Farewell to 2021, with tourism and travel continuing to struggle for a second year. With yet another year close to home, would we with a travel blog even have a 2021 top 10 to choose from?
Thankfully living near one of the most beautiful places on earth, the Canadian Rockies, provide a wondrous backyard. With gratitude to you our loyal readers for staying with us.
We wish each of you good health and the ability to find joy in 2022. Sometimes the wonders of life are at our fingertips if we just look closely.
2021 Top 10 Posts
As dawn breaks, fog encircles the minarets of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque. Sipping Turkish coffee, we listen to the calls to prayer reverberating from mosques throughout the city, where Asia and Europe meet. A decade ago we fell in love with Turkey. It is a love of the people, the culture, the food and the rich, bold flavour of Turkish coffee. Returning to Canada, we think surely we can learn how to make Turkish coffee at home.
“What’s the difference? Isn’t Nordic walking just walking with hiking poles?”
When I ask friends, “Have you ever tried Nordic walking?” this is the usual response.
I admit it is exactly what I think, when Mandy Johnson, owner of Active By Nature in Canmore, offers to take us Nordic pole walking.
My regular hiking poles are well traveled. From the Inca Trail in Peru to the muddy, root-filled terrain of Canada’s West Coast Trail, the poles are a constant companion. How different can a Nordic walking workout be?
It works. It works because a little trust goes a long way.” Marea Olafson’s wide smile and bright eyes await my reaction. Here in her Saskatchewan arts highway store Freba Pottery, I am a mixture of amazement and disbelief.
“You leave the pottery store open 24 hours a day? And no one steals anything?” This once Saskatchewan farm girl, now big city cynic, finds it all hard to believe.
“Would you steal something?” Marea’s question leaves me taken aback.
Stunning images of Canadian Rockies hovering over sweeping valleys. In this mountain town, finding the best Banff view is a photography treasure hunt.
Banff National Park is Canada’s oldest protected parkland and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site as part of the Canadian mountain range. It has been beckoning world travelers for over 125 years with its endless green valleys and jaw dropping mountain peaks.
The beauty is surreal. Moraine Lake, gleaming in sunlight, as if turquoise gems have dissolved into its glacial lake waters. Tourists and locals alike, find it challenging to pull their eyes from the mesmerizing shades. One of Canada’s most popular destinations, figuring out how to get to Moraine Lake has become a travel puzzle.
The Valley of the Ten Peaks surrounds the jaw-dropping lake in Banff National Park. Moraine Lake Canada, with nearby mountains, waterfalls and rugged rocky shores, is a must see destination. Indeed any visitor to Banff National Park wants to see Moraine.
At the foot of Cascade Mountain lies the remains of one of the key economic engines that spurred the development of Banff National Park. The Bankhead ghost town was once the thriving coal mining community of Bankhead, Alberta. Now the remnants of the abandoned coal mine sit quietly amid one of the most beautiful locations in Canada.
Canmore nestles in the Bow Valley corridor of Alberta, east of the entrance of Canada’s jewel, Banff National Park. Established in 1883 as a railway depot, the town sprang to life in 1887 when coal mining began. For over ninety years, coal and Canmore mines were synonymous.
Today the trendy shops, restaurants and art galleries lining main street, reveal little evidence of the coal mine industry. The community thrives on a vision of environmental sensitivity and economic sustainability.
Not necessarily an easy balance in one of the most beautiful towns in Canada.
When in Calgary, Alberta, Canada it is not uncommon to experience the effects of Chinook winds. Chinooks are warm, dry, and typically powerful winds that flow eastward from the Canadian Rockies onto the prairies. A Chinook arch cloud formation is a welcome winter sight.
Pushing typical cold winter air masses away, the chinook weather allows for temperatures to occasionally increase dramatically. And I mean dramatically.
In 1966, strong Chinook winds blew over the southwest Alberta town of Pincher Creek, increasing the air temperature from -23°C (-10°F) to 2°C (36°F). This was a 25°C (46°F) climb in temperature – in one hour!
Visiting South America and finding the blue-footed booby, one begins to think a group of giggling adolescents was summoned for name assignment duty on the continent.
“Let’s call this big pond Lake Titicaca“.
The 12 year old gang doubles over with laughter and snorts.
“That’s nothing! Over here this one will be Lake PooPo“.
Now the puberty driven hysteria is in full swing. They can no longer stand up they are laughing so hard. Rolling about on the ground they spy birds flying overhead. One, who can manage to speak between fits of giggles, calls out,
“Look! There are boobies in the air!”
Wilderness wonderland. Culinary hotspot. Adventure lover playground. Canada’s oldest National Park is its most popular. With 6,641 square kilometres (2,564 square miles) of protected Canadian Rockies, deciding what to do in Banff can be a challenge. From our decades of hiking, cycling and exploring, comes our 3 day Banff itinerary.
With pristine wilderness delivering astonishing vistas at every turn, the UNESCO World Heritage site is a world renowned destination. With over 4 million visitors per year, Banff hotels can book quickly.
We hope to welcome you to Alberta one day soon. Do you have a favourite from our top 10 of 2021?