Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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, who were and still are an integral part of Canadian history and culture.

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.

10 comments:

J said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marcel said...

Hi Mary,

Wow, I see I have to do some more traveling in Canada. I have been to many of the places you post and like much of Canada I find the beauty overwhelming. And, I also find the people of Canada to be extra friendly and nice.

Sioux said...

Canada is a glorious country. We are going to Vancouver in September...can't wait!

LZ Blogger said...

I love the forest shot... Very NICE! ~ jb///

Tina Coruth said...

Mary,

What a lovely glimpse of your beautiful country! I enjoyed reading this article very much. Although I have never really traveled in Canada, Canada has always had a special place in my heart. :-)

Hugs,
Tina

Thru Pink Curtains said...

WOW! you could put a write up in the National Geographic for Canada!!! You travel canada well. With one exception the place where i come from ----come over for dinner!!!!!

Mississippi Songbird said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I hope to one day get to visit..
Thanks so much for sharing these beautiful photos.. Bunches of hugs!

Mary said...

HiMary..Your glimpse of Canada was absolutely beautiful. I live in southern Ontario also. And we have travelled all through Canada, except for Nunavut. We have a truck camper so every summer for 2 or 3 weeks we go somewhere different. This summer though with the gas prices we have decided to jut go out west again. I just love the Rocky Mountains and cried the last time we left their, because the Rockies are so beautiful and breath taking. Mary

Barbara Rahal said...

You have trully describe the beauty of Canada here very well, I am not Canadian. I have come to live herea year ago, because my heart belongs to a Canadian man, and I am learning to love this new country. I started a blog to show the beauty of my new City Vancouver, and I hope people enjoy and discover it together with me. I invite you to come and visit me there. Lovelly blog you have . Thanks for sharing so much interesting things here. kind regards Barbara

Glenda C. Beall said...

Mary,Your writing about Canada shows your love for your country. I've been to the Canadian Rockies and never have I seen anything as beautiful and breath-taking.
A few years ago we took a cruise on the Ottawa River and St. Lawrence Seaway. What fine people we met and I still enjoy looking at the photos my husband made on that trip. I wish we could travel more in Canada and see all the beautiful places you described here.