Around the world. (Part 2)

Here is part  2 of my series “Around the world”.

Canada is a very  large country. If you live in the East maybe you did not visit the West part of the country.  I was lucky to drive across Canada twice.  The first time, alone,  from Quebec to BC and the second time  with my family from BC to Winnipeg. I really enjoyed driving  in the Prairies and seeing the Rockies is also a wonderful memory. Unfortunately I do not have much photos of those areas . Sometimes the best I could do was to take a photo through the window. We had many km to do every day.

I visited the Maritimes ( except New Newfoundland and Labrador) when I was 19.  I went back some years  later, with my family,  in Nova Scotia and New-Brunswick.  One day I might visit the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon. And of course, I visited many parts of  Quebec .  Magdalen Islands, located in the Gulf of St-Laurent, is a splendid corner of  my country. Not so easy to access  but it is what makes it even more interesting.

In USA, I have seen lots of states .  I have done  many km on the roads in USA. One summer  we traveled through 26 states . We visited majors cities in the east : Boston, New-York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Pittsburgh.  We also spent time in Chicago and Saint-Louis. The main reason for this trip was to see many baseball games.

I still have to see states in the south-east part of the US. I have been many times to Washington state, Oregon and California. In Arizona and Utah I have seen wonderful vistas.

In Mexico, I went to Mazatlan, Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Zihuatanejo. I have so many good memories of  time spent in Mexico. I love the sun, the beach and the food!

Thanks for visiting my blog today. Next week,  another post of travels. Are you following me ? I hope you enjoy the photos as well.

 

 

A fun summer.

Hello readers !

I know summer is not over yet  but it feels like it. I will show you -with more photos than words- some activities I enjoyed this summer. And then I  will  take a break and wait to have  fun things for “show and tell”.  Writing my blog is not a job.  I  enjoy it but letting the computer having a rest is not a bad idea !

First, there were a few trips to Langley  to pick up berries: strawberries, raspberries and also blueberries. Which one are your favorite ? They are great in smoothies. I am please to support local farmers.

Spending summer in Vancouver is nice. You may want to pretend you are a tourist. Not so far from Vancouver, with only a short ferry ride, Bowen Island was waiting for us. We climbed  Mount Gardner to appreciate the view on the Sunshine Coast.

We walked around Killarney Lake.

and just in case you are lost or think you are , follow the signs.

Summer is a good time to have guests and go on  different outings.

Lynn Canyon suspension bridge is always fun to cross. On that day , we were quite early and I was able to capture Emilie  almost by herself on the bridge. When we came back there was more action (firefighters in training).

We like our beautiful green and mossy  forest.

Going downtown ( using the sea-bus).

Visiting Dr. Sun-Yat Sen garden.

Resting for a minute at English Bay.

Going up Grouse Mountain to check our fitness level.  The Grouse Grind is a very popular hike for locals and visitors. The Grouse Grind trail takes you up steep and rugged terrain from the North Vancouver plateau to the glorious Grouse Mountain peak. It is a near vertical 2.9km (1.8 mile) hike up the mountain, offering an intense workout with 2,830 stairs and an elevation gain of 2,800 feet.

When you reach the top, you can say hello to Grinder and Coola (the bears), enjoy the bird show, admire the view.  It is fun to take your time  up there and come down with the gondola only when you know you are ready to be back in the city.

Here is my friend Agathe  with a view of the city down below.

What else ? Oh well,  summer is also time to hike. This year we did a few new hikes . Kennedy Falls was  a good one. It gave us the chance to see the Big Cedar,  a 600+ year old red cedar, that is one a only few old-growth trees in Lynn Valley to have escaped being clear-cut. At 4 meters wide, it’s arguably the most spectacular tree you can find anywhere around Vancouver.

Here is the falls. It was a perfect spot to have our lunch.

A  smile on the trail… to make us smile of course!

I  thank you for reading or leaving a comment. I will be back later with new adventures  and photographs to share with  you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada

July  1st is Canada Day ! Happy  Canada Day !

This year, Canada celebrates 150 years. Sesquicentennial. Ses·qui·cen·ten·ni·al. It means a one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary, and if you perfect the pronunciation it’s a real crowd pleaser.

Some will say it is older than 150 years  but I think  Canada is still a young country. How old is  the country  where you live ?

Canada is a North American country stretching from the U.S. in the south to the Arctic Circle in the north. Major cities include massive Toronto, west coast film centre Vancouver, French-speaking Montréal and Québec City, and capital city Ottawa. Canada’s vast swaths of wilderness include lake-filled Banff National Park in the Rocky Mountains. It’s also home to Niagara Falls, a famous group of massive waterfalls.

I am Canadian. I was born in Canada and lived in Canada all my life. I grew up in Quebec  but I am now living in British Columbia. So I moved from  almost one end of the country to the other end. Nature is very different in each  provinces. We have beautiful National Parks : Banff , Waterton Lakes, Jasper, Yoho,  etc… In fact there are 47 National Parks in Canada. All provinces have it special beauty.

