Travelling by Coach from Vancouver to Calgary and Return

by Alison Price

I recently made the trip from my new hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia to Calgary, Alberta to speak at the Canadian Astrology Conference.

This is some 971km. There are options to get there. Of course, you can fly, rent a car and drive yourself or take the coach.

I chose the latter option. It was the cheapest choice at just CDN$154 return.

I went on Greyhound and there may be others who offer this service but I don’t know about them.

Thursday

As the bus was leaving at 6:30 am from Pacific Central Station in Vancouver I actually left my home at 5 am and got a taxi the station.

You have to check in at the station and get your tag for the hold bag,

You may take one bag and put it in the hold under the coach. And take one small cabin bag into the bus with you. There are overhead shelves for this.

As we boarded the coach is was crisp to say the least as I shivered on the 6C platform.

I had a seat by myself as the coach was half full and the seat next to me was empty. This was nice as I could plonk my carry-on bag right next to me.

At the first stop the cops boarded and checked everyone’s ID and tickets which seemed odd but there you are.

Onwards eastwards we stopped every now and then to pick up more passengers. Then a ten-minute halt where you can get off and dash to the loo.

On again. Finally, at around midway we stopped for 25 minutes in Kelowna. Everyone had to get off as they refueled the coach. I walked over to Starbucks for a grande latte and a croissant. Quite a rush really as heck I didn’t want to miss the bus.

Back on and more stops here and there at places I’ve never even heard of like Salmon Arm and Golden. Did salmons have arms? Is it a fishing joke about having a salmon arm to catch fish like a green thumb to grow a garden? And what about Golden? Was gold found there? I am sorry to say I had no clue.

We arrived in Calgary town centre at11:50 pm.. Yes, it took that long.
I hailed a taxi to the hotel and settled into my room by 00:30am. Phew!

That was Thursday.

Friday

On Friday I gave my presentation and there is more on that here.

Saturday

Saturday good times to be had but had to leave the proceedings early at 9:30pm as quite tired and I had an early start in the morning.

Sunday

My alarm went off at 5:00 am. Up and showered, packed and checked out of the hotel.

Hopped into another cab back to the bus station. The coach pulled out at 7:30 am sharp and we were on our way back home.

This time no wifi on the bus and no electric sockets to charge your phone. Good thing I had juiced it up before I left the hotel.

It was a long journey back home as we arrived at the Vancouver bus station at 9:30 pm. I was met by hubby and we went the final stretch together in yet another taxi.

In my front door at 10:15 pm having been travelling for almost sixteen hours.

Tired but all good. Safe and sound.

What to Take on the Bus

Knowing what to pack for an astrology conference can be a challenge if you don’t do it often.

In the cabin you can take one small bag like a backpack or handbag. Here are some ideas on what to have in it.

* Water to drink.
* Food – More on this later.
* Pen and notebook.
* Computer laptop.
* iPad.
* Reading glasses.
* Cash.
* Ticket to ride.
* Mints.
* Lip balm.
* Pashmina (women) scarf (men) fold as a neck pillow to sleep on.
* Ear buds, phone and charger.

What to Put into Your Hold Bag

In a medium bag like a suitcase that goes in the cabin of an aeroplane. If your bag is bigger than that you are hauling too much junk.

* Clothes, shoes, cosmetics and toiletries.
* Alcohol.
* Other stuff that can be slung around.

Don’t use your best luggage for a coach trip. On a bus your bag will slide around in the hold and there are bigger bags and heavy boxes shifting about down there.

Don’t put anything in the hold that you may ever need again as your bag may get removed at a bus stop that you don’t get off at never to be seen again. These things happen.

What to Wear on a Coach Trip for 18 Hours

  • Flat shoes, trainers or other comfortable shoes.
  • Socks.
  • Black leggings or jeans.
  • Camisoles, t-shirts
  • Light jacket with top pockets.
  • Pashmina or scarf
  • Light makeup

Food and Drink on the Coach

Pre-make your snacks at home before you leave for an 18-hour coach ride.

