Stories

 

Canada - June & July 2010


From June 19th to the 26th, 2010

We spent the first night camping in a village called Hope. It was time to taste the famous Canadian dish, The Putine. Huuummm, it is a very healthy meal made with French fries covered with gravy and cheese…

After two days on the road, we made it to Jasper National Park. The temperature was higher here than the last few weeks in the USA. Our adventures began with a white water rafting afternoon on the Sunwapta river (level 3). Lucky us, our waterproof gear was protecting us from the freezing four degrees celsius water splashes. The following day, we hiked around Maligne Lake, visited Medicine Lake and Maligne canyon. The river flows through the 2-3 meters wide canyon, then plunges into a waterfall, disappears in a cave and reappears several meters deeper in the canyon. We enjoyed the end of the afternoon at the Miette hot springs. On our way, we were lucky to see some elks, long-horn goats and two coyotes feeding quietly on the side of the road. From far away, we even saw a black wolf, but it disappeared before we arrived. We had to get used the to the daylight, as the sunset was not before 10:30 PM, and it was not dark before 11:15, 11:30 PM…

    

The following day, we drove toward the Columbia Ice field and stopped on the way for a hike around the Five Lake Valley. The lake number five was splendid. The water was so transparent that we did not resist going for a quick bath (don't get me wrong, the water was freezing). The next morning, we joined a guide and hiked on the Athabasca glacier. The glacier melted a lot over the last decades and it could be completely gone within a century. The guide showed us how to recognize the cracks dissimulated below the snow, explained how they are formed and how the water runs above and below the glacier. The forecast was not exceptional, but for me it was a beautiful experience.

On the road to Banff, we saw our first two black bears feeding in a meadow. We would have loved to hug them!! The most beautiful of all the lakes we have seen is Peyto Lake. The color is really turquoise, it is surrounded by mountains, glaciers and the view from the top of the cliff is breath taking. The problem is that each lake is more beautiful than another, so I don't know how to describe them anymore… The lake Louise is also splendid, water is turquoise, there is a glacier on the background and there is a pretty walk that goes around the lake.

    

We had our last break in Banff were we had some sweets before hitting the road to the US. A few weeks from now, we might be back in Canada to visit the east side.

Click here to read the following story in the USA


From July 9th to the 21st, 2010

We crossed the Canadian border at Niagara Falls with heavy rain. We had to wait an hour in order to see the waterfall hiding behind the fog. It was not really the height that amazed us, but the quantity and strength of the water falling from the edge.

We continued our journey to Toronto, where friends of Aless's family were expecting us in the evening. Our hassle-free GPS lead us to the street where they lived. Unfortunately we realized that we were missing their house number and we lost the piece of paper where we'd written their phone number. Since it was a residential area and the street was just a few hundred meters long, we decided to ask the neighbors if they knew an Italian couple living in the street. We should have remembered that we were not in an Italian village where everyone knows each other ... Since no-one knew them, we asked if by any chance we could use their internet for two minutes, in order to take the phone number which was saved on our email account. For security reasons, they all refused. The last person we asked even threatened to call the police if we would not leave the area immediately. We decided not to insist and drove a few kilometers to find internet access, then called the family. With the house number in hand, we returned to the street where they lived and found their house. After a few minutes with them, we saw the headlights of a police car in front of the house. The policewoman asked us why we questioned the entire street and why we wanted to use their Internet. After a quick explanation, she smiled and wished us a good night.

We continued our journey to Montreal, where I was very happy to meet my dad's uncle and cousin for the first time. We spent a few days together, visiting the city and sharing our stories. It was a very pleasant stay.

    

After a few days of rest, we drove to Quebec City. It was right at the same time as the summer festival of music and street performers. The streets were crowded with people and events. We even had the opportunity to see a second show of Cirque du Soleil for free. The costumes, shows and the story are always so extraordinary.

We stopped at the Montmorency Waterfall, then continued driving east to Cape Breton Island National Park. I now understand why this region is named Nova Scotia. Some pubs have musicians playing Celtic music. The road along the coast goes through green hills. The houses overlooking the Atlantic are all colored. We went whale watching (you do watch whales, but you go whale watching) to see the Fin Pilot Whales. They are a very small type of whale, barely bigger than dolphins. We were able to approach a small group swimming near the surface. Before nightfall, we saw two moose wandering in the campground where we spent the night.

After the national park, we drove all the way to the US border. This time, the customs officer was not in a hurry…

Click here to read the following story in the USA

Click here to see pictures "Canada June-July 2010"