How privileged I was to head off to Canada, April and still very cold with snow-capped mountains which were simply breath-taking, early in the season I was seeing the country as the locals live it.
We started our Canadian sojourn in Victoria, the charming colonial capital of British Columbia with beautiful public buildings overlooking the Scenic Inner Harbour – this is a beautiful place with an English feel about it, and even though I am not into gardens a must see is Butchart Gardens and the Royal British Columbia Museum. Along the way we had nights in Whistler, Sun Peaks, Jasper National Park and one of the highlights was the Athabasca Columbia Icefield where the glaciers were majestic; the history behind the glaciers is simply fascinating.
Highlights were staying at the famous Chateau Lake Louise; arguably on one of Canada’s famous lakes with spectacular scenery and also the Banff Springs Hotel, which took no time to get lost in, and yes they are as magnificent as they look on the television! A trip on the gondola in Banff (Sulphur Mountain) is also a must and very much a highlight for me; rising 700m to the summit with panoramic views.
There is nothing more spectacular than a Rocky Mountaineer journey as we travelled by rail exploring the magnificence of British Columbia and Alberta travelling past snowy peaks, shimmering glacial lakes, towering waterfalls and ancient forests. Blessed to have been in GOLD Leaf service in a bi-level glass domed coach with amazing dining and service – catching the views from the viewing platform – a simply amazing experience which is by daylight as we overnighted in Kamloops which is just a quaint little town where a local revue was a lot of fun.
Back on the train heading to Vancouver considered one of the world’s most beautiful cities as it is nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the rugged coastal mountains of British Columbia. With several nights there at the end and plenty to do in Vancouver we enjoyed strolling in Stanley Park, Grouse Mountain and Gastown and some retail therapy on Robson St, to name a few.