Posts Tagged With: Canada

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…

 

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

Fadoodle Faces #7

After a short break the faces are back 🙂 Speaking of BACK, happy #BackToTheFutureDay . Today is the day back in 1989 in Back To The Future 2 that was the “Future”… Oct. 21, 2015. How fun is that? So we can take a time machine back to the past… and see how things look in the present. The native Americans believe the faces we spot in rock are ancient spirits allowing themselves to be seen, showing themselves to the present. OK the link is a stretch, but enjoy the faces in nature.

I spotted this while hiking the trail in Lake Louise to the Plain of the Six Glaciers Tea House last month.

Spirits in the rock peeking out to be spotted.

Spirits in the rock peeking out to be spotted.

How many faces can you spot in this image? I spotted the first obvious face, but looking at the photo carefully I have spotted about 11 faces. One is a pair that looks like they are kissing. 😉 Can you see what I see?

Check out more faces in my previous posts if you missed them. In case you missed it, Fadoodle Faces means nonsense or foolish.

Have a face photo you found in nature or everyday items? Why not write a post about it and tell us about it in the comments below so we can see what you see. Then add a ping back over here so we can all share in the fadoodle faces.

 

Categories: Canada, unique experiences | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

My Happy Place -WP Photo Challenge

Last week the theme for WP was “Happy Place. I had an idea right away, but due to travelling home for a few days I hadn’t the chance to post until now. Even though a new theme has been posted I couldn’t let My Happy Place go.

The question was where do you go to unwind, escape and get away from it all? I couldn’t pick just one so I have included a few of my happy places below.

  1. The sky…

In Shanghai we didn’t get clear blue skies often, but when we did I would stare at the clouds and blue sky. Evenings I loved to take in the colourful sunsets with the Shanghai skyline silhouetted.  Back home I enjoy the clear skies, fluffy clouds and colourful sunsets too. Even though they are a regular occurrence I never tire of them.The other night a colourful and unusual cloud pattern danced across the sky. I couldn’t resist.

Patterns and sunsets in the sky

Patterns and sunsets in the sky

2. The beach…

The warm sun and sand beneath my feet with the soft surf relaxing every cell in my body…ahhhh. Need I say more? As a child we went to the Atlantic Ocean and walking on the sand looking for shells or throwing stones into the surf was fun. As an adult I have been lucky enough to visit beaches all over the world. The best was the little cabins we stayed in the Philippines where the sound of the waves lulled me to sleep. The powdery beaches in Cuba are phenomenal as well. Whenever stressed I enjoy looking at a beach pic on my computer desk top.

The waves, soft sands and warm sun

The waves, soft sands and warm sun

3. The mountains…

Since I have been out in Calgary the mountains are a short drive away. The fresh air and smell of pine is so relaxing. The view of the snow capped mountains from the city are spectacular, but up close even better. The surreal blue of Lake Louise is something to see.

The mountains, blue lakes and smell of pine.

The mountains, blue lakes and smell of pine.

4. Books…

Escape with a good book

Escape with a good book

The absolute best is a book. After a long day it is nice to curl up with a book to help you de-stress and fall asleep. A good book is great to lose yourself in and shut off the busy day.

 

What is your happy place?

 

Categories: Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Grid -Photo Challenge

This week’s challenge asks for a photo framed in a grid like fashion. As WP says we often use the invisible grid, or lines within the viewfinder, to frame photos into the ‘rule of thirds’. The photos in this week’s challenge will show the grid.

My first pic was framed in the Lake Agnes Tea House, a little wooden cabin, at the top of the trail from Lake Louise. A rainy hike had a little surprise rainbow. I snapped the view from inside the cabin looking over the valley with Lake Louise below.

Room with a Rainbow View

Room with a Rainbow View

As I searched for the above picture I came across this one, which I didn’t think about when considering the theme. It doesn’t have the clean sharp lines, but the interesting shape and view I decided to include it. The unique tube like bridge made me feel I was inside a fish or a snake. We went for a walk along the Bow River in Calgary through the parks. In various places bridges crisscross the river making both sides accessible for walking and biking.

Inside Looking Out

Inside Looking Out

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada, Nature, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Road Trip -Going West

August 10th would have been the day I returned to work in Shanghai. Instead we traded in the 14 hour flight for a road trip across Canada. We left early afternoon (much later than we had hoped) and the 3 day road trip stretched into a fourth day. The car packed and ready to go we set out on a new adventure.

20150811_182650I documented the journey through the car window with a few stops along the way.

Willow came along for the ride too since we would be out here about 4-5 weeks. Poor thing crossed the world a month ago and was about to embark on a cross Canada road trip. She quickly settled in with a cat nap. We’re so lucky she is good in the car.

Willow enjoying the newest adventure

Willow enjoying the newest adventure

This is one bear hug I will avoid.

This is one bear hug I will avoid.

We hit pouring rain in Toronto shortly after we started out, which snarled traffic. Once past the city traffic eased. We made it to Northern Ontario, just outside of Sudbury, where we stopped for the night. Due to the possibility of deer and moose we stopped driving around dusk. The next morning we made good time and a side trip to get breakfast we encountered our first wild life sighting. We stopped to grab a quick pic from the safety of the car.

Later that day the rain followed us. It made for a cooler drive and wasn’t so heavy that it caused slippery roads or poor visibility. The scenery changed from cities and farms to more and more trees. Soon we were getting closer to Thunder Bay up around the Lake Head. Driving along the highway Lake Superior came into view through the trees and as we reached hill tops. Stunning. We stopped at a look out point and took it all in. Back in the car we continued on the longest leg of our journey. From the Niagara area to Thunder bay it is a 12-14 hour drive. We stopped for the night between Thunder Bay and Kenora, ON.

