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Introducing Alberta

Alberta does lakes and mountains like Rome does churches and cathedrals, but without the penance. For proof head west to Jasper and Banff, two of the world’s oldest national parks which, despite their wild and rugged terrain, remain well-trammeled and easily accessible. No one should leave this mortal coil without first laying eyes on Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefield. And think twice about dying before you’ve traveled east to the dinosaur-encrusted badlands around Drumheller, south to the Crypt Lake trail in Waterton Lakes National Park, and north to spot bison in the vast, empty northern parklands. Alberta’s cities are of patchier interest. There are people still alive older than Calgary and Edmonton's downtowns. But, what these metropolises lack in history they make up for with their festivals. Edmonton’s fringe theater festival is the world’s second largest, while Calgary’s July ‘Stampede’ is as unapologetically ostentatious as the city that hosts it.