June 24, 2010 at 7:15 am 1 comment

I suppose I went into Manitoba without any expectations. Well, I was hoping that I would like Winnipeg because both my guidebook and a local friend had made comparisons between it and Chicago. I thought that since I didn’t have high expectations, it might surprise me like Calgary did.

The drive from Regina to Winnipeg was probably the least eventful drive yet. Aside from another empty fuel tank scare (I’m not used to gas stations being so sparse along major highways), it was a dull drive. I was thankful to have Chele to keep me alert and to play DJ with my CD collection. Once we arrived in Winnipeg, we navigated ourselves fairly easily to downtown, where we made a stop at the Manitoba Legislature first, a beautiful old building with lovely grounds. I thought it was even prettier than the Legislature building in Edmonton. Of course, there was one problem: mosquitoes. As soon as we got out of the car and started wandering across the lawn, we got attacked.

The attacks worsened when we got closer to the rivers at The Forks, a national historic site where fur traders and natives used to gather. Now, it’s a developed area with spaces for outdoor events (we walked through part of the Aboriginal Day festivities), a skateboard park, shopping, and restaurants. A new museum is also under construction on the grounds. With a ton of free parking and such a variety of things to do, the area was packed with both tourists and locals on such a pleasant Saturday evening.

Chele and I wandered past the Aboriginal Day music and dancing and headed for the Esplanade, a pedestrian bridge that connects The Forks to St. Boniface, the French area of Winnipeg. As soon as we crossed the river, it was like being in a Québecois city! The main street was cute and lined with shops, but most were closed already, so we had to settle for just a cup of gelato at a café and pizzeria. I had banana, chocolate hazelnut, and coconut. I know, I know…my life is so tough.

We were too exhausted from the drive and Chele’s flight delay the night before to stick around downtown any longer, so we just went to go check in at our bed & breakfast and stayed in for the night. When we arrived at the house near the university, we were greeted with the most intense swarm of mosquitoes yet. I think I got bitten at least 10 times just getting my bags from the car to the house! I guess I’m spoiled, living in Chicago. There were mosquitoes in the suburbs while I was growing up (and I’m sure there still are), but I have yet to see a mosquito in the city.

So although I left Winnipeg a lot itchier than I arrived, I still have a positive impression overall. Though we didn’t make it to the Exchange District, which is apparently the part of the city that is most like Chicago, I could see how parallels can be drawn between Winnipeg and my hometown. I just wish that the bug populations weren’t such polar opposites.


Entry filed under: Manitoba, Winnipeg.

Tick Magnet Bay of Thunder

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. debbe  |  June 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Oh yes, the mosquitos are notorious here. I, having lived in Winnipeg my entire life, refuse to leave the house until they spray the city. The weekend that you were here actually happened to be the worst since we had received lots of rainfall, and they hadn’t started to spray.
    I’m glad you enjoyed your visit though! It sucks that you got attacked while you were here though! Next time, you should definitely check out the exchange district, if you get a chance you should check out Osborne village as well!


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A serial road tripper chronicles her adventures.


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