A Travellerspoint blog

Welcome to Carman

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Ben's great great great grandfather was called Charles Carman and, along with three daughters, had two sons called Frederick (1865) and Alfred (1874), both born in Kent. These brothers, according to family legend, moved to Canada and played a part in founding and naming Carman in Manitoba, where we now find ourselves. Unfortunately it hasn't taken us long to establish that it's very unlikely that Ben's ancestors had anything to do with the town.

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Our first destination yesterday morning was Dufferin Historical Museum. In addition to artefacts and records from the early town, it has in its grounds a reconstruction of an 1870s log house that, amazingly, would have housed a family of eleven.

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Leafing through newspaper articles and old books in the museum we found out that the town, settled in 1870 and founded/named in 1878, was called Carman City after the Reverend Albert Carman. As head of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Manitoba and later the whole of Canada, he would have been a well-known public figure at the time. He didn't play a part in founding the town and only visited in 1879. Research online suggests that he was born in Iroquois, Ontario in 1833 and his father and grandfather were both from the same area. So - no connection.

Still, we weren't too upset as Carman has proved to be a very pleasant place to visit - a quiet, neighbourly, leave-your-back-door-unlocked kind of place. The Boyne River meanders its way around the town, including the back garden of the B&B we've been staying at.

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Carman features a bowling green:

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A very small tourist office:

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Big blue skies:

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And a Tall Grass Prairie, planted by the University of Manitoba's botany department, which features five foot tall grasses that would have been a common sight across the prairies hundreds of years ago.

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Posted by shoestring 08:35 Archived in Canada Tagged history museum family canada manitoba genealogy carman Comments (1)

How to eat for less than £10 a day: Part 6

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Two packets of Italpasta Macaroni and Cheese Pasta Dinner - $1
One tin of Safeway Whole Kernel Corn - $1.25
Staying in budget for the day - priceless!

Posted by shoestring 20:47 Archived in Canada Tagged food dinner canada cheap manitoba carman Comments (3)

Plain and Simple

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Leaving Calgary and heading east, we've been travelling through Canada's Praries. Though largely featureless the landscape of the plains is not unattractive. Clouds, great painterly dabs of white and grey, sit in the huge sky, which meets the land at an impossibly distant horizon. Listening to music as we travel the clouds, constantly shifting shape as they drift by, take on the appearance of some immense iTunes visualisation.

Our stay in Regina, Saskachewan, has been a stopover rather than a destination in itself, and today we're on the road again to Winnipeg. Meanwhile, an interesting detour has presented itself. There's a small town called Carman about an hour's drive from Winnipeg that, we have heard, was founded by and named after some of Ben's distant relatives. We're going to visit the library and museum there to find out more.

Posted by shoestring 08:37 Archived in Canada Tagged sky canada manitoba regina plains praries carman saskachewan Comments (1)

Parklife

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How were we to spend our day in Calgary? Unfortunately we were too late for the Calgary Stampede, featuring the world's largest rodeo, but we could visit Fort Calgary, a reconstruction of the Northwest Mounted Police post that founded the city, or Canada Olympic Park, site of the 1988 Winter Olympics, famous for the exploits of the Jamaican bobsled team (which inspired the film Cool Runnings) and Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards (apparently a film is in the pipeline).

In the end the weather was still good so we decided to save our money, take a day off from sightseeing and head to Prince's Island Park. The island in question is in the middle of the Bow River, which also runs through Banff. The city's skyscrapers provide a dramatic backdrop.

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After spending a happy few hours reading and relaxing we made our way back to the hostel, which boasts an inviting garden.

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Posted by shoestring 20:14 Archived in Canada Tagged trees park grass island rest canada calgary alberta prince's Comments (0)

Another Bump in the Road...

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Our stay in Banff ended with a beautifully sunny morning, and the good weather has followed us to Calgary. However a dark cloud has cast a shadow over our plans.

We've been making our way west towards Winnipeg, where we planned to dip down back into the US to Minneapolis, Chicago and Cleveland, before travelling back into Canada to spend some time in Toronto, then head back into the States for the last leg of our journey. We checked the Greyhound map online to make sure this was doable.

Well we should have double checked the route using the online fare finder because it appears that this line has now closed, as have other Canada-US routes. There's now no way of getting from Canada back down to the US by Greyhound apart from Vancouver in the west and Buffalo or Montreal in the east. There aren't any other buses or trains that cross the border and flights (which we'd be reluctant to take anyway since we've come this far by land) are much too expensive. So we don't appear to have any option other than to change our route, completely missing out on the US Midwest and Chicago, the third largest city in the States.

We're not happy.

Posted by shoestring 19:29 Archived in Canada Tagged canada route united greyhound problem states Comments (2)

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