Traveling Alberta (Canada)
Quoting my own story, “I dreamed about this trip for a long time. True, at first I wanted to go to the USA, Mexico, South America … ”Of course, it’s much more interesting to fly somewhere for a long time, unpack things in a hotel, get used to life in unfamiliar places. And Alberta – what’s so special about her?
You will go beyond the threshold, and now she is already Alberta. How surprised I was to discover so many surprises and beauty literally three hours away by car!
Firstly, the Milk River. The real Milk River from Russian fairy tales, and where would you think? In Canada! True, the coasts near her were not acidic, but sandy, but it flows in a holy place.
Secondly, dinosaurs. Thirdly … but all in order.
The small town of Drumheller, located at the crossroads of all the Mesozoic dinosaur roads, is located in southern Alberta. Despite its size, this city is famous all over the world: paleontologists, geologists, children and just everyone who is not indifferent to the ancient fauna flock here.
The huge interactive museum offers not only to look at the expositions, but also to touch, measure weight and height with dinosaurs, find out how the continents of the Earth moved and what underwater inhabitants of our planet ate three hundred million years ago. Conferences, symposia, game seminars for children and excursions to the excavations are also held here. I remember my almost childish delight and expectation of a miracle when I first found out about this place.
I did not have to persuade me for a long time. When my husband uttered the magic word “dinosaurs”, I was ready to go even to the ends of the world.
We left in the morning, having overcome 350 km non-stop and moving from the gloomy rain into the shining summer. Since in the summer 8-10 times more people gather in Drumheller than its indigenous population, we stopped at the campsite.
Do you know what Canadian camping is? Hot and cold water, washing machines, electricity, shower, Internet … And also deer, quietly roaming the territory, squirrels, chipmunks and other small animals, coyotes, bears (and in these places we also spent the night).
There were rabbits on this campsite. Insolent, completely confident in their safety, fat, they leisurely walked along the paths and waited for us to give way to them. Immediately at the entrance, they gave us three-sheet rules of conduct: what to do in order not to irritate the rabbits. Given that we had a dog with us, it was an interesting neighborhood.
At the campsite, we spent the first day of our trip, frying sausages at the stake, listening to birds, looking at rabbits and enjoying life, and the next morning we went to the museum.
However, we saw dinosaurs much earlier. They stood at all crossroads, at shops selling fossils, in the streets and in the courtyards of houses. The largest dinosaur (it is officially considered the largest in the world) with its slightly smaller counterpart is located in the city square. Of course, I immediately climbed into his mouth: there was an observation deck.
Some figures were labeled “Do not climb.” What a pity, but I just wanted to do just that!
The Museum (Royal Tyrrell Museum) is amazing to the core not only with its size and comprehensive exposure, but also with interactivity. Having grown up in the Soviet Union with strict warnings “Do not touch!” In every museum, I enjoyed it very much by clicking on the buttons, trying to move my legs around the dinosaurs to see how they walked, jumping on the scales to become even a little heavier than the Pleistocene beaver and moving continents with their own hands.
Indeed, what can be seen on a piece of stone, where a part of the fossil is barely visible? But if you click on the button under the exhibit, a video appears that shows what kind of creature it was, where and when it lived, what it ate, what it hid from and how it moved.
Or what will the phrase “This beast was twenty meters long” tell you? But if you see the silhouette of this beast on the floor, it becomes clear that he barely fits in a large hall
05-Alberta 20-meter sea beast
Here, behind a glass wall, there is a laboratory where real technologists cut fossils from stone, preserve them, measure them and, if necessary, can tell about their work.
Dinosaurs are dug up right there, without departing far from the museum. The fact is that the city is located in a hilly valley of very porous stone. During the rain, all the stone crumb sprawls, revealing the bones of dinosaurs that died here in time immemorial. This whole area is called Badlands, “bad lands.” Nothing grows here, and walking on the hills in the rain is simply dangerous, however, this is a real gold mine for paleontologists.
Access to some places is allowed only for excursions, but, despite all the calls not to pick up bones, they still steal every year. On the tour we were shown almost a whole dinosaur skeleton, openly lying on the stones. I would not have noticed if the guide had not let us close …
Near Drumheller there is the Dinozaur Provincial Park, where the main paleontological work is carried out. We didn’t get there: the place is so popular that in summer you need to book a campsite for 2-3 months.