Not So White BC.

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.’

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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!

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Let’s get started!

Last night my Godson expressed no surprise at all at the name of this blog, saying quite rightly “well you are always there.” As normal his first interest in my latest trip to British Columbia (BC) was, “what animals did you see?” I proclaimed sightings of Turkey Vultures, Bald Eagles & Big Horn Sheep, however the predictable retort sounded, “what about the Bears?”

Why am I qualified to advise on the Canadian pleasures that no tourist should miss? Well, I’m not, but as my long suffering friends will attest I do sound like a modern day Thomas Cook when I float before them yet another story of my travels, usually populated with countless excited adjectives like awesome, stunning & incredible. Anyway you hardly need to be qualified to express as I will in this blog an array not of advice but of opinions, which you never know someone out there may even find interesting, or better still useful.

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The Southern Okanagan’s wine vines draped in a blanket of snow.

The regularity of my fortuitous transatlantic  sojourns, & my adoration especially of Western Canada flowing from my lifelong love of mountains & nature, means I’m often positioned as the object of  welcome requests from friends & their friends for my thoughts on such exciting conundrums as which airport should I fly to, what sights should we see, which attractions should we leave out, which is the best ski resort, & how many calories are in a Denny’s breakfast?

The Columbia valley from Panorama, Invermere, BC
The Columbia valley from Panorama, Invermere, BC

So let’s get cracking & find out if my ramblings are of any interest beyond the press ganged residents of my home, & if so I’d be relieved & delighted to have my loneliness broken by any responses with thoughts, questions & opinions hopefully laced with lashings of the enthusiasm that I aim to emit for the pleasures of Canada.

 

 

Pleasures & treasures of Canada