Today I will share a bit of my wondering around Canada. Yes, ‘I’ in singular because Canada I did it on my own, twice, while Alex stayed in NYC and then Tokyo.
Beautiful Lake Louise, Alberta
My first Canadian stop was in Calgary, Alberta. I took a week off our volunteering in NYC to visit a friend I love and miss very much and helped her move out of her house in Edmonton. During this week I mostly spent some quality time with my friend but also went around the city a few times and met some locals… Edmonton is a charming city and much bigger than I expected. It was nice knowing this city, but not very touristic…
My first and last day in Alberta I spent in Calgary, although I wish I had stayed longer to visit more stuff, I am pretty happy with what I saw. First we visited downtown and then hit the road for 3 hours till Edmonton, passing through lots of red barns, farms, forests, etc… quite a beautiful journey. For my last day we woke up early and went to Banff National Park… What a place! The main attraction was Lake Louise, but the whole place is worth visiting for sure. Our first stop there was a small waterfall formed by the melting snow from the Mountains (I was there in June) forming a small pool just a few minutes hiking up… From the top we could appreciate an amazing view to the mountains and other lakes.
Second stop was the famous Lake Louise, no doubt one of the most amazing landscapes in the world. You probably know it from your screen saver… I will let pictures speak for themselves on this one:
After visiting the lake and having spent the whole day hopping to sea a bear (I mean, it was Canada after all…) we stopped at the tiny mountain village of Banff for lunch before heading back to the airport.
I am so happy I got to help a dear friend and as a bonus I got to visit this amazing place FOR FREE – 2017 is Canada’s 150 anniversary so all the National Parks are free! 🙂
Vancouver, British Columbia
When our USA adventure came to an end, we were both supposed to fly to Tokyo and start together our Asian adventures. However, as a Brazilian I only had the right to apply for a Japanese Visa from Brazil and it was just not possible to fly all the way back home for a 3 days visa. My only choice was to go back to Canada, this time to explore Vancouver on my own while Alex did the same in Tokyo.
I stayed downtown and pretty much just walked everywhere so I can’t really comment on public transportation or taxis… Vancouver was as interesting as every big city is, big buildings and lots of stuff to do, not much else to see. What I can recommend is to walk down Grandville street till you reach Grandville island, where you will find a big market with lots of food and crafts, a cool place for lunch. After that you can either take a little taxi boat or walk along the False creek till you reach the Science Museum, a pretty cool building worth a selfie (it is nicer at night time with all the lights on). There is also big stadiums near by so if you are a sports fan and there is a match while you are there, then why not?
Another must when in the city is Stanley Park, where you will see some pretty cool aboriginal statues, have a cool view of Vancouver’s skyline, walk or bike along the Sea Wall, swim at the beaches on the way, go for a hike… there are many things to do and you can easily spend a day or 2 there. As I didn’t have much time in the city I took a Hop on Hop off bus (quite expensive, around 50$) to have time to see everything, but if you have enough time and don’t mind walking a lot, don’t waste your money on that.
My only regret was not visiting Joffre Lake by lack of time and planning. It seems to be really pretty, possibly the 2nd prettiest after Lake Louise… This one will remain in my bucket list.
As expected people were very kind in Canada and alcohol pretty expensive (almost 4 dollars for a beer can in a liquor store!). Also, Vancouver got my attention by the amount of Asian looking people (I was told the city has a great Chinese influence) and the amount of homeless. I was lucky enough to be In the country during summer, I am not sure I would have been able to handle winter. Summer nights in Edmonton were already making me use my winter jacket while in Vancouver it remained pretty warm at night.
Vancouver was the last stop of our America adventure and now its time to explore Asia!
Stay tuned for our new cultural shocks and discoveries 🙂