In sealed plastic bags put enough food for a four-hour time slot. So label each snack bag with the time you may eat the contents like for instance; 10 am, 2 pm and 6 pm. This is so you don’t eat the lot in the first hour.

Eating on a bus is usually done because of boredom.it is mindless snacking.

If you take your own food you won’t be tempted to but burgers and fries at every stop creating a logjam in your digestive system and a hole in your pocket.

The shuddering motion on a bus tends towards creating the situation of constipation.

Eat snacks like:

  • Cheese cubes or wedges.
  • Chicken strips – precooked and lightly seasoned.
  • Crackers.
  • Sandwiches – cheese on bread and butter pre-cut into fingers or soldiers as this is easier to eat on the move than a massive chunk of bread.
  • Grapes – The perfect fruit and no must core or peel to dispose of like with apples or oranges.
  • Bottled water – one bottle to sip when your mouth is dry. Don’t chug or you’ll be dashing to the loo every stop.

What not to eat or drink on a coach

Avoid snacks like:

  • Smelly food.
  • Garlic anything.
  • Eggs.
  • Fish.
  • Open coffee or other drink.

Alcohol is not allowed inside the bus.

No smoking on the bus.

Washroom

The coach has a dinky toilet and basin at the back.

I believe the washroom is not really used by most people for that purpose which it is intended. Typically passengers prefer to wait until they stop at a scheduled break and then use the lavatory in the building.

I believe the back of the coach washroom is for those unfortunate souls who get travel sick. The tiny cubicle is almost like a Roman vomitarium. Let’s hear it for Caesar.

The journey over the Canadian Rockies is uphill then down dale and the roads are windy and switchback like. The bus heaves and rolls. Yes, folks throw up. Thus the washroom

What to do on a long bus ride

  • Read a book
  • Crochet or knit
  • Write your journal
  • Take photos
  • Chat lightly with the person next to you or across the aisle
  • Listen to your audiobooks.

What not to do on a long bus ride

  • Bug the guy in front of you by kicking the seat, twanging the footrest or heaving on his chair back as you try to stand up. All of this is spectacularly annoTalk loudly either to others on your phone.
  • Laugh loudly. 
  • Swear not in Canada, please.

Have a prosperous day,

Alison

Review: The Canadian Astrology Conference – Calgary 2017

Review by Alison Price

The Canadian Astrology Conference

Calgary, Alberta, Canada
September 2017

 

The Canadian Astrology Conference is an all Canadian speaker astrology conference is in its second year.

Hosted jointly by the Calgary Astrology Association and the Edmonton Astrology Association it moves up and down Alberta. There was some talk of it going East to Ontario or West to Vancouver at some point.

The conference is like your Mars’ return and only comes around every two years.

In 2015 it was held in Edmonton and will be again in 2019. Then I understand it will be back to Calgary for 2021.

All speakers have to be Canadian or new Canadians who have made Canada their home, like me. Yes, I have a Canadian passport.

Venue

Held at the Executive Royal Hotel in Calgary near the airport to help attendees and speakers with their travel. The shuttle bus picks up and drops off.

Christine at the check-in desk was perky at midnight when I arrived. She even organized a complimentary cup of 2% milk for me so I could make tea in my room just like at home.

I take my own Twining’s Earl Grey tea bags and run the boiling water through the coffee machine. The only thing I always need is the 2% milk. The milk went in the room fridge for my late night and early morning tea.

I had a room with one queen size bed. The sheets were clean and crisp. The towels white and fresh. There was a super large desk and electrical outlets for my computer, phone and ephemeris etc.

I always offer On-the-Spot astrology readings (by donation as you see fit) at conferences where I am a speaker and I did so this time. My room was generous enough for clients to sit comfortably on a chair in a conversation style.

I do not like it if my room is so small that my clients have to sit on the bed. I only work with female clients in this way all of my male clients are accommodated in the public meeting rooms.

There was no room safe for valuables (computer) which was surprising. However I did appreciate the laminate floor instead of carpet. The illusion is of cleanliness all the way.