I have not visited Newfoundland yet  but I hope to go there one day. You get there by ferry or by plane.

Maritime provinces are very interesting. I have traveled to Nova Scotia twice. I know some parts of New Brunswick.  I crossed Prince Edward Island to get to Magdalen Islands. The Magdalen Islands form a small archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with a land area of 205.53 square kilometers. Though closer to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, the islands form part of the Canadian province of Quebec. I have been twice to Magdalen Islands and I want to go back. I really love the wonderful beaches where you can walk a long time. It is very windy as it is in the gulf of Saint Lawrence. Some people like to go there to do  surf kite.

When I moved to BC, I drove across Canada by car. It was an interesting feeling to see my country.  And 22 years later, my family ( husband and kids)  went on a road trip across Canada.

In Alberta, we spent one night at the Prince of Wales  Hotel built in 1920. This hotel is opened only 4 months during the year ( end of May to end of September). It is located in Waterton Lakes National Park.

In Manitoba, we saw bisons.

I was very happy to see our famous Niagara Falls. They are a major tourist attraction for anyone who comes to Ontario.

Quebec City is a lovely city . The  iconic Chateau Frontenac ( Fairmont Hotel) is a wonderful historic building.  This heritage urban resort with its breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River and the architecture of the Old fortified City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site is always great to see.

Now that I live on the West Coast,  I want to see more of my province. There is so much to see here in BC. I love traveling and I plan on seeing more each year.

I share two photos  showing down-town (taken from the North Shore). The sea-bus is transporting pedestrians to and from the North Shore.

To all Canadians, Happy Canada Day.

…and to you all who read my blog, Thank you ! Maybe you can tell me what is your favorite city in Canada ( if you have been visiting or living here). I know it is a difficult question.

 

 

 

4 Seasons

Antonio Vivaldi wrote the  “Le Quattro Stagioni” ,  each of which gives a musical expression to a season of the year.  Beautiful music !   Today my  post  reflects on  our 4 seasons in Canada. Is there a perfect season ? Or is it just perfect that we  have 4 seasons  (at least here in Canada) ?

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Spring. La primavera. It was not my favorite season when I lived in Quebec ( for about 30 years). Ski season was over. We couldn’t cycle yet. The grass wasn’t green. The snow was melting too slowly (and was dirty) and it was still cold.  As a Vancouverite, spring has become almost my favorite season.  In February – it is still winter- but in my garden I am delighted to see snowdrops followed by crocuses. We start to see flowers (the bulbs) very early and the trees are blooming in March and April.  At last, there is not as many rainy days.  Except this year ( so much rain !).

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And lilac  is a good sign of spring.

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Tulip time is  fantastic when we can visit those  large fields. It has become an interesting outing for us who live in the Lower Mainland. Just south of the border it is also possible to enjoy such beauty. I took this photo in April 2014 in Agassiz, British Columbia. Isn’t it beautiful ?

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Summer.  L’estateSummer Solstice is on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 9:24 pm in Vancouver. This day is 8 hours, 4 minutes longer than  December Solstice day. The longest day of the year. Oh ! Joy! Dinners outside will  be in order and spending time in the garden to keep it nice.  I am not really a person who spend time at the beach  but walking by the water is wonderful with the smell and the wind.  When I am not traveling  I rather hike or cycle and it is why I really enjoy summer. The birds are happily singing early in the morning inviting me to get out of bed .

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Summer is also time to pick up berries. Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.  I like to have those local berries in my freezer for the winter months.

Sometimes, I enjoy splendid sunsets. This one was taken from English Bay.

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Too soon, for me, summer is fading away.  Days are not as long and not as warm although we rarely suffer from high heat during the summer months in Vancouver. The word fall is not my favorite word of the dictionary.

Fall is l’autonno in Italian.  Fall is a bit sad for me. Falling leaves, cool days  and more rainy days. But on a positive note we see magnificent trees and beautiful leaves.  And when we get  sunny days , we want  to be outside cleaning up the garden once more. Walking in the forest is  good to stay connected with nature that is preparing for a rest.

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Winter. L’inverno. We are getting more rainy days . The days are very dark. We might get snow in the city but mostly we get  it on our local mountains. I used to go up to do cross-country skiing. When snow falls in the city, why not making a snowman ? No need to have little kids around. I have my inner child.  I had fun creating  “Alfred” in December 2016.

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Now, you know that I like  the 4 seasons. You also know  which one is my favorite if you read until here. Maybe you can tell me which one is your favorite ?

Thanks for reading and your comments. Happy 4 seasons !

