by Rose Hurle, April 2018
During April I was lucky enough to visit Western Canada with Scenic Tours.
Being the type of person to always pick a hot destination over a cold one due to my love of beaches, Canada hadn’t been on the top of my list, but I am so pleased to have been and would go back in heart beat!
We started our adventure in Banff where we arrived to mountains covered in snow and frozen lakes. The streetscape was inviting with so many people buzzing about after skiing and snowboarding; it was truly amazing after arriving from Australia! In Banff I opted to ride the gondola and chair lift to the top of Sunshine Mountain to go snowshoeing. For a few hours we walked all around the mountain tops and sunk into the snow and it felt like we were the only people up there, with snow as far as the eye could see.
After spending 2 nights at the Fairmont Banff Springs we made our way to Lake Louise. A lake that is usually a picturesque bright blue during the summer was completely frozen, so frozen that we were able to walk out to the middle of it! I made time to do a short hike to the top of some very snow covered hills to view the lake and Fairmont Chateau from above. I cannot recommend this short hike enough; it made me realise just how big the lake was and just how much snow I was surrounded by all whilst feeling like I was in a winter wonderland!
The middle of my trip was filled with 2 days onboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train in GoldLeaf. I cannot recommend this journey enough; the service, scenery, food and wine were brilliant and I only wish I could have fit more food in. The first day we viewed snow covered mountains and rivers and, of course, the Rockies! The second day was very different to the first as we left the snow behind and travelled through some local towns, more rivers, beautiful green hills and farming areas. If you’re lucky enough you might even see a bear whilst travelling along.
The last few nights were spent in Vancouver where we visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge; which was exciting as we walked above the tree tops before we made our way over to Victoria. I loved everything about Victoria from the greenery to the location and people. In Victoria I jumped onto a high speed Zodiac and went whale watching where I got to see orcas in their natural environment. It was magical to see these whales as they are not common in our local waters. We also visited the Butchart Gardens, which were incredibly stunning; even myself who knows nothing about gardens was in awe, the smell was divine! On our last day we did a culinary walking tour, which was one of my favourite things as we learnt about the city; its history and best places to eat and drink, all whilst tasting delicious food!
The highlight of my trip was snowshoeing in Banff, I loved being in that amount of snow, breathing in the fresh crisp air and realising just how many mountains I was surrounded by!
My best tip if visiting Canada would be to pack a bit like you would if visiting Tassie; it can get cold then warm and you’ll find yourself needing layers. Also make the time to try something new, you’ll probably find you’ll love it, like I did with the snowshoeing!
No matter what time of year you choose to visit Canada; it will have something truly amazing on offer be it snow, bright blue lakes or the wildlife!