during the second half of september and the first few days of october, we were roaming through canada. we spent two weeks in the west and one in the east. revisiting some places i’ve been earlier, and visiting a lot of places i’ve never seen before.
we started in vancouver.
next, we set over to vancouver island and crossed the island to its west coast.
little quasicum falls.
on our way to the west coast, we stopped at the little qualicum falls. (our first waterfall on this trip, but definitely not the last.)
on the west coast, we stayed in ucluelet.
ucluelet is a nice place placed directly at the pacific ocean. the following pictures are from a nice walk near the lighthouse.
long beach near tofino.
from ucluelet we continued northwards in the direction of tofino and stopped at long beach. after somewhat cloudy weather in ucluelet, the clouds opened up here and we had nice sunny weather. obviously, we put our feet into the ocean.
later, we continued to victoria. the last two of the above photos were taken near port alberni.
from victoria, we set back to the mainland and continued north. we took a tram up a mountain near squamish, had a little stop-over in whistler, and then continued north-east until we arrived in clinton.
from clinton, we headed north to prince george.
barkerville is an old gold-mining town not too far from prince george. on our trip to the latter, we did an excursion to barkersville.
crossing the rocky mountains in the north.
from prince george, we continued north-east to dawson creek, from where we continued to Grande Prairie and then headed south to jasper.
the northern part of the icefields parkway.
from jasper we travelled along the icefields parkway. or at least its northern part. it was a very nice trip, with one exception: the so-called glacier skywalk. despite its name, it has not much to do with glaciers. the landscape you can see was formed by glaciers, and you can see glaciers from far away – but that’s it. you can get way better views of still-alive glaciers (like the columbia icefield) for free and not far from there.
don’t get me wrong, the construction of the skywalk is great (from a technical point of view), but the name’s a terrible choice and quite disappointing. (an interesting fact is that roughly at the place where the skywalk is built, i remember a stop at the street where you could stop your car and take a look. the view was similar to the one from the skywalk. now you can’t stop there anymore, but have to pay quite some bucks to be transported there by bus.)
from roughly the middle of the icefields parkway, at saskatchewan river crossing, we headed east along highway 11. the mountainous landscape changed to endless farmland, endless straight roads with regular (every 25 kilometers or so) perpendicular intersecting roads. except from slight elevation changes, you it feels like you can drive forward forever. eventually, we headed south, though.
drumheller and the alberta badlands.
our next destination was drumheller in the heart of the alberta badlands. from there, we explored the badlands a bit, in particular we saw horsethief canyon, horseshoe canyon, and the famous hoodoos. unfortunately, we had several rainshowers inbetween…
from drumheller we continued to vulcan, where we visited the tourist information as well as the trekcetera museum. thanks a lot to devan and michael for showing us around both places! (besides, a museum where you are even encouraged to take photos is a great museum!)
finally, we ended up in calgary, where i used to live for quite some time. this was the first time i visited calgary as a tourist, and it turns out there are quite some things to see you wouldn’t expect. if you ever want to explore calgary, you should visit the calgary tower – they have a great electronic tour guide, which is essentially a smartphone where you can click on buildings you can see and get audio information, sometimes also videos, about the places. it also included some material on last year’s flood, so it looks like it’s pretty new. i hope they’ll keep it and also keep it up to date.
the other great thing we did was a city tour on calgary’s only hop-on hop-off bus. apparently not well known, we happened to be the only two passengers for our tour. which was great for us, since our guide was really fantastic (he used to guide tours in the rocky mountains before)! he explained and showed us lots of things we would have never seen or heard about. he also showed us some nice places which are usually not part of the tour. it’s really a shame that this tour is not more well-known.
from calgary, we took a plane to toronto.