 

 

 

Photography

As a traveler I capture lots of photos.  Those are my best memories. I can always go back to them and recall  the moment. I don’t want it to be only an  image sitting in a folder of my computer. I want to share it with people who appreciate the art of photography.  I might inspire people who are going to look at them and think “I really want to go there one day.” It happened to me many times. Do you recall it happen to you also ? Would you tell me ?

Today , only a few pictures from different trips or  sometimes just around where I live. Taken with my small camera  or with my smartphone.  I picked 12 photos just for you. And maybe just for my own pleasure of sharing.   Macro, nature, architecture, landscape, food or people. It is all interesting for me.

Many thanks for viewing and comments.

January : Vancouver, BC

February. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Chiracahua National Monument Monument , Arizona

Tombstone, Arizona

March: Just in a grocery store !

May: Palouse, Washington State, USA

July: British-Columbia, Canada

September:  La Morra, Piedmont, Italy.

Montforte d’Alba,  Piedmont, Italy

Boccadasse,  Italy

November: Vancouver, Canada

December: Whistler, Canada

If you have a favorite photo, tell me which one.

Thanks.

 

 

 

Let’s get out of town (TO) and explore other areas in Ontario.

Toronto is fun to explore but if you live in the city you also want to escape and enjoy   the nature. My son took advantage that we were visiting and had a car to go north of Toronto… to Blue Mountain.

In this post I will share  a few photos from that visit. Let’s go…

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Blue Mountain. A ski hill with 42 runs and 3 terrain parks.

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…with a view on the Georgian Bay.

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The village of Blue Mountain. They like the Adirondak chairs in this area ! The first Adirondack chair was designed by Thomas Lee while vacationing in  Westport , New York, in the  Adirondack Mountains  in 1903. Also called a  Muskoka chair  in Canada, it is a simple chair made of wood or man made materials, generally used outdoors. Originally made with 11 flat wooden boards, it features a straight back and seat and wide armrests.

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…or maybe you would like to try those one,  ski style  in case you do not know what to do with old skis.

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Old truck can be use for decoration !

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Collingwood is a town with nice murals.

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…and then we went to Wasaga Beach. Wasaga Beach is situated along the longest freshwater beach in the world, it is a popular summer tourist destination, located along the southern end of Georgian Bay, approximately two hours north of Toronto, and neighbours, to the west, the town of Collingwood. Wasaga Beach is situated along 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) of sandy beach on Nottawasaga Bay and the winding Nottawasaga River.    A record 18 endangered piping plovers have been spotted in Wasaga Beach. Piping Plover are nesting there.

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It was nice to walk on the board walk. Many people were enjoying the beach on a nice sunny day.

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Fun to be outside and discovering new places.  I enjoyed sharing it with you.

Thanks so much for your comments .

Next week,  I will share story and photos  from my recent trip in Europe.

 

 

Toronto

 

Hello ! Bonjour!  Buongiorno! Buenos dias ! If you follow me and read my blog, I just posted about Barcelona last week. Today it will be about CANADA. But  again I have more about Europe to  share  very soon.

Toronto, the capital of the province of Ontario, is a major Canadian city along Lake Ontario’s northwestern shore. It’s a dynamic metropolis with a core of soaring skyscrapers, all dwarfed by the iconic CN Tower. Toronto also has many green spaces, from the orderly oval of Queen’s Park to 400-acre High Park and its trails, sports facilities and zoo.

I will show you the Toronto I saw during my  visit at the end of June (2016).

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The CN Tower is a 553.33 m-high concrete communications and observation tower.

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Maybe you like  to go to a baseball game and watch the only Canadian team: The Blue Jays. They play at the  Rogers Centre.

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If you like to taste beer,  Steam Whistle is there. The brewery occupies Bays 1-14 within a building known as the John Street Roundhouse at  Roundhouse Park. The company produces a premium pilsner lager packaged in distinctive green glass bottles and a non-twist cap.

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Maybe you would like to ride a bike. It is possible to  rent one. The helmet is not mandatory in Ontario.

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Going to Toronto Islands Park is a nice idea on a hot day.

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View of Toronto while we were on the ferry.

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The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is a lighthouse located on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario. Begun in 1808, it is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes, and one of Toronto’s oldest buildings. Deactivated in 1956.

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Beaches on the islands are  fun for many people.

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And the Far Enough Farm with lots of animals is an interesting activity.

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To visit Toronto, we can use the street car  or just walk.

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We spent some time in the Distillery. Located east of downtown , it contains numerous cafés, restaurants, and shops housed within heritage buildings of the former  Gooderham and Worts Distillery . The 13 acres (5.3 ha) district comprises more than forty heritage buildings and ten streets, and is the largest collection of  Victorian-era  industrial architecture in North America. The district was designated a  National Historic Site of Canada  in 1988.

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Toronto has lots of murals.

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And of course there is always  a church to photograph. Here is St-Mary’s church.

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Just outside down-town, we saw the Scarborough Bluffs.

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This was a quick tour of Toronto.  Thanks for reading.