Sharing a few adventures from our recent Canadian holiday.
Many of you know we’ve just had a long awaited trip to Canada, and I thought I’d share a few of our adventures with you readers.
‘Ah’ moment – using I Love Meet and Greet car drop off/ pick up service at Gatwick made the start of the trip a breeze.
‘Eek!’ moment – my son’s visa wouldn’t electronically talk to the airline’s computer, but the Westjet staff and security soon sorted us out.
‘Ooh’ moment– straight roads which stretched as far as the eye could see, around both Edmonton and Calgary airports.
Amazing moment – views from the Dinosaur trail near Drumheller, Alberta
Fun moment – Hoodoo stones, fun formations created by wind erosion.
Love it – this year to celebrate 150 years of the Canadian Federation entrance to all the National Parks is free. Red chairs – The Red Chair Experience – Parks Canada have placed pairs of red chairs throughout Canada in treasured places such as awe-inspiring views or markers at the end of a hike. We found several sets of chairs on our trip and they were a delight to find.
‘Ah’ moment – Snow topped mountain views at Lake Louise Inn. Our 2 night stay here was our top holiday memory.
‘Ooh’ moment – Big horned mountain sheep strolling down the road.
‘Phew’ moment – hiking all the way to the top of Johnston Canyon and Falls, Banff National Park.
‘Ooh’ moment – Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park.
‘Ah’ moment – blue glacial lakes on the Icefields Parkway.
‘Phew’ moment – hiking to see the Athabasca Glacier.
‘Wow’ moment – the Athabasca Falls and a brown bear and elk on the roadside.
‘Eek!’ moment – driving to 100 mile house, seeing wildfire smoke and being told the town was on evacuation alert. Over 300 wildfires had been caused by dry lightning in one day. More than 100 started the next day. We did stay overnight and the town was evacuated the next day, just a few hours after we left.
‘Phew’ moment – We needed to change our plans. Our route to Whistler was shut by another large fire, and routes out of the area were closing fast, so we made a long detoured drive down to Vancouver to escape the area.
‘Ooh’ moment – Our stay in Ucluelet on the west coast of Vancouver Island was at Wild Edge Lodge in the spacious granny annexe of the owners house. The town was small and we went on a trip see whales, sea lions and bald eagles with our landlord on his Wildedge Whales tour boat. Captain Cam is one of the area’s top wildlife spotters in the area.
‘Ooh’ moments – Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, between Ucluelet and Tofino, had us walking in rain forests, bog trails and taking plenty of peaceful forest lined coastal walks. Ucluelet is much quieter than the surfing town of Tofino and we ranked it our second best place we stayed.
‘Ooh’ moment – Next we stayed in a small, cute log cabin at Port Renfrew a backwater coastal town and a fisherman’s mecca. Unspoilt by tourism, this hamlet is just beginning to get noticed. We saw grey seals in the harbour and giant gnarled cedar trees in the Avatar Grove.
‘Eek!’ moment – navigating the roads in Vancouver.
‘Phew’ moment – on our last day in Vancouver, we saw Olympic rings and hiked up Black Mountain trail in the Cypress ski resort in North Vancouver, host to the 2010 Winter Olympics freestyle skiing and snowboarding events.
We enjoyed the polite Canadian drivers, who gave us lots of space when overtaking, accepted our late turn-off decisions, and we saw no signs of anger or road rage, even in the cities.
We liked the fact Canada was litter free with plenty of bear-proof garbage bins—a nation trained to responsibly dispose of their litter.
We loved the scenery, the tress, the wildlife, the vast open spaces, majestic mountains and the rugged coasts.