The next morning, after a rather hurried breakfast (I got the timings wrong and we just missed breakfast – thankfully the kind folk at the Metterra Hotel rustled something up for us from the kitchen), we headed off to Downton Edmonton to try our hands at something new – segwaying.
I tend to be more of a city-walker (or taxi-er) so I have to admit, I had no idea what to expect when it came to seeing a city via Segway (…or about riding one, to be honest).
As it turns out, using a segway is so much more fun than I’d imagined (in huge part because of how terrible Lloyd is at it and how much I laughed when he managed to trip up a couple who were riding with us).
Thing is, segways rely a lot on balance and a huge element of trust in the thing itself and so, although it can be tricky at the start, it very quickly becomes rather natural to use and turned out to be a very fun (and very effective way) to cover as much ground in the seeing the city as possible within the space of a couple of hours.
After our morning of segwaying and breezing through the Canadian winds, we headed off to the Little Brick Café for a much needed winter warmer.
Lloyd and I went for grilled cheese sandwiches (we’re talking sylvan star gruyere & fig jam) and a chicken stew – the latter of which totally surprised me as I’m not much of a stew person (*I make a huge exception for delicious Welsh cawl) and I thoroughly enjoyed the chicken stew.
The chicken stew was another perfect example of how Edmontonians truly know how to do winter comfort food and even took precedence over the crème brulee, which says a lot as I’m all about desserts (especially crème brulee… and sticky toffee puddings… and pannacotta – fine; any kind of dessert).
Lunch over, I dragged Lloyd to West Edmonton Mall. Bear with – there’s good reason why! I have to admit, when in Edmonton, the last place I really needed to visit was a mall. I’d been so worried about dressing appropriately for Canadian winters before we left London that I’d spent quite a while back in London hunting for the right clothes and gear to do winter properly.
I pretty much arrived into Edmonton with a suitcase of new winter clothes (along with some trusted oldies from our trip to Iceland) so I was all-shopped out by the time we were in Edmonton.
Fantastic as the mall here is for shopping (seriously this place has EVERYTHING – it’s massive) – our trip to the mall was for other reasons. See, I’d heard there was something of an indoors theme park here called Galaxyland which I was pretty keen to check out. (I also heard there was a pretty epic waterpark here – complete with a beach, which intrigued me far too much to not want to check out).
Galaxyland starts off chilled and builds up as you wander through. Before long, I found a ride I really wanted to get on – a twisty, turning triple loop roller coaster.
What I didn’t realise was how high this rollercoaster was and I totally got so surprised once we got on and I realised how high it was. I didn’t even get the time to mentally prepare myself before we zooming through the loops! It was thrilling and terrifying in equal measure – I sooooo wasn’t expecting that at all.
Despite this, I found myself laughing so hard about halfway through once I looked at Lloyd. Lloyd is usually a lot calmer on rollercoasters and as it turns out, he’d also been lured into a false sense of security like I had from this roller coaster being indoors.
His hair was flying everywhere, his face totally terrified and letting out a banshee-like scream as we rode the roller coaster! It was priceless! 😀
Needless to say, after the next few rides, we were mentally prepared for the loops and all the other rides at Galaxyland and almost forgot entirely about the waterpark!
Leaving the mall, we popped by quickly to check the waterpark out (making a note to return at some point) and headed off to Hansen Distillery for a drink and a chance to check out one of Edmonton’s newest brewers.
Hansen has it roots back in the days of prohibition and that famous American drink (apparently adopted by the Canadians) – moonshine! The owner’s grandparents used to make their own hooch back in the day and the skills have been passed down from generation to generation to become what now exists in this family owned operation.
We started off with a few delicious cocktails – a Northern Green Card, a Ceasars and a White cranberry cosmo…
…before heading out back (drinks in hand) to check out the operations.
The sheer amount of time, dedication and even the science that goes into distilling alcohol never ceases to amaze me. It’s something we all drink so flippantly, especially on a night out, yet it’s something that the so much thought (and love) goes into creating even the most subtle of tastes.
No distillery tour is complete without a tasting session of course and so we finished off, our session here with a taste of the Hansen Vodka, Moonshine, White rye whisky and Cherry rye whisky before heading back to our hotel in Old Strathcona.
Dinner that evening was in a new place called Baijiu which is a really fun bar/restaurant mix and is a really popular place to head out to on a Friday evening.
We carried on the day as we’d already started – with cocktails; before diving into a delicious medley of crispy fried chicken, pulled pork buns, seasoned cabbage, dumplings and sizzling steaks!
By the time we decided to call it a night, suffice it to say, we were very well-fed and quite merry! Best way to finish or indeed begin a Friday night!