Category: Travel

The best of BC

A little while back, National Geographic Adventure magazine posted an article on the best places to go in the Pacific Northwest, including BC. Some cool trips! Check out the heli-biking and exploring Haida Gwaii on the Duen, an historic Norwegian ketch.

Riding the Hulahula

If you are looking for some inspiration for a great adventure trip, then check out Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean: A Guide to Fifty Extraordinary Adventures for the Seasoned Traveler, by Don Mankin and Shannon Stowell (National Geographic). It covers some great destinations, making you want to quit your job and start travelling (although one needs the paycheque to pay for it all).

Vancouver named among top adventure cities in the world

The new Adventure Trip e-zine just ranked Vancouver as #3 among top adventure cities in the world, behind Kathmandu and Arusha. Their description of Vancouver:

Vancouver sits at the confluence of the Strait of Georgia, the Fraser River, and the Coastal Mountains in British Columbia Canada. It’s close proximity to those natural resources make it a paradise for outdoor nuts. Few other cities in the world can boast such close proximity to an ocean, rivers, lakes, and mountains, affording residents and visitors great hiking, backpacking, kayaking, climbing, and just about any other outdoor activity you can think of. Great skiing is a short drive away to the North Shore, and the same region offers unrivaled mountain biking in the warmer months. Speaking of which, the relatively mild temperatures make for warmer winters and cooler summers meaning that the outdoor paradise accessible year round.

Via Besthike.

Trekking guide for Bhutan

My friend Bart Jordans has just published the second edition of his excellent guide to trekking in Bhutan: Bhutan, a Trekker’s Guide. This comprehensive book is the only guide dedicated to trekking in Bhutan. It covers all the major treks, including the famous snowman trek, often said to be one of the world’s most difficult treks.

For additional information on trekking in Bhutan, check out Bart’s Bhutan Treks website, or my site on hiking and trekking in Bhutan.

Luxury expedition ship coming to Labrador

The first ultra luxury expedition ship, the Prince Albert II, has just taken on its first passengers in London. Think marble-floored bathrooms, private balconies, a library, and to top it off, The Humidor, where connoisseurs can enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs.

It will take a cruise of Labrador this summer, including a visit to Torngat Mountains National Park, adding to the number of small cruise ships already exploring the Labrador coast. It will be a luxury cruise, for sure, but nowhere as authentic as a trip on the local Northern Ranger! Hmm, cigars or hanging out with the locals? I’ll hang out with the locals!

Northern Ranger schedule for 2008

The Northern Ranger is back on its northern Labrador route for the summer. The schedule is available from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador website.

Myra canyon trestles reopening

Four years after the disastrous Okanagan wildfires destroyed the historic trestles in the Myra Canyon on the 455 km long Kettle Valley Rail trail, they are about to reopen. All trestles have been restored to historic specifications. The reopening celebrations are June 22.

Trails, Tales and Tunes festival

Kitchen party at trails tales and tunes festivalCanada is blessed with a lot of excellent mainstream events, but it is not often that one comes across a new, small, local event as authentic as the Trails, Tales, and Tunes festival in Norris Point, Newfoundland and Labrador. This ten-day festival, in its second year this year, showcases local talent in nightly concerts, outdoor performances, and of course, kitchen parties. To round it out, there are interpretive walks, and even a traditional jiggs dinner.

The talent at this year’s concerts was amazing, but the best part were the kitchen parties. Here various artists got together in impromptu jam-sessions. Even the organizers agreed that the 1AM session in a local pub (pictured) featuring Daniel Payne and Bernard Felix was probably the best jam session they’d ever heard. BTW, Bernard is one of the world’s top accordion players.

If you are anywhere close to Gros Morne in May, then don’t miss next year’s installment, May 15-24.

Thompson Brigade 2008

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the return of David Thompson (the greatest HBC explorer of his time) to Ontario, a fleet of canoes – the Thompson Brigade – will make its way from Rocky Mountain House to old Fort William (Thunder Bay , Ontario) this summer. This would be an amazing experience, covering more than 3,600km! I wish I had the time to go. It’s only a two month paddle.

Tripadvisor top 100 hotels

Together with their top destinations, TripAdvisor also published their top 100 places to stay. Canada has three entries in the top luxury hotels:
17: Fairmont YVR airport hotel
27. Hotel Dominion 1912, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
95. Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

I would have rated the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver or Chateau Lake Louise higher – I wouldn’t don’t see an airport hotel as a wonderful place to stay, no matter how luxurious.

The rest of the top 10 luxury hotels in Canada:
4. Auberge Saint-Antoine, Quebec City, Quebec
5. Loews Hotel Vogue, Montreal, Quebec
6. Hotel Nelligan, Montreal, Quebec
7. Four Seasons Resort Whistler, Whistler, British Columbia
8. Hotel Gault, Montreal, Quebec
9. Le Place d’Armes Hotel & Suites, Montreal, Quebec
10. Sofitel Montreal, Montreal, Quebec

Some interesting hotels among their top 10 hidden gems in Canada:

1. Harbour House Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
4. Alpine Village – Jasper, Jasper National Park, Alberta
6. Mt. Engadine Lodge, Canmore, Alberta  <- keep an eye out for this lodge. Up and coming.
8. Patricia Lake Bungalows, Jasper National Park, Alberta
9. Chateau Beauvallon Mont Tremblant, Mont Tremblant, Quebec
10. Artisan Inn, Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador <- another property to keep an eye out for. Very cool place.