Tourist in My Own Town

Beautiful Lake Louise in Winter

As winter comes to a close and CTB will be saying good-bye to winter forever (???), as we prepare to move to the Caribbean, I wanted to share some images of the Great Canadian icon in winter. Lake Louise, a short drive from Calgary, feels like it is a world away. You have seen the photos of the surreal turquoise waters, but have you seen it in winter? It is stunning, breath-taking and surreal in a new way. The elevation allows for great snowfall amounts. The trees look like they are covered in icing and the views look like a movie back drop. The dry cold makes you soon realise it is for real.

In late November, once the lake is completely frozen, the Chateau Lake Louise builds an ice castle and skating rink. Cross country skiing, snow shoeing and horse-drawn rides are also things to enjoy. Not far from the Chateau you can even go for dogsled rides! In January, there is an ice carving contest. As long as the weather allows, the ice sculptures sparkle in the sunlight and add to the surrounding landscapes. We enjoyed just walking in the snow and taking in the beauty of it all. Soon this will be traded in for hot temperatures and new vistas. I feel like Frederick from Leo Leoni’s book and soak it all into committing and etching it to memory.

 

Frozen - Lake Louise in a new way

Frozen – Lake Louise in a new way

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The Ice Castle on the Lake

 

The boat house cabin patiently waiting for the spring thaw

The boat house cabin patiently waiting for the spring thaw

Have you ever been to Lake Louise?

Stay tuned…

 

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Categories: Canada, Nature, Photography, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Winter Wonderland

Winter has arrived in parts of the Northern Hemisphere. In the Rocky Mountains of Alberta snow has been falling regularly over the last few weeks. In Lake Louise in a 24 hour period 54cm fell. We happened to be there that day and look at the fantastic views.

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Lake Louise. Along the path to the Lake. A small ‘cabin’ near the Chateau Lake Louise.

Unfortunately the turquoise lake was under a thin layer of ice and the heavy snow blocked out the majestic mountain view. The snowflakes were quiet and wrapped the area in a surreal silence.

Banff -The snowy walk pack to the parking lot from the Hot Springs

Banff -The snowy walk pack to the parking lot from the Hot Springs

You may have wondered where I have been lately. It has been weeks since I posted anything. I have taken to Twitter and have been using it more frequently to do a quick post right from my phone. You can get the link to my Twitter feed to the right of the posts. I don’t think you need an account to view, but may to comment and like. I will try to get back here more frequently and post.

 

Categories: Canada, Nature, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

From Every Angle: Photo Challenge

From different angles the same view, item and thing can look very different. Most of us are familiar with the Canadian icon of Lake Louise with its surreal turquoise waters. Tourists flock to the lake and take photos along the shore in front of the Chateau Lake Louise hotel.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Even fewer take the long hike up to the Plain of the 6 Glaciers, which goes around the lake and up the mountain. I have visited Lake Louise numerous times and on 3 visits we hiked to Lake Agnes, a 3.4 KM walk uphill. Our last visit we decided to do the longer hike a mere 6.6KM to the Plain of 6 Glaciers Tea House. From there we had many different angles and views of Lake Louise.

View on the opposite side of Lake Louise looking back towards the Chateau.

View on the opposite side of Lake Louise looking back towards the Chateau.

 

The hike started off beautifully along the shores of Lake Louise on a  trail lined with many log benches. The lake ends along the ribbon like river that feeds the lake and a gentle climb begins up the steep slopes.

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View of Lake Louise from the trail heading up to the Plain of 6 Glaciers.

 

After 4KM, when you are just getting tired, the trail gets rocky and steep. The views are worth it. You feel so small with the huge mountain backdrops. Nature is stunning from all angles.

View back in front of the Chateau. Different again as a rain shower just ended and the mountains shrouded in clouds.

View back in front of the Chateau. Different again as a rain shower just ended and the mountains shrouded in clouds.

Have you ever visited Lake Louise?

Stay tuned…

 

 

Categories: Canada, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Canadian Crazy -Giant Marshmallows

Now back in Canada I cannot see the “Shanghai Sillies”, but driving the other day I saw a “Canadian Crazy”. From a distance it looked like a field of giant marshmallows.

Field of Giant Marshmallows

Field of Giant Marshmallows

Currently I am in Alberta, Canada a 3 day drive across country, from Southern Ontario. Stay tuned for some of our driving adventures.

 

Categories: Canada, Tourist in My Own Town, travel | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Fab or Fake?

Being back home I stare at the blue skies and fluffy white clouds. I soak it all in like Frederick in the Leo Leoni books; saving it for later when it is only a memory. Even though we are not returning to Shanghai I find myself still mesmerized by the sky. The other day it looked so surreal… almost fake. I felt like Jim Carey in the movie where he didn’t know everything in his life was scripted and on a sound stage. I looked at the clouds and wondered if they were painted on a blue ceiling 😉 Still they looked fabulous.

The clouds look painted on !

The clouds look painted on !

Today is bitter sweet. About the same time I write this we would be taking off on that long flight back to Shanghai. What adventures will I have this year?

