When relatives come to Canada for the first time, I give them permission to not visit me. They mean to, but then they tell me they would like to see a little more. That’s the moment I learn they have ‘always wanted to see Banff’ or ‘enjoy a lobster dinner in The Maritimes.’
Toronto is a 2 drive or an overnight rail trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia. Banff is about a 4 day drive. You can no longer get to Banff by regular passenger train service. Do you have any idea how much it hurts me to write that?
I crossed Canada by train, twice: the southern route via the historic Kicking Horse Pass. There was linen on the tables in the dining car when I made my first trip. Rail travel has changed so much, not necessarily for the better.
If you want to see the Rockies by rail, book passage on the Rocky Mountain Rail Tour. Travel is in daylight, so you do not miss the jaw dropping beauty. You can board in Vancouver’ extending a BC vacation.
My country, which celebrated its 145th birthday yesterday, is huge. You’ll need to fly between cities if you want to see Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Quebec City in one week.
If you are considering a Northern vacation, travel is more complicated. There are communities in the North that are only accessible by air…or a long canoe voyage.
The first visitors to what became Canada followed the canoe routes of our indigenous peoples. Paddlers still can. They must choose a section of the route, unless they have a few months…perhaps a year…to complete the journey.
The seasons influence how much you can see and what you can do. Paddlers are limited to about 5 months of the year, and that includes some cold camping! Skiers may have a 6 month window, but only under the best conditions. Snow was hard to find this past winter.
Planning a trip to Canada? Your first step should be to make a list of the places you dream of seeing. The second is to make a list of the activities in which you want to participate. Step three – look at a map. Homework is required for a Canadian vacation.