(Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada)
At the beginning of my travel year in 2014, I mentioned in this post that I had been to every Canadian province and territory…except Saskatchewan. I obviously hoped to see Saskatchewan at some point but it didn’t quite fit in with the theme of my travel year.
Well, after the craziness of 2014 subsided, I was left with a whole lot of Air Miles and frequent flier points. I noticed that I had a little bit of free time at the end of April and started looking into redeeming some of those points for a quick trip. Alas, it is getting more and more difficult to take advantage of those reward programs and the only candidates ended up being Indianapolis, Minneapolis…and Regina! While I’m sure that the “-polis” places would be interesting, the increasing value of the U.S. dollar made me think that this was finally the time to see Saskatchewan. And now, finally, here I am!
Of course, as with my trips to the northern territories, it is impossible to say that I have experienced Saskatchewan just because I have been to Regina. With that in mind, here’s what happened on my first day here…
I started by exploring Cathedral Village, the neighbourhood where my B&B is located. From there, it was an easy walk to the Saskatchewan Legislature. It’s located on the shores of Wascana Lake (part of which is shown in the photo at the top of this post) and is part of the largest urban park in North America….bigger even than New Yor City’s Central Park, apparently. I went on a rather brief tour of the Legislature building and was able to sit in on Question Period.
Unlike the rather subdued House of Commons I saw in London, England last autumn, Saskatchewan’s provincial parliament was a madhouse. It was clear that the government and the opposition are not terribly fond of each other right now…it looked (and sounded) like a classroom of unruly students. If I have spare time later in the trip, I might return to the Legislature to see some more of the spectacle.
Next up was some exploration of downtown – despite a significant number of federal and provincial government offices, it wasn’t quite as busy as I had expected. I did some restaurant scoping and, given the surprisingly warm weather, I decided to make the pilgrimage to the “Milky Way”, a legendary ice cream vendor with a long and illustrious history in Regina. I opted to go local and have a “Saskatoon Sundae”: logically enough, it features saskatoon berries (also known as juneberries). I’ve never had them before but they were quite good with the vanilla soft-serve ice cream. There’s nothing wrong with having dessert before dinner!
Speaking of dinner, I kept the “go local” theme and went to a newly-established Mexican take-out place in Cathedral Village called “La Cucaracha”. It’s not a name I like to associate with food but the ingredients were top quality and they even had imported Mexican soft drinks. It’s been a very long time since I had strawberry soda…it might even have been back in the days of the Pop Shoppe!
For my second day in Regina, I’m hoping to make it out to the RCMP Visitor Centre and (of course) explore the vinyl record offerings in Saskatchewan’s capital city.