Stay tuned…

 

Categories: Canada, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Close Up -WP Photo Challenge

Are you ready for your close up? Recently the Welland Canal Bridge in downtown Welland has been photo ready. After a very recent cosmetic facelift adding some fresh paint and bright lights it is looking good.

Welland Canal Bridge in Down Town Welland, ON Canada

Welland Canal Bridge in Down Town Welland, ON Canada

Welland is known for its iconic bridges, that used to raise and lower, to allow big ships to traverse the Welland Canal. The canal made the journey easier between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario which, is connected by the mighty Niagara Falls. A new canal bypasses many of these old bridges, so they have been left alone to decay or removed for new cement overpasses. Someone decided to spare this bridge downtown and preserve some of the area’s history.

Welland Bridge at Night

Welland Bridge at Night

In nearby Port Colborne and St Catharines some of the bridges and locks system are still in use today. Watching the ships slowly be raised and lowered is something not to be missed if you are ever in the area.

Close up of Welland Canal Bridge

Close up of Welland Canal Bridge

Stay tuned and check out Word Press for more close ups.

 

Categories: Canada, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Muse: Shanghai Skyline

When we first arrived, a fellow teacher looked out the windows in our building facing the Lujiazui area, and admired the Shanghai skyline. With a sigh they said “One day I won’t get to see this everyday.” That really stuck with me. I made a point to daily look out the windows, outside our door, near the elevators. I saw the skyline change and grow over 5 years. At night it sparkled in colour and in day it sometimes reflected the light. I saw it with blue sky, at sunset with beautiful hues and become invisible in rain, smog and pollution. Now we are down to days and soon it will only be a memory. WordPress asked to show our muse and over the last 5 years mine has been the Shanghai skyline. I must have hundreds of pictures of it, mostly from the same vantage point. A bitter-sweet ending to our time in Shanghai; what a fitting theme. Enjoy the slide show, of 16 photos, with some of my favourite photos of my muse. A tribute to a city I have called home for the last 5 years.

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What will my new muse be? Stay tuned….

Categories: China, Photography, teaching overseas, Tourist in My Own Town, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , | 11 Comments

Walk of Life

It is funny what you can find walking along and taking the time to notice. I know I shared some shots of unusual street life in Shanghai, but this was different. Walking through my compound it was a beautiful day – just perfect. Something caught my eye and I looked down…

Just off the main path I spotted something a little high and dry

Just off the main path I spotted something a little high and dry

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Ay Ay Captain

 

When I looked closer it even had a little passenger. I wonder what the story behind this little origami boat is? How did it get there? What do you think?

Stay tuned….

 

 

 

Categories: China, Tourist in My Own Town, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , | 26 Comments

Exchange of Scenery

I am leaving the Shanghai skyline behind for a few days in exchange for a new one; a change of scenery. I’ll post soon on the new vistas and views.

 

Stay tuned….

A view  of the glittering night sky from outside my apartment.

A view of the glittering night sky from outside my apartment.

 

 

 

 

Categories: China, Tourist in My Own Town | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Shanghai Silly: Potato Chips

When I was kid I remember the strange potato chip flavours coming out. Grape seems to be the one I recall and wanted to try the most. Funny I don’t remember if I ever tried them – maybe I was to chicken. 🙂

When we first arrived in Shanghai that memory came back as we walked down the aisle of chips. I tried lime, a sweetish more like key lime pie and ice tea, a lemony flavour. They did have grape or blueberry and I assumed it was ‘normal’, but the next time we went to shop they no longer carried that flavour. This time I was going to be sure to try them and I missed out. Another time I bought Cheetos and was surprised by the unusual flavour. I can’t read Chinese, but on closer inspection I realised I bought steak Cheetos. 😦 I don’t know if it was the flavour or not what I expected, but I wasn’t a fan and never bought them again. Recently I saw another kind of cheesies had something on top that looked like cheese. Mmmm cheesies with extra cheese on top. Nope it was vanilla icing like. Bizarre.

funny chip flavours

funny chip flavours

We usually stick to our old standards now. John likes the plain Lays, which are not as salty or greasy as home. Large bags are a third the size of home, but the flavour is great. I like the cheese Pringles. We bought some at home, but again the greasier and saltier flavour are not as good.

While out shopping I decided to snap a few photos of some of the new flavours that came out recently. Maybe they were just for Chinese New Year, or will be more long-term if they are a hit. My new favourite is Thai Green Curry. They are lime and a hint of coconut…. sounds strange, but it is good. Before that I discovered chocolate and sea salt. It is sweeter than usual chips, but nice too. The chocolate is light and just enough. I tried the numb and spicy hot-pot, but it was something I would not eat again. That and the sour plum melon is too Chinese for me. It has this spice that is in many dishes here and I don’t like it. The pepper and chicken were OK, but I prefer my favs thanks.

My favs in the middle and 2 new ones to try.

My favs in the middle and 2 new ones to try.

Chips are not too expensive; about the same price as home. The small bags run 3.80 RMB, which is around .75c Canadian and the larger bags are 5.20 RMB or $1.00. The tins are 8.00 RMB about $1.50.

What is your favourite chip flavour? Do you ever try any of the new flavours that come out?

 

Categories: China, Culture, everyday occurances, strange adventures, Tourist in My Own Town, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , | 16 Comments