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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 31 and 32: Regina

After two days in the Qu'Appelle Valley it was just a hop, skip and jump along Route 10 into Regina. By noon, we were parked up in the King's Acre Campground which sits overlooking the scenic Trans Canada highway, but has the advantage of being but 1 short kilometre from the city centre - we bought ear plugs and sucked it up in order to get close to the action.

As it turned out, 'action' for us in Saskatchewan's capital city wasn't so much living it up in the clubs of the Warehouse District as sweating it out on the bicycle paths of Wascana Centre. After a bit of a rainy spell we were back to the sweltering summer heat...But that park with its big beautiful lake and its ambling 'out for an afternoon stroll' resident geese and its plethora of vistas to investigate and its very good lakeside restaurant with great people-watching terrace were all just too much to resist...So that is where we spent a good part of our first day in Regina: peddling madly and doggedly about in the mid-day sun; escaping into the neat little air-conditioned Mackenzie Art Gallery for a quick look-round when the heat had us beat, and happily discovering the work of Shuvinai Ashoona in the process; abandoning our bikes in favour of a public salsa dancing lesson taking place on the central square of downtown Regina when early evening came and the heat of the day had finally passed.

The next day we checked out the shops and galleries in the trendy Cathedral District. We also took in a fun exhibition challenging stereotypes that circulate out there about First Nations people by photographer Terrance Houle at the Dunlop Art Gallery, which is housed in the Regina Public Library.

On Rae's recommendation (Rae is our personal Saskatchewan tour guide) we went to the busy Freehouse for drinks and tasty calamari when we had done all the big city traipsing we could handle, followed by some excellent al fresco Mexican snacks at a hole in the wall place round the corner on 13th Avenue.

We liked the feel of Regina...It seemed to be a city concerned with creating convivial spaces for people to hang out in, to play in, to just feel well in. And it was a friendly place...People were easy going...People were nice!

Tomorrow we move on to Moose Jaw and, with any luck, lose the ear plugs.