Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Amazing Race Canada - Week 3: YVR, YYC

The Amazing Race Canada is ticking along, and just gets more exciting (click this link to watch past episodes, if you missed any).

In Week 3, the teams began at the Vancouver Convention Centre (with the amazing living roof, which we wrote about last week), made their way to an internet cafe on Robson Street, used aircanada.com to book their flights.

Then it was off to Vancouver International Airport (YVR) again.

Welcome to Cow Town!

Calgary view from Airport
View of Calgary from the airport
Just a short while later they landed at Calgary International Airport (YYC), Canada's 4th busiest airport. Welcome to Cow Town!

Bronc Twister statue, by Rich Roenisch
Calgary Tower in background
After they landed, the teams hit the ground running. After finding Outlaw, and visiting a cookhouse, the teams learned just how tricky line-dancing could be (aka the dance of death)! It was an exciting segment, as the leaders dropped back, and teams that were behind danced their way into the lead. Fun stuff.

Who do?
Hoodoos in Drumheller Alberta
Then it was off to the Hoodoos outside Drumheller in Dinosaur Valley, Alberta.

Despite it's legendary status as the dinosaur capital of Canada, only one team spent any time with the ancient beasts ("bone by bone") - the doctors assembled a skeleton at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Canada’s only museum dedicated exclusively to the science of palaeontology (this is a seriously cool website, check it out!)

All the other teams chose to ride Linda to the old Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site, in nearby East Coulee, to get a back-breaking workout ("lump by lump") - and to get all sooty!

If you watched the show, you already know that they made their way to Horse Thief Canyon (how's that for a name!?!?) and the Week 3 Pitstop.

T-Rex flew Air Canada?

Want to visit Drumheller? If you want to visit Drumheller, there is no airport (what, you think T-Rex took a plane?!). So here are your options:
Final thoughts on Week 3

A few notes as we wrap up this post:
  • The race buzz on Twitter is pretty interesting. The busiest hashtags are: #AmazingRaceCanada and #RaceCDA
  • If you find yourself with time to kill before a flight from YVR, escape to Chester Johnson Park between the International terminal and the parkade, no more than a minute's walk outside. Or, explore the outstanding First Nations art collection, including the famous The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Jade Canoe by Bill Reid.
  • On an human note, as the episode was recorded before the Alberta floods that hit the region  recently, the show finished with a segment on what happened, and what people could do to help. We were hoping they'd do that.
  • If you find yourself at Calgary Airport on a layover one day, here are some things you can do, depending on how much time you have: Calgary Airport Layover Ideas
  • There are also good resources on the Travel Alberta website.
All images: wiki commons

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Amazing Race Canada - Week 2: YLW, YVR

Another exciting episode of The Amazing Race Canada last night!

We're pleased a few people found our "clues" to Week 2 and tried our poll. Once again, here are the clues, along with the % of guesses for each, and the correct answer highlighted:
  • A pair of sticks. An enormous tail. A dull edge. (0%)
  • A green hat. An enormous head. A sharp edge. (20%) - CORRECT
  • A pointy head. An enormous elastic. An uneven edge. (0%)
  • A head on a stick. An enormous song. A jagged edge. (0%)
  • A fishy stick. An enormous rope. A smooth edge. (0%)
  • A pair of dimes. An enormous bone. A bumpy edge. (0%)
  • A red jacket. An enormous beast. A razor edge. (80%)

A green hat:
The green roof atop the Vancouver Convention Centre West
Building, The Amazing Race Canada Week 2 pitstop 
(source: BierDoctor on flickr, creative commons licence)
This green "living roof" atop the new West building of the Vancouver Convention Centre. Wasn't that a marvelous pit stop for the end of Week 2? So glorious, so green, and with vistas of Vancouver's core all around! The glimpses of the roof in the Week 2 previews caused us to call it a green hat. Even to Vancouverites, this was special, as we are not aware of an event "up top" on the green space being televised before. The West building, sporting the living roof, was built for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games as the media centre, prior to its legacy purpose as an expansion of the Vancouver Convention Centre. The roof is not open to the public.
What is a Living Roof?
What is the Vancouver Convention Centre?
Vancouver Convention Centre Official Website
West Building Image and Video Gallery
West Building Public Tours
Living Roof Video and Bees Video
Living Roof Specifications on Greenroofs.com

