Banff N P (Alberta) - Lake Louise Gondola
If like us you make it “across the border” to Banff National Park and the beautiful Lake Louise, I would say this activity should be high on your list of things to do. Actually, it would literally be a “high” as the gondola takes you on a fourteen-minute ride to an elevation of 2088 metres (6850 feet), where the views of the lake below and surrounding mountains are really stunning.
If you’re a bit nervous of travelling in this way, you might like to know that you are given a choice of an open chair or fully enclosed gondola car. I was keen to have the former (better photos!) and thought it would be just a case of luck which would come along as we reached the front of the queue, but no – the attendant asked us which we would like and let a closed car go by empty so that we could have an open chair.
At the top of the mountain, in addition of course to those wonderful views, is an Interpretation Centre and a number of hiking trails. Since our visit I see that they’ve added guided walks and interpretive talks to the list of what’s on offer. There’s also a lodge where you can get a snack or more substantial meal. This is open May 15th - Sept. 30th, for breakfast 8.30 am – 11.00 am and lunch 11.30 am – 2.30 pm.Related to:
- National/State Park
CRYSTAL CLEAR BLUE LAKE
Thursday, June 5.
Driving along Highway 99 North, just before Cache Creek, we came upon a very different sight. The water in the lake was a crystal clear blue -green colour. Created by the minerals in the silt, it didn't look real. You could actually see the fish swimming in the water. It was unbelievable.
Only about an hour drive from the Rockies Salmon Arm is a small fairly modern town on the shore of the pretty Shuswap Lake. Although the town itself is not stunning the surroundings are and it is in a prime location to explore the region. It is not touristy at all and is a calm little place to base yourself. There is lots to do in the immediate vicinity; for example to can go trekking, horse riding, Cross country skiing(Larch hills), sample some of the local wines at Larch Hills or nearby Kelowna, shooting in Kamloops, or visit the magical Margaret Falls and Shuswap Lake. Of course there is the interesting local museum too.
At the Larch Hills winery they make fruity wines such as Cranberry, Strawberry and blackberry. They are great at Christmas time!
The photo below is the view from my boyfriend's family home in Salmon Arm BC.Related to:
- Wine Tasting
- Hiking and Walking
- Skiing and Boarding
Banff N P (Alberta) - Lake Louise
If exploring the Canadian Rockies in the National Parks of British Columbia, it’s an easy step across the border to Banff National Park in Alberta. We decided that it would mean too much rushing around to do this properly, so have left most of it to be discovered, I hope, on a later trip. But we did make time to check out Lake Louise, just a few miles away from our base in Yoho. And this is such a photogenic spot that we were really glad we’d done so. I particularly liked the way the glacier on the far side of the lake sweeps down almost into the water, creating beautiful symmetry and great reflections.
With more time we would have liked to have explored the shores of the lake on foot on the Lakeshore Trail, visited other nearby lakes, or even splashed out on a night in the amazing-looking Chateau Lake Louise. But we did manage to fit in a trip on the Lake Louise Gondola – see my other tip for details of that experience.Related to:
- National/State Park
HAVE A PICNIC IN PEACHLAND
Wednesday, May 28 and it's time for lunch. We picked the cute little town of Peachland to have our picnic. It was a quiet, lovely spot along the lake and they had nice clean picnic tables. Also for you V.T.ers who want to check on your website, the Peachland community centre offers "FREE" internet access on their computers ( I think there was three.) I wondered where Hansie disappeared to!
On Thursday, May 29, on our way to Vancouver on Highway 3, Hans and I came across the DUTCHMILL a Dutch fruit stand near Keremeos, so of course we HAD to go in. Hans was in his glory with all the goodies & things from Holland and the owner was a delight.Related to:
- Family Travel
A LOO WITH A VIEW - "REST AREA" ON HIGHWAY 99
As we were driving along Highway 99 North, I yelled at Hans to stop the car and turn around. I couldn't believe my eyes. There before us was this "REST AREA", complete with toilet, sink and bathtub. Someone with a sense of humour had created this rest area and filled the bathtub with flowers. Of course, Hans had to try out the "facilities".
Merritt: the Canadian Capital of Country Music
Some 270 km north east of Vancouver, the intrepid driver hits a highly industrialised crossroads that would appear to have little of interest unless the passengers in the car share a fascination for the timber industry. However, a bit of scratching below the surface will take that intrepid traveller into the centre of a small town, home to only 8,000 people, whose architecture screams its history as a frontier town: welcome to the town of Merritt.
Before the first Europeans fought their way to the Nicola Valley in which Merritt sits, the area had long been populated by native people. Since the mid 1800s the land around has been appreciated and exploited for its rich agricultural possibilities, particularly for raising livestock. While ranching remains an important feature of the local economy, the town of Merritt has also been involved in railroads, coal and copper mining and, following the bankruptcy of the town in the thirties, the ever present forestry industry.
