31 August 2013

28 August 2013

Edmonton Queen the Riverboat


I was rather disappointed to discover the Edmonton Queen is actually a rather new riverboat, meaning no exotic history dating back to the founding of the city of Edmonton.  The construction of this riverboat was completed in 1995 and it actively began its service on the North Saskatchewan River in July 1996.   The above photos were taken using my iPhone (again) while it paddled down the river a couple weeks ago.

Some facts about the riverboat:

It weighs 750.49 GT
Length:  169 feet 11 inches (51.79 m)
Paddlewheels x 2 - 18 rpm
Speed 9 knots (17 km/h or 10 mph)
Capacity:  about 375 passengers
It has a 12 member crew.  

The Edmonton Queen sails four days a week; three cruises a day, one of which being a dinner cruise.  

To cruise on the Edmonton Queen is on my wish list.  Perhaps someday.  It doesn't even have to be a dinner cruise.  Wink wink, nudge nudge.  (I hope you are reading this hon.)

I am joining San Francisco Bay Daily Photo for Bridges Sunday and Sky Watch Friday blog for the weekly Sky Watch meme.  

27 August 2013

Tree Benefits - What is the Value of a Tree ?


24 August 2013

Fairmont Hotel MacDonald and Gardens

 Last weekend, after enjoying the Dragon Boat Festival, my husband indulged me with a trip to the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald.  I've always wanted to see the famous gardens so off we went.  While we neither stayed overnight nor ate at any of the exquisite restaurants, we did enjoy a self-guided tour.  

Parked in the curved driveway at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald was this cute little Vespa. 
It's cute and even though it is Pepto Bismal pink, I want one!

The hotel, facing the avenue, has a stature that would have been large in its day but 
in the midst of its neighbouring skyscrapers, it seems dwarfed by comparison. 

The front facade, facing the avenue is grand with architectural detail.  
A covered portico welcomes the visitor upon entry.

As a lover of planters, I had to stop to take the photograph of this one that sits in front of the hotel.  
At centre is the Japanese Maple, the thriller.  The filler appears to be, perhaps, canna lily though it's hard to tell considering this photo is rather dark.  The spiller is Ipomoea, sweet potato vine.

I'd be interested to know the inspiration behind these ornate carvings on the pillars of the street-side entrance.  Gargoyles are considered by some to bring good fortune.

Built in 1915, the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald (aka MacDonald Hotel) cost 1.25 million 
to build and $750 000 to furnish. 

I love the iron work seen on the street side entrance above.  
The hotel offers a valet service and I waited for him to go inside before taking this shot.

The above sketch which hangs in the foyer of the hotel was sketched by local artist Gordon Ramsey.

Of course I had to check out the facilities!

When I first transferred the above photo of this elegant marble topped table, it was upside down.  Incredibly, it looked gorgeous that way too!

Above and below, a view from the mezzanine.  
A lovely bright crystal chandelier illuminates the foyer below.  Note the ornate detail on the ceiling.

Due to a wedding party and guests occupying the garden of the famed hotel, hubby and I opted for the stairway in search of a window view.  This particular window has lovely stained glass in the centre.  I can't believe I didn't take a photo of the entire window!

As we traversed the eight flights of stairs to the top floor, the view changed 
with the new angles of vantage points.

 Above, the best view of the garden afforded from an upper floor window.

Above, a panoramic view of the garden as seen from one of the eight floors indoors.

Above and below, you see the four pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory and 
a network of roadways and bridges spanning the North Saskatchewan River.

The large boat on the river is the Edmonton Queen, a ferry with paddle wheels in back.  The Edmonton Queen offers river tours, sunset tours and a restaurant on board.

Pretty botanicals grace the walls on one of the floors of the hotel.

A cozy seating area on the eighth floor.  Notice the patterns?

One of my favourite features of the Hotel MacDonald is the turrets. 

I hope I am not boring you with my obsession for these magnificent turrets.

I had a bit of fun experimenting with different effects to emphasize these features.

My husband and I love this old world map.  

Above and below, old photos reminiscing a by-gone era.

A couple glass cases display newspaper clippings about the hotel.

On the lowest level of the hotel one finds a pool and exercise area along with a gift shop.  I had hoped for post cards or something similar but they didn't have anything like that. 

One day I would like to stay at this or one of the other Fairmont Hotels in our province.   Each Fairmont Hotel is individual in design, inside and out, but all are grand even for this day.  

Have you ever stayed in a Fairmont Hotel?  To learn more about the Fairmont Hotels visit:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairmont_Hotels_and_Resorts and http://www.fairmont.com.

At Louis la Vache's invitation (see comment below), I am linking up with the Sunday Bridges meme that he hosts weekly.  Thank you for the invitation.


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