For those of our readers that had wondered why we were dormant for a while, we took some time off from our observations of a World seemingly hell-bent on going backwards, with increasingly greater number of ‘World Leaders’ pushing it towards eventual species and planetary self-destruction, and undertook an amazing, soul soothing, faith and health restoring - 3300 kms road-trip.
The trip was undertaken to show wonderful friends from Belgium one of the most scenic parts of Canada, the Rockies, and some of the wine and fruit growing region of the Province of British Columbia. The Belgians were suitably-awed, as were we, upon revisiting stunning Western Canada having resided in Toronto for the better part of two decades.
Canada is God’s Country – pardon the sentimentality - not only because of its incredible, largely unspoilt geographical diversity, but because of the equally incredible diversity of its people and visitors. Additionally, in a World wracked with violent conflicts and self-serving repressive regimes, Canada is one of the few large truly democratic countries that is largely at peace with itself, and externally with most of the World, which for the most part makes it a safe Country to travel in for long road trips. Having traversed much of Western and Northern Canada - British Columbia, Alberta, Yukon - including Alaska - (and the Western and Eastern seaboard of the U.S.) a few times in the past, I can attest to this fact.
As this was not planned as an ‘off-road’ kind of adventure, though there are plenty of opportunities for that in Canada, suffice it to say, the incredible infrastructure through this part of the Country, wonderfully paved roads, bridges and tunnels, along with wonderful small towns with all amenities, and rest stops, made driving through it a sheer pleasure.
Being summer, the famous destinations were incredibly busy but still a pleasure to visit. But the real thrill was the soul-nourishing long drives on Canada’s highways through some of the most pristine National Parks. Every bend in the road made not only for an enjoyable drive (if one likes driving) but also frequently brought some of the most spectacular vistas into view.
We started from Canada’s energy capital, Calgary, and drove West into the Canadian Rockies and particularly into the Banff National Park with its delightful town of the same name for our first rest. Banff is settled in a wonderfully scenic spot and was packed with people from all over the World. It was a good first stop before we headed off into the renowned Jasper National Park, and the town of Jasper, taking the highway straight up northwards through some incredible scenic mountainous ranges with spectacular lakes and rivers whose waters were startlingly emerald green, turquoise blue, platinum, gold, silver, or even milky white.
For the next few days the driving was fun and relaxing, the vistas awe-inspiring and the company most agreeable.
Coming out of the Rocky Mountains after days of amazing drives and stops at the scenic wonder spots, we drove into the Okanagan Valley with its vineyards, fruit orchards and lakes (Canada’s water wonderland for vacationers, particularly boaters, canoers and water rafters, and sunbathers) and spent some days there before turning towards the fabulous port city of Vancouver and all its wonders.
Not wanting this to turn into the equivalent of a forced viewing of endless slides of someone else’s amazing vacation while they gush interminably, suffice it to say the entire experience was all wonderful and restorative. We are back now, and will continue to take stock of the goings on in the World and give our opinions as to what it means. Good to be back – stay tuned.