As our Cross Border Interviews Cross Country Tour continued, we left behind the prairies of Saskatchewan and ventured into the welcoming embrace of Manitoba, Canada's "Friendly Province." From the bustling hot dog sale in Roblin to the historical charm of Inglis, and the serenity of the Narrows, the first leg of the Manitoba leg of this journey proved to be a hidden gem of hospitality and charm.
Our journey began in Roblin, where the locals' warmth and openness left a lasting impression. The small-town charm was on full display as people gathered in the downtown core for a hot dog sale. Among the friendly faces was a young woman who served up hot dogs with a smile and engaged in a delightful conversation. It was a heartwarming reminder of the simple joys and genuine connections that small communities offer.
Next on our itinerary was the RM of Riding Mountain West, with the picturesque hamlet of Inglis stealing the show. The historic grain towers that grace the skyline added a unique touch to the community's identity. But what truly set Inglis apart was its quirky parking arrangement, with angle parking on one side of the street and parallel parking on the other, alternating between blocks. A testament to the uniqueness of small-town living, this arrangement surely could puzzled even the seasoned travellers.
During our stay in Inglis, we had the pleasure of meeting with the outgoing CAO, the director of planning, and an RM Councillor. The conversations were engaging, and lunch with them was a delight. The warm hospitality and genuine interest in our journey made the visit even more memorable. Our sincere thanks go out to the wonderful staff of the RM for their kindness and the honour of their company.
A detour to Dauphin added an unexpected and personal touch to our Manitoba experience. Discovering a familial connection to this beautiful town brought a sense of belonging and nostalgia. As we explored the house where my grandmother on my mother side lived in the 1930s, it felt like stepping back in time to relive the memories of generations past.
The warmth and helpfulness of the receptionist at the Dauphin Town Office further reinforced the reputation of Manitoba's friendly and welcoming spirit. Within minutes, she connected us with someone who offered invaluable insights into the history of the area, connecting us even deeper to our roots.
After Dauphin, we embarked on a journey through the tranquil beauty of the Narrows in Central Manitoba. The serenity of this natural wonder left us in awe, reminding us of the often-overlooked splendor that Manitoba has to offer.
As the Cross Border Interviews Cross Country Tour continued its exploration of Western Canada, Manitoba's charm and friendliness stood out as a remarkable discovery. The province may not always be at the forefront of discussions about Canada, but our experience showcased its true essence—a place of open-heartedness and welcome.
We encourage all travellers to consider Manitoba as a destination for their future adventures. The warmth and hospitality we encountered were beyond compare, making our first 24 hours in Manitoba both wonderful and unforgettable.
The province certainly lived up to its proud motto, "Friendly Manitoba," and we left with hearts full of gratitude and memories to cherish for a lifetime.