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Winnie the Pooh, White River ON 'Where it all began'

Winnie the Pooh, White River ON ‘Where it all began’

Now into our third day of the road trip we were still in Ontario, definitely the longest stretch of our journey. We passed more trees, lakes and logging trucks. A few hours later we passed into Manitoba. The landscape started to change as it went from forests and lakes to more wheat fields, as we entered the prairie areas. We hit heavy rain as we approached Winnipeg, but quickly drove through it. Not long after we arrived in Saskatchewan. The rolling hills had made way for the traditional flat prairies filled with wheat. More construction slowed us down and we put up in Regina for the night.

Calgary was about 8 hours away, but we made a side trip to Rouleaux, AKA Dog River from the popular Canadian show “Corner Gas”. The show has been off the air for a few years, but last year they made Corner Gas the Movie. The small town, with a population around 500, still draws fans of the show. We stopped by the iconic Corner Gas and Ruby restaurant, the TV show set. We walked main street, saw the Dog River grain tower and filled up for gas. I was tempted to call the guy Brent, but thought that would be an old and tired joke by now. After a few pics John was anxious to get to Calgary and miss rush hour traffic.

Corner Gas and the Ruby in 'Dog River'

Corner Gas and the Ruby in ‘Dog River’

Dog River

Dog River

Icky view after the flurry of butterflies

Icky view after the flurry of butterflies

After the heavy rain the day before there were hundreds of white cabbage butterflies everywhere! It was a beautiful warm sunny day, but it looked like it was snowing. There were THAT many butterflies. A customer at the gas station in Rouleaux said they all came out after the heavy rain the day before. The butterflies continued for miles and miles. Once we reached Alberta there were less and finally just the normal random few.

It isn't snow or all those butterflies. It is salt maybe from an ancient sea.

It isn’t snow or all those butterflies. It is salt maybe from an ancient sea.

More views along the road… salt flats that are farmed for… salt.

The flat prairies made way for rolling hills as we got closer tot he Rocky Mountains. Lots of farms with beef cattle lined the highway. Wild Buffalo used to roam here… could it be?

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Willow continued to do well. Each night she fussed as we put her in the crate, but became curious once we got into the hotel. She would explore a bit then be fine. Each morning she would meow and check out everything in the car ensuring it was all in place. After her exploration and she was happy everything was in order she would stretch out and enjoy the view and nap. People passing us would spot her and point. One trucker even got out his phone and started to snap pics. She is a well-travelled cat!

Soon the city was in sight and we made it. It was the first time I had driven out west and great way to connect to my home country.

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Downtown Calgary from the highway. City to the east and mountains to the west.

What a welcome back home to Canada…

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 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

Today was a Good Day -Photo Challenge

Today was not just a good day, but a great day! Since we drove out west to Calgary, Alberta we have been enjoying the scenery and fresh mountain air. On the weekends we have gone to Lake Louise, an hour and half drive from Calgary.  Lake Louise is known for its surreal blue green waters and snow capped mountain back drop. We have hiked up the trail starting at Lake Louise to Lake Agnes. It is a 3.4KM hike one way, up a trail surrounded by pine trees. The smell is heavenly and keeps you distracted as your muscles ache with the steep trail hike.

Half way up the trail is Mirror Lake. A small little still lake. At the top is Lake Agnes which falls over the edge creating a small water fall. The tea house is a welcome sight, after an hour and a half hike, to relax and take in the views before heading back down the trail. The tea house serves amazing teas, fresh homemade baked goods and soups. Today was a good day 🙂

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Sunday we went for a walk along the Bow River which winds its way through Calgary. The weather was perfect with a comfortable temperature and blue skies with a few clouds. You could see the mountains in the distance. Everyone seemed to be out walking, biking, boating and running. We enjoyed the leisurely stroll along the river bank and through a park. Another good day.

View of Calgary, Bow River and Mountains in the distance. A few days later the view was muted with wild fire smoke and visibility went from 25+KM down to less than 8KM.

View of Calgary, Bow River and Mountains in the distance. A few days later the view was muted with wild fire smoke and visibility went from 25+KM down to less than 8KM.

Unfortunately we went from clear skies and clean air to a poor air quality. Smoldering fires burning in the US Northwest have drifted many miles North blanketing Calgary and many other parts of Western Canada. There is a smoke so thick it has caused prompts to stay indoors and close windows. Monday the sky looked similar to the ones we experienced in Shanghai. Dreary gray that blocked out the sun rays. Tuesday you could smell the smoke and it irritated your eyes. The aqi went from 8 to 239, which happened to be much higher than the 59 reading in Shanghai. In Canada the scale is different; a 10 point scale. The TV news reported today that readings from yesterday came in at 17! Yes 7 points over the max. This is not normal for this area and reports are saying this is the worse the city has experienced.  So many people have lost their homes and have been evacuated. At least we know the cause and it will be short lived, rain is in the forecast. Hopefully that will get things back under control before more damage is done. I do not mean to whine about the poor air, as some people have experienced great loss. I only made the comparison to our life in China. Well wishes and positive thoughts go to all those involved in the areas affected by the fires.

Today things are improving and soon we will be back to blue skies and ready for more great days.

Stay tuned…

Categories: Canada, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 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