Jan 9, 2009

City of Prairie Lights

Winnipeg at nightI arrived in Winnipeg and toured about in my kitten-mobile. Not too chichi but it does the job.

For map lovers, Winnipeg is the geocentric centre of North America. It's also the place that gave Winnie the Pooh his name.

Some of the city's neighbourhoods have seen better days and some are ultra modern. Happily, most of Winnipeg is between those extremes. I was personally impressed to learn that the Mayor is Sam Katz, but I don't think we're related.

I can honestly say that Winnipeg has romantic appeal. Wide skies, moonlit nights, fabulous bridges, and lampposts all stir the romantic heart. This city of prairie lights oozes romance. I almost expect Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman to stroll from the shadows on their way to Casablanca. Speaking of films:

Winnipeg is that kind of place. You feel it almost immediately. It is home to people from all over the world and, because of that, it holds a timeless appeal. I've discovered that the dazzling Golden Boy atop the provincial legislature building was purchased from France and spent most of World War I in a ship's cargo hold traveling back and forth across the Atlantic. How romantic is that? Actually, the entire legislature building is quite a mysterious place.

One of the older landmarks is the Arlington Bridge
brought to the city in 1910. Designed to cross the romantic Nile River in Egypt, it has the single honour of spanning the rail yards in the north central section of the city. I happily trotted across it.

Mops and Pops met in Winnipeg. I found the apartment that they lived in. The neighborhood is run down now and the nearby chapel they were married in has burned down. I wonder how they'll react to that news? But the city has preserved the old church tower.

Went over to St. Boniface via the Esplanade Riel bridge that parallels the Provencher Bridge. When you see it at night it is like walking the streets of Paris and feels very European.

Had a bite to eat in La Vieille Gare, where they had Franco-Manitoban Lucille Starr's The French Song playing in the background.
I tried to sing along, "Quand le soleil dit bonjour aux montagnes..." but the maitre d' (clearly not a song lover) asked me to fermer ma bouche. I think that means put a cork in it!

Every year in February St. Bee (as we anglais call it) has Le Festival du Voyageur with a neat snow sculpture contest. Maybe I'll stay and paw up an entry.

Later I went to The Forks, one of the oldest parts of Winnipeg. It is where the city was founded at the juncture of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. Lots to see and do! I even tried out the world class skateboard plaza. Wow! Afterwards, I was totally exhausted and had to have a cat nap.

Frau Bearbirds will love to know that I even met an Icelander or two in Winnipeg. Icelanders were early settlers to this region at Gimli, near Winnipeg. Gimli has beautiful mystical scenery.

Until next time.... I hope to sample some of Winnipeg's many gastronomic wonders.

Love and purrs.

P.S. See all the new comments below.
P.P.S. About the call of the loon referred to in her comments, Skared E.Kat also writes, "
Shivers, for sure. If someone has never heard them, try sound of the loon.
[For interest, unfortunately URLs to link to websites cannot be used in Comments.]


I'm replying here to be able to use a link:
Hi Cuz,

Wow! I did not know about the Titanic connection and neither did Mops & Pops or I'm sure they would have told me. Cannot wait to tell them! Gee, I hope this was not an omen for Winterpeg, but I guess not as it it is still going strong.

I googled and found Manitoba's Titanic victims and walking tour including, 393 Wellington Crescent (owned by Mark Fortune), which is the house you must mean. Mops used to live in Fort Rouge as a child, which is sort of "the other side of the tracks" to these fat cat mansions.<8-)

Now I'm on the prowl for the restaurant....found it, maybe: The old Ashdown house at 529 Wellington Crescent (see walking tour), now is a restaurant and perhaps there's a revolving floor? Gee, that could be like snacking meze style in the Mediterranean / Middle East with a revolving plate or table.

Bring on the "starter goodies", I'm starting to drool. Oops! It's
40C here.... help, icicle alert!

Jan 3, 2009

Innocent abroad

Eisminchin, Frau Bearbird's ice catDear Frau Bearbirds,

Thanks for the new comment on the New Year's Resolutions blog. I am noble and white? How cool! Well, maybe just the white part, despite my name. I love the photograph of Eisminchin. Thanks for letting me add it to the blog. He sure is a chubby cat. Is Eisminchin a "Harz 57" variety or maybe just a Harz cat? (tee hee)

Significant news - I won't be finishing college this year. I have purrsuaded Mops and Pops to let me take a gap year from
school and see some of the world.

I need to become more independent and decide what my future career should be. Maybe it's not music after all. Or maybe it is. I need time to think. Plus my life so far has been pretty sheltered. There's a whole world out there and the time feels right. It's make or break time for this fur ball!

The travel cannot be just goofing off, though. Everywhere I go will have a purpose - things to learn and strengths to develop. Let's face it, this puss has been a bit of a wuss!

You will be able to follow my travels on the blog, starting with some Canadian cities, before heading off to Europe. For sure I will visit Germany and will buy a phrase book to help me order from the katz restaurants. I've been practicing already. Maybe Eisminchin and I can share some milch or a kalt root bier float? Shhhh...don't tell Mops and Pops!

Mops and Pops are taking down the decorations as I write. It's a hoot watching them work. Pops is not a gifted worker. He always opens the wrong end of the box and Mops gives him what he cal
ls "that look". But somehow they manage. Soon the place will be back to its pre-Christmas phase. There will be nothing to play with. Boo-hoo! Already I miss the razzle-dazzle of ornaments.

Later I head east to Winnipeg. Mops was born there and it's where Pops grew up. So I am going out of family respect and to learn about my family's roots. They say to expect a few surprises.

Look for new blogs on my stops around the globe. I hope you'll enjoy reading about the places I visit and what I learn. Through it all, I hope to remain an innocent abroad.

As Mark Twain wrote,
  • Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
Love & purrs, Edelweiss

P.S. Please see new comments. You can also subscribe to my blog to get updates when new entrees appear. See right column.

Thank you to Frau Bearbirds, who has sent a wonderful photo of an ogre that Eisminchin met.