Travel Diaries: Canada Is Not Just Niagara Falls, There’s Lots More To See Than Just That

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Last month, I took a trip, which can easily be called my dream trip, to one of the world’s most beautiful countries, Canada.  Of course, it took a lot of planning, but at the end of it, it was the best one that I’ve ever taken in my life. When I came back, the first question that I was asked was “Did you see the Niagara falls?” Well, I know that it is something that you cannot miss, but what I realized was that Canada is a HUGE country! Niagara Falls is on the East Coast and I visited the west. To see half of the west, it took me 3 and a half weeks, seeing the east will take 3 more weeks! So coming back – no, I didn’t see the Niagara Falls, but what I saw certainly didn’t make me miss the fall!

Canmore

I stayed in the city of Calgary, and the closest tourist attraction was this small town called Canmore. What is the main attraction? There’s not one, but many. The view of the town! It is surrounded by snow clad mountains and tiny houses. And there’s a bagel place called ‘Rocky Mountain Bagel Co’ which serves the world’s best bagels!

Canmore 2Source

Canmore 1

Banff National Park

The next tourist attraction, and one of the biggest in Canada, is the Banff National Park. It’s 127 km away from Calgary and you can easily reach there in an hour. In the National Park, there is a mountain which is almost 7,000 feet above ground level! You have to take a cable car, gondola as they call it. It was cold up there, but it was absolutely worth it. From the top most point, you can see the entire Banff town!

Banff 1

Banff 2

Banff 3

Lake Louise

Before I start writing about this, let me tell you, no words or no pictures can justify what I actually saw there! Located in the middle of 3 snow clad mountains, Lake Louise is a photographer’s paradise! Pristine blue water and a cold breeze, I could have actually spent the entire day there.

Lake 1

Lake 2

Lake 3

Lake 4

Kamloops

Kamloops is in the British Columbia province, where the North and South Thompson rivers meet. It is a small city which is known for hiking trails, bike park and numerous ski runs.

Kamloops

Nanaimo

Next, we headed to this quaint little island called Nanaimo. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, this island is the perfect retirement spot. The houses in the island are to die for. There is also a harbor in downtown where you can spot sea-planes, take a long walk, and eat the best fish and chips!

Nanaimo 1

Nanaimo House

Harbour - Nanaimo 1

Harbour - Nanaimo 2

Harbour - Nanaimo 3

Harbour - Nanaimo

Victoria – Buchart Garden

While we were at Nanaimo, we drove to another island, Victoria. A little faster-moving than Nanaimo, Victoria can be covered in one day. While we did explore the downtown, we went to the Buchart Garden. Situated in Brentwood Bay, near Victoria, this garden is almost a century old. They’ve innumerable flowers and trees displayed there!

Buchart Garden 1

Buchart Garden 2

Buchart Garden 3

Buchart Garden 4

Buchart Garden 5

Buchart Garden 6

Stanley Park

The next stop for us was the city of Vancouver. If I had to define Vancouver, I’d say, it’s like Mumbai, just a lot cleaner. While there, we visited one of the world’s biggest parks – The Stanley Park. It is bigger than the Central Park in New York. We took a horse carriage ride around the park, which took us a couple of hours. Also, we had the best Chinese food ever at Chongong in downtown Victoria. If you ever go there, don’t miss this place.

Stanley Park 1

Stanley Park 2

 

Stanley Park 4

Port Moody

This year, Canada celebrated its 150 birthday on 1stJuly. So, of course, there were a lot a celebrations that were happening around Canada. On 1st July we went to a park near Port Moody to be a part of the celebration. From food and drinks to games and a stage show, it had everything you could ask for.

Port Moody

Port Moody 1

Port Moody 2

Port Moody 3

Port Moody 4

The Calgary Zoo

While in Calgary, we had a chance to visit the Calgary Zoo. Trust me, I was never so excited to go to a zoo ever. From penguins to bears to tigers to Lemurs, this zoo has almost all the animals. Well, it took us 3 hours to get through the zoo, so you can imagine how big it is.

PSA: THEY ARE GETTING PANDAS IN JANUARY 2018!

Calgary Zoo 1

Calgary Zoo 2

Calgary Zoo 3

Calgary Zoo 4

Calgary Zoo 5

The Calgary Parade

If you are visiting Calgary in the month of July, don’t miss the stampede at any cost! Known as the greatest outdoor show on earth, Stampede takes place every year. It starts with the parade on the 1st Day, where 2-3 streets of Downtown are closed and a huge parade walks through. It has floats from all the communities staying in Canada, bands, political parties, army, navy, air force and a lot more!

Parade 1

Parade 2

Parade 3

Parade 4

The Calgary Stampede

After the Parade is done, they open the ‘Stampede Ground’. You have a pay a fee to get inside, where there is food, amusement rides and loads of games! You can spend your whole day here without getting bored. You will find lots of weird food items here – fried Oreos, deep fried chicken feet, large turkey legs, and a lot more. Eat it only if you have the heart!

Stampede 1

Stampede 2

Stampede 3.jpg

Chuck Wagon Race

After roaming around in the stampede ground, we went to see chuck wagon race. It’s basically horse race with wagons. So much fun!

Chuck Wagon 1

 

Grand Stand Show

After the race, a big stage is set and the ‘Grand Stand Show’ begins. It’s a stage show where is there are people singing and dancing showing the culture of Canada. It was surely a once in a lifetime experience, and it ended with the most amazing fireworks I had ever seen.

Grand Stand 1

Grand Stand 2

West Edmonton Mall

Just a few days before we were to leave, we visited Edmonton, a neighboring city. While there, we visited the biggest Mall Canada has – The West Edmonton Mall. While there are a lot of brands there, the most astonishing part of the mall is that it has a water park and an amusement park, right inside the mall! Crazy, right?

Edmontom Mall 1

Edmontom Mall 2

Edmontom Mall 3

Phew! In the 24 days that I was there, this is all I could cover. This trip to Canada will stay in my heart forever!

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