazines from the 1940's and 50's and spent quite a while going through them to see if any were suitable for us. Many were in poor condition, but I did find a few that we could use. Whilst looking an elderly lady came up to us as asked us if we were interested in magazines. We said yes and she said her son had quite a few and would we be interested? Yes, of course, we would, so she said she would call him and come and find us to sort something out.
We carried on looking around the store, but couldn't find anything else we wanted so went to pay for the magazines we found. The lady was there and said she had contacted her husband to get her sons phone number and was waiting for him to get back to her. Rather than wait, I gave her my phone number and told her to give me a call. She knew we were only in Lethbridge for the day, so said she would call me back. Great, it looked like it was fate that we went to this mall!
Whilst I'd been chatting to the lady, Chris has found a thrift store a few blocks away, so we went back to the truck and deposited the magazines and then set off to find the thrift store. We eventually got there and once again went our separate ways in search of interesting things. I was looking at some old Nat Geo magazines when Chris found me and asked for some cash to buy a camera he had found. Now, I know next to nothing about cameras, but he was really excited by it.
It turns out it is an old Canon camera from 1983 which takes film. He wanted to find a small, simple camera to play around with film, so this was ideal. It is really clean and appears to be in excellent condition and only cost $5. All the various components work okay, so he will have to run a roll of film through it to see how it performs.
After this store, we popped into Chapters book store as we were passing to return to the truck. They had the largest selection of adult colouring books I've seen in a Chapters, so I had a good look through and decided to buy one of them. This is a book similar to another I have, but seems to have better iimages in it, so looking forward to colouring this in.
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By now it was mid-afternoon and we were hungry, so we popped back into the mall to grab a bite to eat. We decided on poutine at New York Fries and it was very nice. Now, it was back to the truck to find another antique mall I had found. This one was a little further away, so we decided to drive and found it easily enough. This one was called Ye Old Antique Mall and was another great find.
This one had a lot of stuff in it from signage to toy cars and everything in between. Again, we spent ages looking for things and I once again found some magazine, so we spent some time going through them and purchased half a dozen. Still no phone call from the magazine lady.
After leaving here, we wanted to go to the High-Level Bridge that Lethbridge is famous for. This is a railway viaduct that was built back in 1909. It is 307 feet high from the valley floor and spans 1 mile and 47 feet. It is the longest, tallest bridge of its kind in the world.
We had no idea where we needed to go in order to see the bridge, but followed our noses and eventually saw the bridge. We followed the road and saw a pull in with steps leading up the side of a hill which we hoped led to the bridge. The trail was quite long and full of switchbacks as it was quite steep going up the hill and then down again and then up again, with a quaint little bridge in the middle.
When we got to the top, sure enough, there was the bridge in all its glory. There is a plaque which tells you about it and a long trail which parallels it.
We walked along the trail and I took loads of photos from different angles.
After spending an hour here, it was time to got back to Calgary. We hadn't heard any more from the magazine lady, so gave up on that idea. We had a nice drive back but hit a lot of traffic once we got close to the city. Overall, we had a really good day.
Oh, and when we got back home the maintinence guys had been and filled in the two holes in the wall, but no sign of the grouting being done yet.