Over two weeks late, but it took me a while to get around to sorting through the hundreds of photos I took.
So a friend of mine invited me to the Golden Crown volleyball tournament, and it was tons of fun. I’d never been to Regina (or Saskatchewan, for that matter), and was looking forward to visiting someplace new. Before this year, I really hadn’t done much of that—but that’s changing, and gay volleyball tournaments are a great excuse to expand my horizons.
Regina is a lovely town, with super-friendly people and super-hot university students. I didn’t know many people there and my introvert side was acting up, which was kind of annoying, but I managed to have fun and socialise, even go out dancing at the gay club. Yes, there’s just one. It looks like it’s managed by a non-profit—probably because a for-profit club wouldn’t survive in a town this size; but according to its Facebook page that does make it the only GLBT community-owned club in Canada, which is pretty awesome. It reminds me of Club 318 (I think that was its name) in Ottawa, back in the day, except that only took place every second Friday at the Lisgar Street community centre. I wonder if that’s still going on?
I gave myself time to do the tourist thing by myself Friday afternoon and all day Monday. Everything is pretty much within walking distance, so transportation is no problem. On Friday I walked around the amazing Wascana Park, dodging all the bundled-up cyclists and joggers. Yeah, Regina is a bit chilly and overcast and hella windy—though I guess I should count my blessings, since it hadn’t actually started snowing yet. Still, the park was beautiful in its autumn finery, all soft golds and oranges. No red that I remember; I guess they don’t have maples in Regina. Which really makes you think: Canada is a big place, with many and varied ecosystems. Magpies in Calgary and Kamloops, but not Vancouver. At least 2 species of crows, in Vancouver and Ottawa. Neat. I just needed to get my feet on the ground a bit more in this big land of ours, instead of flying over it.
Two days of volleyball and partying really took it out of me, physically and emotionally, so on Monday I was happy to do the solo tourist thing again. I bade farewell to roommates (they were all driving back to Edmonton), and I set out.
My first stop was the Mosaic Stadium, home of the Roughriders, and easily visible from our hotel room. I don’t particularly care about football, but I was told I should try to get in, and take pictures from the seats—or even the field, assuming there’s no practice going on. I walked around the whole place but couldn’t find a way in, so I shrugged and went on my way.
Next was the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, located in Wascana Park (like half the city’s major landmarks, it seems). An awesome place where I learned all about Saskatchewan First Nations, geology, and wildlife both past (dinosaurs) and present. Amazingly, they had a fossilized Mosasaur skeleton, along with stuff about how Saskatchewan was mostly underwater back in the day. But I already knew that, thanks to The Oatmeal!
Megamunch the animatronic T Rex, was just the icing on the cake.
Next was the Legislature. I wasn’t sure if it’d be open for tours on a holiday, but it was! Yay! (Though the bookstore and gift shop was closed. Boo!) The handsome francophone guide took us around the foyer, to the Library with neat historical artefacts on display, the hall with Saskatchewan Order of Merit recipients, the room with portraits of past SK Premiers and even more historical artefacts and documents. And the Legislature itself, which we unfortunately were not allowed to set foot in, so we had to take pictures from the door.
And last, the MacKenzie Art Gallery. Which at first I thought was closed, but then a security guard came up and showed me the right door to use. Derp.
And then I was off to the airport! But I’m sure I’ll be back someday.