Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village

Well, Saturday was certainly a different travel day.  We left our campground about 9:30.  We didn’t get an early start because we wanted to stop at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village which was only a few miles from our campground and it didn’t open until 10 AM.  So we sipped coffee.  Not a bad way to start the morning.

Ukrainian pioneers began arriving in Central Alberta during the late 1800s.  They came as homesteaders seeking a better life.  This area was home to the largest settlement of Ukrainian pioneers in Canada.

The Village is a living history museum depicting life in a Ukrainian community during the 1920s.  Most of the buildings have been removed from their original setting and reconstructed and restored at the village.  Costumed interpreters are in the buildings and along the streets to explain what’s what and answer questions.  As with most living history museums, it almost seemed real with vegetables growing in the gardens, cows and pigs in the barnyards, and food cooking in the ovens.

We went on a guided tour lead by a young woman who was very knowledgeable.  Being on a guided tour, we got to go into a building that wasn’t open without a guide.

The admission to the Village was $9 each, but somehow Gene got a 10% CAA discount.  We’re not even AAA members in the US.  It may have had something to do with having a Parks Canada pass although this museum is not administered by Parks Canada.  Who knows, but we’ll take 10% whenever we can get it.  The Village was definitely worth the price of admission.

We spent far more time there than we anticipated and didn’t leave until almost 3 PM.

Our next stop, keeping with the Ukrainian theme, was in the town of Vegreville--the home of the largest Easter egg in the world.  We got to Vegreville without any trouble, but we didn’t know where the egg was. Since we didn’t know where the egg was, we decided to unhitch the car at Wal-Mart so we wouldn’t have to worry about getting into a spot too tight to turn around.  We unhitched the car and were off on the Easter egg hunt.

This giant Easter egg, or Pysanka, was created for the 100th birthday of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  The powers that be came up with the design to represent the Ukrainian heritage of the region incorporated with the geometric design to represent progressive thinking in the modern age.  The egg is made of aluminum in three basic colors.  Bronze represents mother earth and fertility, white silver for pureness, and yellow for prosperity and happiness.

We’re not afraid to stop and ask direction and what better place to stop than Dairy Queen.  After a few quick photos of the egg, we headed back to Wal-Mart to hitch up.  We were soon on our way again with our GPS set for the Wal-Mart in Lloydminister.

This was another warm day in Alberta with temperatures in the 80s.  Not really so bad, but sitting in a Wal-Mart parking lot, the motor home heats up quickly.  It worked out well  doing most of our driving today during the heat of the afternoon when we could take advantage of the AC.  This seems to be a popular Wal-Mart for travelers; there are several rigs here with us tonight.

We’ve mapped out a plan and will probably scoot right on across Saskatchewan and be in Winnipeg in three more days.  There are a few things to see in Saskatchewan, but none so appealing that we want to spend much time.  We’d rather spend our time in Winnipeg which has lots of offer the tourist.

That’s about it for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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