"Big is Beautiful!" Province of Saskatchewan by lauriejeanne
Province of Saskatchewan Travel Guide: 560 reviews and 1,277 photos
Among other things in life, I am an Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. This means that three times a year I am sent to various parts of our lovely country to examine music candidates. It is a great opportunity to hear some fantastic music, travel the country and meet people from all over Canada. The work is time consuming and stressful, but as a true servant to VT, I do sacrifice my time off to research as much as I can.
In June 2001 I flew to Regina and rented a car to drive to my first Conservatory Examination Centre – Prelate, Saskatchewan. Never having been there before, I did not know what to expect which turned out to be a good thing!
I left Regina and headed West on the Trans Canada Highway. I searched out a truck stop to have lunch, hoping that the local fare would provide some real home cooking. The restaurant I found, Nylene's, seemed local enough. Bikers at one table, a family coming home from church at the other…
I ordered a buffalo burger to try something different and then decided to use the facilities before heading out on the road again. All I can say is, perhaps in Saskatchewan one should check out the "facilities" before ordering a meal. To my horror, every cubicle had a sign which read: "Please flush the toilit" (yes, that is how they spelled it). Oh well, live and learn!
I washed my hands more thoroughly than ever before in my life and then headed out on to the road – I still had quite a few hours of prairie driving to go.
Continuing along the Trans Canada Highway for another hour or so, I then turned onto a smaller highway heading north. To my dismay, the speed limit dropped even further (from 100 km/h to 90). My cousin, an RCMP officer in Saskatchewan, had warned me about the province’s low toleration of speeders, so I reset the cruise control and searched for a radio station to accompany me on my way. I passed ghost towns and farms. The road narrowed and the farms appeared fewer and further between.
A little voice inside asked, "Where the heck is Prelate and will you really find any human life forms there – let alone piano and vocal examination candidates." (Not that being human is prerequisite to being a musician, I mean, I know, I’ve been called a dog a few times in my day….)
The speed limit dropped to 80 km/h and a beat up sign read "Soft shoulders, gravel on road. Drive fast if you like – it’s <I>your</I> car." Um, OK, I slowed down.
A few more miles up the road I saw a lone sign: Prelate 1 km. Now this scared me. You see, Saskatchewan is flat. Where I was, I could see for miles and miles in all directions, so if the thriving metropolis of Prelate was really 1 km away, then I needed new glasses, or a stargate to beam me there.
A little dirt road veering left sported a smaller sign: Prelate. Quickly I turned but all I saw was a graveyard. No, I made no comments about the possible examination candidates the next day – I was too busy taking pictures. The sun was setting behind the gravestones and the sight was spectacular! Humour had to wait.
Sure enough, just around the bend from the graveyard was Prelate. It consisted of literally one visible street and a convent.
Upon entering the convent, I was quite tired. But from the moment I arrived until the moment I left the next day, I was treated like a queen. The Sisters spoiled me rotten giving me a luxurious room, feeding me amazing home cooked meals, and engaging me in the most intelligent and interesting conversation imaginable. What an experience it was!
...to be continued on my Swift Current page...
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