Canada-it’s a world of possibilities and a breath of fresh air. It used to be a place to visit that part of the family who had long ago taken off for pastures new and meet up with those fast-growing grandchildren before they had completely grown up. Not any more…air fares have never been cheaper, and charters have opened up a whole continent for those adventurous enough to try something new. I went to Canada, invited and escorted by the Canadian Tourist Office and Air Canada and I experienced the real Canada. Ontario, with thousands of lakes, has one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders–Niagara Falls and the CN Tower in Toronto which was the world’s tallest free standing building from 1975 to 2007. Toronto itself is an accumulation of glass skyscrapers, underground shopping centres and tram lines–an architect’s paradise. And all set on a lake–the size of an ocean complete with marinas and waterfronts. Where else will you find the world’s largest outdoor stadium with a dome that moves to cover the whole thing if it rains?
Just a couple of hours away from the metropolis you can relax at some of the most beautiful resorts. Play golf, sail, go fishing or just laze around in the sunshine. For the more energetic, you can get back to nature. There are lodges and camps for horseback riding or mountain biking. Or how about a canoe safari in Algonquin Park for a spell of moose spotting? My most thrilling experience was white-water river rafting. I’ve lived to tell the tale, with a photograph to prove it.
Turning west to Alberta, we travelled across wheatfields and plains which span thousands of miles and two time changes. Calgary, the wild west of Canada and host of the world’s biggest rodeo show, the Stampede, all set against a backdrop of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. From here we continued West for British Columbia. It was like being in another country–we were surrounded by snow-topped mountains, glaciers and lakes of all colours, formed thousands of years ago during a remote ice age. We journeyed through misty passes and each time we turned a bend the next view was more spectacular than the last.
We spent a night in Kamloops in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, a convergence of train lines, highways, rivers and people. At journey’s end we found Vancouver. We came in following the Frazer River and stopped where Canada meets the Pacific Ocean. A city of bridges, a melting pot of nationalities and cultures, but some say British Columbia is more British than Britain itself.
So if you are thinking of visiting Auntie in Canada, don’t just leave it at that, come and share our experience of Canada…we’ll help you make that visit more memorable, enjoyable and exciting than you ever dreamed.