Some wise old sage apparently once said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well for me there is little doubt that western Canada holds more than its own in the beholding of beauty stakes.
Ever since I excitedly disembarked my first transatlantic flight aboard a now defunked Canada 3000 aircraft around 20 years ago, I have found myself thoroughly engaged by the wondrous vistas of BC & its neighbouring province Alberta.
My first experience of the land of snow & ice was in midsummer, but cleverly or so I thought, I arrived in the pre-wheelie case period dragging luggage bulging with winter woollies; & in the hope that a spot of summer sun may soften the snow, the odd pair of gaudy ‘Next’ shorts & ill fitting muscle shirts like something out of an episode of the dance musical ‘Fame.’
Concurrent with my exit from Vancouver Airport I instantly noted that the roads were black, the air was warm, & that skiers & Polar Bears were few & far between. And so it came to be that I recognised that a country whose southern border shares a latitude similar to that of Rome, provides scarce opportunities in summer for sporting the latest Fairisle style knitwear creations.
I will in more informative writings return to several of the pleasures encountered on my route but suffice it to say for the present that by week 3 & my rental car decent into the Okanagan valley, my first sighting of vineyards, highway signs for Summerland & Peachland & a thermometer boasting 42 centigrade completed lesson one of my crash course in the climatic zones of western Canada.
I duly traded my snow boots for flip flops & my hand warmers for sun cream & my transformation into an officionado of hot BC summer holidays was complete, as I endured the pain of a week of wine tasting & unexpected lake based beach life. O well we live & learn!