Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Canada Trip - Day 4

Monday was our "adventure" day. We visited a small historic Icelandic community about 30 miles from my parents' place. I had last visited there about 22 years ago.

Gimli is "located in the Interlake region of south-central Manitoba, Canada. Located on the western shore of Lake Winnipeg (the world's tenth largest freshwater lake), about 75 kilometers north of the provincial capital Winnipeg... This 'Icelandic Canadian' town ...and surrounding districts were once an Icelandic ethnic block settlement, and the area, known as New Iceland, is home to the largest concentration of people of Icelandic ancestry outside Iceland. The first town established in the settlement, Gimli has been called the "Capital of New Iceland." (from Wikipedia)

Gimli means “Home of the Gods”.

Walk along the Gimli harbour, look at the numerous historic murals painted along the seawall by local artists.

We walked around town, wandered along the beach (and in it) and had lunch in this small town. It was an interesting walk along the harbor - there were painted murals (depicting historic scenes) along the seawall and where the seawall ended - large rocks to sit on and gaze out upon the water. One of the favorite things the kids did, was to climb on the rocks and wait for a large wave to come crashing into the rocks and splash them. The lake is so vast and the waves were so powerful, that had we not known where we were - we could have been convinced that we were seeing the ocean.

Quite a bit of the time was spent looking for rocks, fossils and shells on the beach. As the day was cool, overcast and windy - we had not brought along swimming gear...but I was experienced enough around my children and water to know that I had better bring along a change of clothes "just in case".

The walk started out on the sand - with orders to "not get wet". There were a few "accidental" foot wettings to begin with. Somewhere along the way I said it was OK to get their feet wet if they took off their shoes and socks. From there it didn't take long before feet translated to legs and pretty soon they were getting very wet. I know they were just hoping they'd "fall in" and get soaked from head to foot. There was a raised platform with benches that mom and dad sat down on and we let the kids splash around to their hearts' desire - but no swimming. No full body under the water.

There were change rooms next to our benches so as pops watched the kids I trucked back to the car to get the change of clothes.

Here is a link to a map of a walking tour of Gimli - I just found it today and wished that we had this in hand on our little adventure.

We ate lunch at the Whitecaps Restaurant - chosen for the sole reason that advertised in their window was a "Fat Boy with Fries" for $3.25. Figure the price wouldn't be better anywhere else. I ordered some poutine (fries with gravy and cheese curds) at a local restaurant...poutine is something I only have in Canada so I was really looking forward to it. Though it tasted great there were no cheese curds in it - only grated cheese!!??

Though the portions were generous and the food tasty - I don't plan on returning there. The service was slow and the waitress practically encouraged us to leave ("There's only one person in the kitchen and I'm the only one on the floor so you might have a long wait....might want to go somewhere else"). As we were tired and hungry and the hour was growing late - we stayed.


CanadianGrandma said...

Today would have been a good day to be at Gimli...calm winds and warm temperatures. I liked that pic of the boat...postcard perfect!