Friday, August 5, 2011

TRAVELS IN CANADA

There are places that have been on my wish-list for ages and then I have the opportunity to travel there...there are others that have never been on my radar and I am awestruck by their beauty... Western Canada was certainly one of those destinations that I did not expect much from...But came back seduced by her charms... Among the many experiences that I had there, the following do STAND OUT: BANFF TOWN: Set in the middle of National Park territory, this tourist friendly village with great restaurants (even an Indian one), close-to-nature feel, and a meandering river has the fabulous Bow Falls and a Fairmont property (with some ghost stories). Fairmont properties around the world are after all, iconic. In a town with so many trees and trails, it’s usual to spot an animal or two as you walk along the streets which are by the way named after animals (yes, there are Moose, Caribou, and Wolf streets with sewer covers to match). Surrounded by snow capped mountains this is a town that charms without trying. ICEFIELDS PARKWAY: An amazing drive through the Rockies from Lake Louise to Jasper for over 230 kms- where every bend brought us new vistas, a lake, a waterfall or a bear or big horned sheep! The thrill of seeing a bear in the wild, walking on a glacier and being surrounded by constant, undying beauty made this road trip a winner. LAKE SONG: Pyramid, Maligne, Medicine and Patricia Lakes: Picture perfect reflections and glass like surfaces...these lakes are truly something. Framed by wisps of wild pine like a cloak of iridescent green and an amphitheatre of rugged peaks, these lakes are picture postcards. Medicine Lake, the source of many Indian myths and legends, is a lake that disappears in to an underground system for almost half the year. LAKE LOUISE: This is in the heart of the Banff National Park and the Fairmont Lake Louise has a vantage location overlooking the near-frozen lake. One of the ‘wow’ moments. There is the view of the lake surrounded by the Victoria glacier and the spruce covered mountains- the combination of luxury in wilderness was unique. I love my creature comforts! ZIP LINING IN WHISTLER: Whistler in British Columbia is very Swiss in character- chalets, window boxes with geraniums and tulips and an outdoorsy feel. Our dose of adventure here was zip lining over a valley through a forest. Unforgettable moments...
BIG CITY HIGH: Vancouver’s setting was spectacular- a stellar combination of Sea, land and mountains. If gentrified areas appeal to you, there are plenty here like Gastown or Granville Island. What really appealed to me in this city were their twin obsessions of food and exercise! Definitely a city on my places to re-visit!

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