An enormous head:
Dragon dance costume similar to those in The Amazing Race Canada
(source: rumpleteaser on flickr, creative commons licence)
We thought this was an obvious clue, as one of the glorious - and huge - dragon heads was shown in the Week 2 preview. We wish more teams had chosen to do the dragon dance during their visit to Chinatown, if only to see the ceremonial chomp of the lettuce repeated!
What is the dragon dance?
Vancouver Chinatown Photo Gallery

A sharp edge:
The Richmond Olympic Oval when The Amazing Race Canada teams
went long track "speed' skating (source: Wikimedia commons)
Ah, yes, the slip, sliding and falling at the Richmond Oval - ouch! While Twitter was alive last night with people joking about skating being used as a challenge for Canadians, we did see lots of non-skaters giving it a go. And suspect there was plenty of black and blue appearing in the days that followed! It was also nice to see the magnificent long track speed skating facility from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics transformed into it's legacy purpose.
What is the Richmond Olympic Oval?
Richmond Olympic Oval Official Website

On the aviation side of things, both airports featured in Week 2 were return visits that we wrote about in Amazing Race Canada - Week 1 - Niagara Falls, YYZ, YVR, YLW.
BTW, we are resisting the temptation to comment on the two taxi drivers who dropped teams off in the wrong spots...

If you missed the episode, you can watch it on the official website above.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Amazing Race Canada - Week 2: What's in Store?

Like you, we wonder about the details of where the teams will go, and what they'll do. Do we know more than you? Only time will tell. What do YOU think?

Where will The Amazing Race Canada go in Week 2? Pick the best set of clues:

  • A pair of sticks. An enormous tail. A dull edge. 
  • A green hat. An enormous head. A sharp edge. 
  • A pointy head. An enormous elastic. An uneven edge. 
  • A head on a stick. An enormous song. A jagged edge. 
  • A fishy stick. An enormous rope. A smooth edge. 
  • A pair of dimes. An enormous bone. A bumpy edge. 
  • A red jacket. An enormous beast. A razor edge.

Record your answer in the poll above... or add your own guesses to the comments section below.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Amazing Race Canada - Week 1 - Niagara Falls, YYZ, YVR, YLW

Niagara falls in Canada
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada (source: Wikicommons)
We're a Canadian company, so we are understandably excited to watch The Amazing Race Canada unfold on our televisions, hosted by our very own Canadian Olympian, Jon Montgomery (he won gold in 2010 in skeleton... to call that race amazing would be an understatement!).

Being airport geeks (after all, we are the best people-powered world-wide airport ground transportation information service), we are especially interested in the airports the teams on The Amazing Race Canada will visit during the race.

Needless to say, we loved the Week 1 kick-off show, featuring Niagara Falls, Ontario (aka "the Canadian side") - along with its sister city over the border in Niagara Falls, New York, U.S.A. is the self-proclaimed "Honeymoon Capital of the World." The grandeur of the Falls of the Niagara River attracts millions of tourists every year, there to enjoy everything from the mist of the falls and the sometimes cheesy attractions, to the all natural beauty and hiking opportunities. We certainly saw the beauty last night!

Toronto Pearson International Airport (source: Wikicommons)

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) - serving just under 35 million passengers a year, Pearson was the world's 35th busiest airport in 2012 (how's that for a numerical co-incidence?), and Canada's busiest. By the way, for those that know the airport, if you haven't heard the good news, construction is underway on a rail connection to downtown Toronto, due to open in 2015.

Vancouver International Airport (source: double_feature on flickr)

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) - Canada's 2nd busiest airport served 17.6 million passengers in 2012, the same year it earned the Skytrax award of Best Airport in North America - for the 4th time in a row! Since the lead-up to the 2010 Olympics, YVR has been connected to downtown Vancouver via the Canada Line Skytrain. Next week's race preview showed the teams back here...

Kelowna International Airport (YLW) - serving under 2 million passengers a year, Kelowna's airport is growing by leaps and bounds with numerous innovations. It earned its "international" status when flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and several holiday destinations in Mexico were added to it's flight roster. The innovations? YLW's duty free shop features Okanagan wines, ski hosts meet winter flights to help skiers get to the right mountain shuttles, and, in 2013, hosted Canada's first Elections Canada Polling Place in an airport. And, oh, what a gateway to all the Okanagan has to offer, as we saw last night.

We've included links to our transportation guides for these destinations, in case you were so dazzled by the show that you want to visit!!

PS - if you missed the episode, you can watch it online at the official website above.