We decided to meet some very good friends of ours in Vermilion, Alberta for some camping (they were on their way to Saskatchewan for a family reunion and we were on our way to Fort McMurray). We quickly found out that Northeastern Alberta is home to many of the ‘World’s Largest’ and we just couldn’t miss out on the opportunity to do a “BIG” tour of the surrounding areas. In fact we spent so much time talking about it the night before (and laughing so hard we were all in tears about the largest…), so Gordon devoted some time and made a route complete with all the pertinent stops.
Our first stop of the day was in Mannville and on the way there I was surmising that Mannville had the largest? (You can fill in the blanks on this one)…they did have a very cool old telephone exchange and an anti-aircraft gun. Just as a notation, I only saw one man in Mannville, not sure where they all were?
The next stop on our list was Mundare and it’s home to the world’s largest sausage – yes that’s correct, the largest sausage and it was REALLY big! So being that it is famous for sausage we couldn’t pass up a little stop at a well known meat shop for some good old fashioned Kubasa. Then we decided we should pick up some fresh buns at the bakery and have ourselves a little picnic while on the “BIG” tour.
Our third stop was in Vegreville and it’s home to the world’s largest egg or Pysanka as the Ukranians like to call it. It took us a while to find the egg (there’s nothing like looking for a GIGANTIC easter egg). A person would think that you would be able to see the world’s largest egg from anywhere in town but that was not the case. Finally we found it and it was definitely the biggest egg we have ever seen! There was a nice little park beside the giant egg so we decided to have our picnic lunch.
Next on our list of stops was the Romanian Museum – Gordon has roots to Romania. On the way, we drove by Hairy Hill. We don’t think it’s home to the largest hair but apparently it is hairy due to buffalo’s wallowing and leaving a bunch of hair on the hills and that’s how it came about being called Hairy Hill. Before the Romanian Museum we found an old Romanian Church with a cemetery that had some of the most beautiful crosses, it was a very peaceful place. Next door to the church was the Romanian open air museum, there wasn’t a lot to see but it was fun to have a quick stop there.
Then we made our way over to Willingdon which claimed to have the largest lapel pin (our friend Kim was quite excited to see the largest lapel pin). Sadly it was kind of lame and honestly we were all a bit underwhelmed. I personally thought that Willingdon was slightly creepy and I was happy to move on to the next stop.
Our next destination was Andrew and it’s home to the world’s largest mallard duck. This was basically a very quick stop – see the duck- take a photo- hop back in the truck – keep driving because according to Gordon we were falling behind schedule!
Then we passed through Smoky Lake to see the world’s largest pumpkin patch and yes sir they have some really big pumpkins in their neck of the woods – they must make some scary Halloween décor. Aside from the pumpkins they have a cool old train station to see.
Our next stop was Vilna and it’s home to the world’s largest mushroom (not the magic ones). They must grow a lot of mushrooms here to claim fame to having the largest mushroom because honestly who comes up with these ideas? One thing that we thought was great about Vilna was their historic main street which has the oldest functioning pool hall in Alberta.
Many of the little towns we visited had beautiful Ukranian Orthodox Churches.
The next place, St. Paul, didn’t have the ‘world’s largest’ but we had to stop because they have a UFO landing pad and really who wouldn’t want the chance to maybe see a UFO?
The last quick stop was to see Peter Fidler and it was a REALLY big Peter Fidler!
Then we all fell asleep (we were all exhausted from the “BIG” tour) as Gordon drove us back to our campground in Vermilion.
Since we missed seeing the world’s largest perogie in Glendon (because it was quite out of our way on the “BIG” tour), Gordon and I stopped to see it on our way to Fort McMurray and let’s just say that it’s one giant perogie! Also we had read in a publication that across the street from the giant perogie there was a café that served perogie dinners, so why not have a bite to eat? Much to our surprise (we were fully expecting a lovely Ukranian Mamma to walk out of the kitchen) our perogies were cooked and served by a nice Thai couple – we are like magnets to Thailand
Where we stayed: Vermilion Provincial Park
Written by: Tammy Hermann…Live~Love~Travel