Monday, March 23, 2020

North of 60 : Adventures in Yellowknife, NWT, day 2

I had been looking forward to this day in Yellowknife since I first typed "Things to do in the winter in Yellowknife" into Bing. Today we would go to the Snowking Castle!

Good morning Yellowknife!

Had salmon and bannock (yeah, I didn't know what that was either, but it's nice!) for breakfast at Birchwood Coffee Ko:

The coffee shop was really charming, full of locals sitting around talking. We also saw one of the performers from the show the previous night, so we went over and told her how much we enjoyed it!

We did a little shopping, and then stopped in at Ja-Pain, a cute Japanese bakery, where we had a vegetable curry bun, a custard-filled bun, and a buttery, sugary, flaky pastry Yellowknife.

Then we walked down into Old Town, where we took a little detour to spot Ragged Ass Road...

and then walked out onto the lake to visit ... SNOWKING CASTLE!!!!

Before we went in we admired the snow carving competition entries... which one do you think is my favorite?

Then we went inside...

There's a courtyard with play areas for kids and lots of little seating areas.

There's an inner area where concerts and dances are held. Sadly, there weren't any performances on weekdays during the day.

One of the builders, named "Snow Problem" showed us around, told us about how they built the castle with blown snow packed into molds. And showed us that it's as hard as concrete. We loved how clear the ice panels were!

Back out in the courtyard, we admired the carvings:

And stopped by the cafe for a birch hot toddy -- birch syrup, hot water, and lemon -- really lovely!

Enjoying my birch hot toddy at a beautiful glass table -- what's weird is that the ice, when you touched it, felt dry, not wet and melty at all.

Then -- because the group of school kids had cleared out -- we climbed up and went down THE ICE SLIDE.


We then headed back -- walking partway along the Dettah Ice Road!!!

We stopped in at the famous Bullocks Bistro hoping to be able to score reservations for lunch the next day.

It occurred to us to say, "Or now, if you have room for two..." and they said, "We can give you a small table for two if you'd like. Yes please!

The bistro is famous for delicious local food, and is famously small -- here's the fire from the door to the "far end":

And here's the view back from our table ...

Even as we sat down we were given a plate of fresh bread ... which we devoured ... and admired the scenery.

We had been told to try Arctic Char if given the opportunity, so each ordered that, one deep fried and one grilled, each with a mix of salad and fries. And when the plates came, wow. So much food.

Both were delicious -- though if truth be told, the deep fried version was no nicer than the (excellent) fish and chips we'd had the previous day at the Black Knight pub. (Which is no slight on the food at Bullocks!)

Stuffed to the gills, we bundled back up and started heading back up the hill to downtown. We stopped for a bit of shopping, and saw a Northern Lighthouse close up.

What is a Northern Lighthouse, you ask? It's a specially designed beacon equipped with a light that indicates the aurora forecast for Yellowknife. It's hard to tell in the picture, but it was blinking green.

Then up the hill, where we noticed this sign in a park.


Later that evening we decided to go out to Yellowknife's 3-screen theater, which was charming.

What movie did we see? What else???

Up next (after Travel Tuesday, that is) : Kicksledding! Ethiopian food! And the long way home.

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