Temple Gardens, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

I was surprised to find out there was a mineral spa in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, a notably flat prairie province, so I had to go and check it out.  Temple Gardens is Canada’s largest therapeutic geo-thermal mineral spa drawing water from ancient sea beds. It was discovered in 1910 and thanks to a team effort from the people of Moose Jaw the spa is now a world class destination.

We didn’t have a reservation but were happy to find out there was a room available. We booked a room with evening meal and breakfast included for about 300.00 per night. The room was across the road from the spa and main building.

We were grateful for the bathrobes which were included with the room, so we could just stroll across the pedway in our bathing suits. If you go in the winter it is a good idea to bring flip flops. Winter boots are hard to put back on after you come out of the spa and look pretty silly when you are wearing a bathrobe. I wasn’t the only one who made the walk across in this funny outfit.

To get to the mineral pool you walk by the café and spa facilities. There are locker rooms for men and women with showers and washrooms as well as towels, lotion and hair dryers.

The mineral pool is kept at 37 degrees Celsius indoors and 38 degrees outside. The pool is huge and never felt crowded. People of all ages were relaxing in the waters or hanging out by the jets. My favourite place was outside. I love being in a spa and feeling the warm water swirling around me while the outside air is cold enough to freeze my eyelashes and hair. Everyone had white frost covered hair after a little while outside. In the evening with the glow of the lights it was beautiful.

We had a wonderful meal at the restaurant that evening and a great breakfast the next morning. I think the breakfast buffet is popular with locals on the weekends so it is best to arrive early if you are in a hurry. We were not. Temple Gardens has a late check out.

The Casino and Tunnels of Moose Jaw are also highly praised, but I couldn’t get out of the water long enough to check them out.

Photos property of Temple Gardens.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unusual

Usually people are looking out windows at the farm animals.

This is Lily.  She is a large horse that was born on our farm.   She became a big ol’ pet.  For awhile she was getting out of her fence early in the morning and when I came downstairs she was always waiting at one of the windows for me.  One morning she even climbed up the stairs to the front deck.  Thankfully she was easy to put back in the fence.

A Storm in Cinque Terre

Nova Scotia is a province that is almost entirely surrounded by water, with a cultural and historical connection to fishing. As a Nova Scotian,  I marveled at the distance fishermen traveled in their sturdy and graceful vessels.

Bringing in the boats

While we were visiting Cinque Terre a storm blew in.   I stood with the rest of the tourists and watched as the men of the community worked together to pull all the boats out of the harbour.

The men from the town worked together

It was fascinating to see how the winch system worked to pull the boats up on the square.

By the evening the square was full of the beautiful fishing vessels of the area.

As the day went on the waves became more violent.  We were amazed to see one young fellow body surfing in them, scary. 

Yup, he is still in the waves. He gave up after awhile and swam to shore where his friends were waiting.

By evening the rain came and it poured.  After we ate we walked through a maze of alleys and up the stairs and made our way back to our room.

We were nicely tucked in bed for the night when I heard the singing.  A large group of tourists didn’t allow the rain to dampen their fun and were in the square way below us singing Waltzing Matilda and other familiar songs.  It was surreal to hear the violence of the rain and wind with all those voices raising over it all the way up to our room.

A year after our visit Cinque Terre was hit by a devastating storm.  The communities are still recovering from the damage.  For more information please visit www.savevernazza.com.