Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Glimpse of Canada


From the rocky bluffs of Newfoundland to the vast Douglas fir forests and rocky shores of Vancouver Island, Canada is truly a country of picturesque beauty. Every province from the Maritimes in the east, to the rugged shores of British Columbia in the west, has its own natural beauty.

The Queen Charlotte Islands north of Vancouver Island point, as a bony finger, into the Pacific Ocean. Called Haida Gwii by the Haida Indians, they are often called the Canadian Galapagos. Here, abandoned villages, decaying totem poles and remnants of longhouses pay tribute to Canada’s Native Peoples.

In British Columbia, the paths of Stanley Park wind amidst giant firs and fragrant beds of flowers. Superbly carved totem poles reach into the sky, giving evidence of the talents of the Haida Tribe who once called the shores of the Pacific Ocean home. The little known Mohawk poetess, Pauline Johnson, spent many hours in this beautiful natural sanctuary.

The solitude of the Arctic Highlands have a desolate beauty all their own. The barren landscape, snow swirling in the wind, gives one the feeling of being completely alone in the world. On April 1, 1999, Nunavut became Canada’s newest territory. Here, you can discover the Inuit, the indigenous people who, for countless years, have called Nunavut home. You can see a variety of wildlife as well as the National Park. A great experience for those who love adventure.

In the heart of South Central Alberta lies the Drumheller Valley, often referred to as the Dinosaur Capital of Canada. It is within easy driving distance of Red Deer, Calgary or Banff and will sweep you into a prehistoric world. What is now Drumheller, once lay on the coastal lowlands of a vast inland sea. Lush vegetation was an ideal environment for a great variety of life forms. Dinosaurs roamed the area. Today, Drumheller is one of Alberta’s major tourist attractions.

The Big Valley Jamboree draws thousands of people to Saskatchewan each year. The event was inspired by an American radio show and in 1983, the Bosco Society created Saskatchewan’s first country music jamboree. 4,000 fans attended. The event has grown in popularity ever since. The nearby town of Craven, rightly proclaims itself to be the Country Capital of Canada.

The Interlake area of Manitoba has much to offer. Wildlife is abundant. Cougar, buffalo, coyote, moose, timber wolves and lynx are just a few of the animals that live in this natural wilderness. This area offers a wide variety of activities including boating, swimming, hunting, fishing, festivals, museums and history. There’s virtually something for everyone.

St. Jacob’s is an idyllic village located in Southwestern Ontario. As you stroll down the streets you have a definite feeling of stepping into the past. Though vehicles are allowed, many horse and buggies can be seen traveling on both the main and back roads in the area. The main street is a virtual smorgasbord of unique shops. A Touch Of Scotland sells handcrafted goods made by over a hundred local artisans. Gifts of every description can be purchased in this quaint rural town. Amish families live today much the same as they did a century ago. Telephone, electricity, tractors and indoor plumbing are taboo.

In culture and style, Montreal is Canada’s Paris and prides itself on being the largest French-speaking city outside of Paris. In any season this is a walker’s retreat. Shiny steel and glass towers, Neo Gothic churches and narrow 17th Century houses make this city a pleasure to visit.

Canada has seven covered bridges that have survived progress. All seven are in the Maritimes. I have visited the Wheaton or Tantramar covered bridge, which is located Northwest of Moncton, New Brunswick. A stroll in its cool interior on a hot day gave me the feeling of moving back in time to a completely different era.

The Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick has some of the highest tides in the world. These tides create a magnificent coastline. With every tide, 100 cubic kilometers of water enters or exits the bay. The Bay of Fundy is one of the marine wonders of the world.

The new Confederation Bridge that stretches over the Atlantic Ocean from the mainland to Prince Edward Island makes waiting for the ferry a thing of the past. PEI is famous for its red clay coast, crops of potatoes and the birthplace of Lucy Maude Montgomery, author of Anne Of Green Gables.

Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island is a magnificent place to visit in the Autumn, when it is alive with the breathtaking color of leaves that the frost has turned multiple shades of reds, yellows, oranges and browns. The Annapolis Valley is covered in a pristine blanket of white in the Spring when the apple blossom’s fragrance fills the entire valley. This area is a must for anyone who enjoys the wonder of nature.

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia is one of my favorite places. I have stood on its shores shrouded in mist and watched ten-foot waves pound and polish the granite rock that the coastline consists of. A red and white lighthouse stands on the point, its beacon warning the ships at sea of the danger of the rocks. The legend tells of a woman named Peggy whose husband went to sea and never returned. Until her dying day, no matter what the weather, Peggy walked to the ocean’s edge and stared toward the horizon, waiting for the man she loved to return home. Within a stone’s throw of the lighthouse lies a quiet fishing village that has not changed much over the years. Only the old timers remain. Here and on the shore are fishing boats, nets and lobster traps. One day these too will become a thing of the past.

I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of Canada. It is a country of rugged beauty, friendly people and a place where we live in freedom no matter our race or religion.

11 comments:

Denise said...

So very lovely my dear friend, thanks for sharing.

Mary said...

Denise,

Thank you for your comments. I do hope you are feeling better. You and Eddie are continually in my prayers.

Blessings,
Mary

Jackie said...

Just found you and love your blog. Canada is such a wonderland of people and places.

My son teaches in Drumheller. The other lives in Regina and we live in Estevan.

I am putting you on my blogroll.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing all the lovely photos!

blessings,
kari & kijsa

Nan said...

Lovely pictures.
Nan

Marcel said...

I sometimes wonder why my grandfather immigrated to the US from Canada. And, I have on more than one occasion been tempted to immigrate back. I have been fortunate to visit many areas of Canada and all Provinces except the Maritimes and Numavut. I have always found the people of Canada to be friendly and mostly down to earth folks.

My son went to school at the University of Victoria and married a very nice young lady from Toronto. My wife and I have sailed the Inside Passages of BC many times, in fact the hull of our treasured sailboat was designed and built in Vancouver. One of my cousins played professional hockey in Montreal for many years. So, I feel many, many strong ties to Canada.

Thanks for your wonderful narrative of your great country! I guarantee we will visit your great land again!

Mary said...

Jackie,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I will also put you on my blogroll.

I enjoyed your visit and hope to see you again soon.

Blessings,
Mary

Mary said...

kari & kijsa,

Thanks so much for stopping by. I will be by to pay you a visit also.

Blessings,
Mary

Mary said...

Thank you, Nan. I enjoyed my visit to your blog as well.

Blessings,
Mary

Mary said...

Marcel,

I'm glad you enjoyed the narrative. I have visited many places in Canada. If you have never been to Cape Breton Island be sure to add it to your destination list. Though it doesn't have the majestic mountains of Alaska, it has a beauty all of its own.

I enjoyed your visit, as always.

Blessings,
Mary

Tina Coruth said...

Mary,

I certainly did enjoy this wonderful glimpse of Canada. Your country is beautiful!

Hugs,
Tina