Before leaving Winnipeg we had to decide where to go next: we definitely wanted to start working and stop spending money. Travelling around to so many destinations by bus or by train cost a lot and then of course the accommodations, but until now we were almost always lucky and found something cheap, in a good area with nice hosts.
So first of all our plan was going by rail to Banff or Jasper, to apply for jobs in restaurants, hostels, cafes, hotels ( as waitress, housing, dishwasher, whatsoever) but this would have been expensive because the ride through the rocky mountains by rail is one of the nicest (maybe even the most wonderful) section(s), cheap and good reachable hostels are also very rare. We found one which was affordable but it was a dorm room with 46 beds. So of course we know that there would have been the option to drive there go around town, ask people, pass on resumes and we really would have done that, but we also know that this could have been a little expensive and the success of this plan was not guaranteed. Now we know this is part of the whole experience but since we are here another winter we thought we might as well start applying a little earlier in next ski season in order to get a nice job in the ski resorts.
We decided to take the train to edmonton so we can search for job from there. We booked again via Air BnB a room for 2 nights at first, which was not very thoughtful because we had no idea when we will find a job nor when we can start.
Taking the train did not cost a lot more than taking the greyhound bus (difference: approx 25 USD p.p.)and people told us that it's not the most interesting train ride through the prairies- just flat land, snow and some forests. But it was surely a wonderful train ride with a wonderful sunset and sunrise. We were not able to reserve seats, we chose a 4-seater but we were not allowed to sit in it because it was supposed to be reserved for >2 persons travelling together and we were politely asked by the conductress to switch to a 2-seater, she immediately asked a man to switch to another 2-seater and share so Jannik & I could sit together. In the meanwhile we talked with a young Australian guy that we could just share a 4-seater (as we were then 3 persons). We did so and everything was fine, we talked a lot and later on we went to the observation car together where we also met some other people to talk about experiences, adventures plans and tips.
The night was quite comfortable because every seat had a foldable seat attached. We folded out all 4 of them and then had kind of a bed to sleep.
We arrived with around 3,5 hrs delay which was ok because the via rail is usually late due to the regulations in Canada (freight trains are handled with priority to passenger transport) We arrived in Edmonton at around 11:30 a.m. And had another hour to go with public transportation. Unfortunately there was just a greyhound bus station right next to the via rail terminal which is really great if you need that for further travels. But somehow there was no ETS (Edmonton Transit System-public transportation) – 30 min walk with all luggage through knee-deep snow beside a street but without any sidewalk.
In the end it took us 2 hrs to get to our Air BnB apartment. It was definitely worth it because we had the nicest host ever(so far). Jannik and him got along right away and talked about electronic and technical stuff, so we decided after like 20 min that it would make sense to stay longer than 2 nights because we were not sure when we would find a job.
We asked about some advice what nice possibilities there were going grocery shopping nearby and he told us, but then he said: “Do you wanna go right now, I actually have to pick up something so I can take you with me” So we went to the Canadian Superstore with his car and on the way we stopped at a German store nearby. They had really nice stuff (German childrens' books and a wide selection of teas (even Edeka or Meßmer) and not too expensive. But most important, the german sausages :-) We bought some tea & Pumpernickel and Jerry bought some German dried sausage.
In the evening we were just about to make some dinner when J. suddenly asked do you want BBQ or Hawaian chicken. We were a little confused about that question: we just bought some stuff we can cook for the evening. He said that his girlfriend would come over for dinner and that they have enough, he even invited 2 friends over to eat with us. They had planned to go to the cinema, but they hadn't decided on a movie yet.
After dinner we sat and talked a little and they were trying to figure out what to see in the cinema. At some point I asked E. what time it is and when they want to leave. She said: oh I don't know.. they looked for a movie again, but couldn't decide because some were too late, or the wrong cinema and the other movies they did not want to watch.
They also asked if we wanna join them. In the end it got later and later, so we just stayed home and watched a movie there.
It was a wonderful first evening in Edmonton with sooooo nice people. In the following days we went almost every day to the Canadian superstore with J., watched a movie in the evening & made popcorn with J. & E.we went to the mall to get chocolate covered cheesecake.
It's hard to say what we did on what day, because we just enjoyed being around so nice people, spending time with them, cooking with them (I made Avocado-Mango salad, baking an oreo cheesecake for them, covering frozen blueberries in white chocolate while Jannik and J. built a coffee table with a glass top-this was on the last evening I think.
J& E. drove us to our new couchsurfing host family in edmonton where we would stay for another 7 days. E. even brought us some goodbye presents (diaries for our journey)- soo generous :)
When we arrived at the new place we shortly settled into our room and then had some tea. The Supper with our 2 new hosts was really tasty-we had some self-baked bread and something warm like a quiche. Their son was not at home-he was working and then quickly coming home to get something to eat and the ski equipment, because he planned to go skiing in Jasper with his friend just for one day, which is like a 5-h drive from Edmonton. After our meal we talked a little more and then went to bed in our nice room.
In the following days we spent a lot of time together, we cooked together, again I baked the oreo cheesecake and Jannik prepared his special pizza dough. On Sunday we went for a walk with their awesome dog in the river valley, we drove there by car and then just walked along for 3 hrs with Harlow and her furry friend .
On Sunday (Jan 22nd)G. asked us if we would like to go to a bigband which is playing in the city hall, we could go there and watch for free. In front there's a small ice rink, where you can go ice skating for free, even with free of charge skates rental.
So we drove there with G. and watched them play, there was also a free salsa dancing lesson where we just watched first and then later participated in a short try out in groups, later in we had to perform and the best got picked out.
Tuesday (24th Jan) we went Skiing on a small hill called Snow Valley near Edmonton with E. and J.. It was awesome and soo much fun to ski again. At first I thought I would just stay on the “baby”hill but then I went on to the “middle high” hill and last but not least to the “big” hill with E. and Jannik.
It was only for 2 hours, but I really would have liked to keep skiing. We saved a little bit of money too, because the son of our second couchsurfing stay actually worked at one second hand sport store and he gets 3 or 4 free Ski-rentals per month I think, so he was so nice to bring me some from work. I didn't even have to go to the store for trying them on. His mom just wrote him my hight, my weight and the level of my ski experience and he brought them home after work... they fit perfectly and I saved like 30 or more $ =) really nice and generous of him. On Wednesday in the evening we went to play squash and go for a swim at the pool with E. and J. Afterwards we wanted to drive to the legislation building but we were too tired.