Highway developments have since resulted in Merrit becoming an important transport hub for east-west routes as well as north-south ones.
The Merritt Chamber of Commerce has been pivotal in inaugurating a variety of initiatives to diversify the economy of the area. The casual visitor who can overlook the scarring that comes with the heavy industry that Merritt has grown to rely on, will be rewarded by recent restoration work in the town centre that gives an authentic flavour of the architecture favoured by those early pioneers. Fans of country music can indulge their interest through an annual festival that has resulted in the local dignitaries dubbing their hometown "the Country Music Capital of Canada". They can also play "hunt the star" along the streets of the town which now boast a Walk of Stars (see below).Related to:
- Road Trip
Merritt Walk of Stars
While the suggestion on their website that the Merritt Walk of Stars somehow rivals Hollywood's could be seen as overstating its allure somewhat, it is not without interest, especially to fans of good country music - and, for that matter, to fans of bad country music.
Merritt, a mere three hours drive from Vancouver, hosts an annual country music festival festival that has attracted the great and the good including Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam, Kenny Rogers and Jerry Lee Lewis. Some 12 years ago the Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the organisers of the festival inaugurated a system of bronze stars along the streets and some hand and foot prints. They now count more than 100, and a map, showing who can be found where, is available on the Walk of Stars website along with some information on each of the artists. There are also links to the websites of each of the Stars.
I wandered in the early morning sunlight and deserted street and spotted those of many people I had never heard of. It was only later I discovered the website and all became clear. The town also boasts some very colourful murals of certain country artists and a memorial wall.
The Merritt Walk of Stars centre can be found at 2185-B Voght StreetRelated to:
- Road Trip
Abbotsford is located just above the 49th parallel in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada. The Sumas border crossing into Washington, U.S.A. is just a 10 minute drive from downtown Abbotsford, and Vancouver takes about 70 kilometres and 40 minutes to reach. Abbotsford borders on the Fraser River and Mission to the north, Chilliwack to the east, Langley to the west, and the U.S.A. to the south.
SEE ABBOTSFORD IN MY TRAVELOGUERelated to:
- Family Travel
CULTUS LAKE PROVINCIAL PARK
Cultus is a Chinook word meaning "worthless", but the park area is now one of southern BC's most popular. Surrounded by mountains, the scenery is inspiring, swimming excellent, waterskiing, windsurfing and hiking are exhilerating. Numerous hiking trails. Ideal for horseback riding.
Follow Hwy.1 east towards Chilliwack, take Sardis Exit & right towards Sardis down Vedder Road. Follow signs.Related to:
- Family Travel
Bridal Falls, On Highway # 1, 16 km east of Chilliwack. Traveling east take exit #135, heading west take exit # 138.
The sixth highest falls in Canada drops 122 metres down from the side of almost 7,000 foot Mount Cheam flowing into Bridal Creek. The creek leads to Cheam Lake Regional Park. The Bridal Falls Park is located at the site of the ancient aboriginal village of Popkum which dates back to the 1700s. The trail from the parking lot is an easy twenty minute walk to the base of the falls. The scenic day use area at the foot of the Falls includes: picnicking area with tables, cold water taps and pit and flush toilets.Related to:
- Family Travel
Famous Hell's Gate, in the scenic Fraser Canyon, is nature at its most magnificent. Descending smoothly from highway level in one of our two comfortable 25-passenger cabins, you'll experience a breathtaking flight directly above the unique Hell's Gate fishways, where two million sockeye salmon challenge the river each year on their epic journey to their inland spawning grounds.
Hell's Gate is located in the Scenic Fraser Canyon on the Trans-Canada Highway #1, just 52 kms north of Hope and 48 kms south of Lytton, B.C. Accommodation is as near as Boston Bar, 10 kms to the north. Being only a 2.5 hour drive from Vancouver on Highway #1 puts it easily within the realm of a day trip for adventurous lower mainland familiesRelated to:
- Adventure Travel
Manning Park Resort Located in E.C. Manning Provincial Park, our Resort has been the gathering place for countless year-round outdoor enthusiasts who have enjoyed the Park and its many recreational opportunities since the late 1940's
Located 1200 meters above sea level in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, Manning Park Resort welcomes you to come and enjoy the friendly, natural, and down-to-earth surroundings of our Resort and Manning Provincial Park.Related to:
- Family Travel
The majority of Canadian ginseng is produced in eastern Canada but also some here in British Columbia. We were on the way to Shuswap Lake and i remember taking this picture as the fields were so green in contrast to the surrounding mountains. The guide had us guess what it was that was being planted and finally told us when nobody had a clue.
The largest bulk of the ginseng is exported to Asia where it is important in traditional medicine.
The American ginseng (referring to the north american) is Panax quinquefolius, which is different from the asian variety, it grows natively only in cold climates. It is argued that the american ginseng promotes the yin energy, while the Asian variety promotes the yang energy.Related to:
- Farm Stay
- Road Trip
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