I tip my chambermaid every morning so we know where we are.

Alison and Kelly

The barman/server Ken was excellent and his sense of humour had the ladies laughing all night. He handled multiple changes of orders for dinner with ease and aplomb and brought several wine samples for our dearest lady to try before she chose her favourite.

The house white was a Chardonnay so I was good with that.

The Organisers

Organized by Donna and Peggy with help from Geni and no doubt many faceless others (and husbands in the wings) whom I never met.

Donna and Peggy

 

Apparently, these two women have been astrology friends for years and the ease with which they worked together as a team showed. They are caring people whom I am now pleased to call my friends.

Alison and Peggy

The event had a pre-conference morning with Kelly and then officially kicked off at 1 pm with the opening ceremony and then it was straight into the lectures.

I was delighted to be the initial speaker with my presentation on Superior Planet Synodic Cycles and I’d like to think that set the tone for all the quality talks to come.

 

My engaged audience. Thank you!

 

I want to give a special shout-out to my good friend Toby and my “longtime-no-see” old friends Franco, Kelly and Hillory. They all gave excellent talks.

I was happy to meet JoAnn and chat before dinner. There were good wines in the bar and the pre-dinner drinkies were a roaring success of conviviality and sparkling conversation.

The Saturday night buffet banquet was substantial as only you can get in Alberta. The haunch of Albert AAA beef was roasted and seasoned to perfection.

Fresh local vegetables (raw and cooked) and enough variety for the vegetarians amongst us. There was an enormous font of gravy with which to anoint your meal. Yum.

There was a dessert trolley with Nanaimo bars and other Canadian favourites. Double yum.

 

Alison, Toby and Caz.

Entertainment

Madame Popo had much to say and drew many laughs with her outrageous political commentary poking fun at leaders both local and abroad. Go for Justin.

I enjoyed her risqué assessment of the speakers and their quirks that she had picked up earlier.

Her lavish costume was breathtaking and clearly this is Vivienne Westwood’s inspiration and muse for her exotic creations. Madame P. had the personality and presence to pull it all off.

Delightful as she was Madam Popo had a valuable message.

That the gift you have of astrology, and its understanding, needs to be cherished and shared with your clients. This is your gift, use it well.

I loved this part. Her words were on my mind as I travelled back home to Vancouver.

 

Madame Popo

This conference had wonderful after dinner entertainment. You should go to this event simply for the pleasure of experiencing spectacular Madame Popo.

Why You Should Attend

If you are Canadian you should support local astrology. There is a certain pride in the excellent quality of the people you will meet both those who run the show and those who attended.

This is what I would call a boutique astrology conference. Quality speakers, topics and fare but not so well known.


“a boutique astrology Conference”


If you are an American you should go because you love astrology and you need to experience Canadian hospitality at its best. Live dangerously and travel north of the border. You will love it.

 

Alison and Franco

 

If you live anywhere else (not North America) you should go because you can learn from a rich resource that is the basis of modern Canadian Astrology.

The Take Home

These are the things I have taken home from this weekend.

* Gratitude for having being invited to share my insights and experience with this audience.
* Inspiration to try new things in astrology.
* New friends to keep in touch with and join up with when they come to visit my city.
* The knowledge that there is always something to learn in astrology and it is not always a technical detail.
* That in my audience, if the light goes on in only one person’s eyes, I have done my job.
* Thankful for those who enjoyed my talk and their private comments to me afterwards. Thank you. Hugs.

Banquet

Why I’ll Be Back

I wasn’t always a Canadian. In fact I lived in Africa for most of my life. But Canada is an inclusive country that embraces cultural diversity.

This is good.

There are many options for astrology conferences but to make the most of them you need to know how to have fun at an astrology conference so you get the best from your first, or fiftieth, experience.

If you decide to go to the next Canadian Astrology Conference In Edmonton learn what to pack for an astrology conference to make your event going that much sweeter.

See you at the next one.

Alison