Tuesday, April 24, 2012

West Edmonton Mall

Edmonton has a couple claims to fame.  First, the Edmonton Oilers, the hockey team currently at the bottom of the NHL.  Second, Edmonton boasts the largest mall in the world.  More than just a collection of generic stores and multiple food courts, it houses things like a hotel, miniature golf course, shooting range and casino. 

Today, I went to the mall on a quest for spring clothing and was again impressed with this place.  I exited the H&M only to stumble upon a sea lion show.  I enjoyed my ice cream from the Marble Slab while young figure skaters practiced their sit spins. 

Not only can you enjoy the flavors of Chinatown, you can take the escalator down and discover Bourbon Street.  (Really it's just a bunch of chain restaurants and has little to no New Orleans flavor.)  There is also a European wing, but I tend to get lost in this place and couldn't find it.

Really, no mall is complete without an exact replica of the Santa Maria, the boat that Columbus traveled in when he discovered the New World.  It sits in real water.  Beneath the surface are submarines which are no longer in use.  The mall is selling them for 1 Canadian dollar, but the buyer must remove it from the mall themselves.  This is an apparently impossible task, because they are all still there. 

After eating at one of the approximately 70 McDonald's in the mall, you can always go for a ride in Galaxyland, the indoor amusement park.  It seems small, but there are plenty of rides to make your stomach do the tilt-a-whirl.

And finally, this is the closest thing that Edmonton has to a beach.  Put your sunblock on and get ready to ride the waves.

A final note:  Just because this mall has some over-the-top attractions does not make the shopping experience any more pleasant.  Shopping was a frustrating experience.  Like at any mall the clothes seemed to be too shear, too tight, or just too ugly.  I hope you enjoyed this little tour of the mall.