Saturday, 15 July 2017

West Coast Canada Itinerary

10 Day West Coast Canada Itinerary
 
Before I get into my day-by-day posts with much more detail, I thought I would post an outline of my itinerary. The time frame for my vacation was 10 days (May 24-June 2) and I did a bit of sightseeing in both Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.




Day 1
- Flight Toronto to Calgary
- Pick up Rental Car at Airport
  (Jeep Patriot)
- Drive to Drumheller
- Check into Hotel
  (Ramada Drumheller)

- Royal Tyrell Museum
  (amazing dinosaur museum)


 
Day 2
- Little White Church
- Horsethief Canyon
- Biggest Dinosaur in the World
- Find Dino's around town
- HooDoos
- Drive to Canmore
- Check into Hotel
(Rocky Mountain Inn Canmore)
- Explore Canmore Town

- Drive Lake Minnewanka Loop (Banff)

Day 3
- Drive to Banff
- Drive Bow Valley Parkway (w.pitstops)
- Lake Louise
- Moraine Lake
- Drive to Yoho National Park
- Natural Bride / Emerald Lake
- Drive Back through Bow Valley Parkway
- Check into Hotel
(Charltons Banff)
- Explore Banff



Day 4
- Drive to Icefields
(with lots of pitstops)
- Icefields Explorer
- Glacier Skywalk
- Drive to Kootenay National Park (Continental Divide)
- Drive Lake Minnewanka Loop
- Vermillion Lakes Drive
- Hotel (Charltons Banff)
 


 Day 5
- Surprise Corner
- Banff Gondola
- Bow Valley Parkway
- Hike Johnston Canyon
- Upper Hot Springs Banff
- Check in to Hotel
(Fairmont Banff Springs)
- Explore Banff Town

- Relax at Fairmont

Day 6
- Drove all day - from Banff to Hope BC


Day 7
- Drive 2 hours to Vancouver
- Check into hotel (Buchan)
- Drop off Rental Car
- Begin 2 day hop-on-hop-off tour - complete one circuit
- Get off bus in Stanley Park
- Van Aquarium
- Explore Stanley Park
- Walk the SeaWall



Day 8
- Laughing Statues
- Canada Place
(get bus to Capilano)

- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Treetop Walk
- Grouse Mountain
- Explore more of VanCity
- Grandville Island
- Explore Canada Place

Day 9
- Picked up by Whale Watching Company
- Drive to Stevenson BC
Whale Watching time:
- Bald Eagles
- California Sea Lions
- Steller Sea Lions
- Orcas
- Harbour Seals


Day 10
- Flight Vancouver to Toronto

Thursday, 8 June 2017

West Coast Canada Sneak Peak!


Hello All,

I'm back again! I just got back from 10 days exploring Canada's West Coast! First up was Alberta where we spent time in: Drumheller, Canmore, Banff, Icefields Parkway and Yoho National Park (technically BC). Then we drove to BC and did some exploring around Vancouver as well as Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain!

I will be doing quite a few blog posts breaking down each part of my trip but for now here's a few of my Fav pics!!


 






 

STAY TUNED FOR MORE POSTS!

Monday, 3 April 2017

Travel Diary Iceland: Day 4


For Day 4 (our final day in Iceland) we visited the famous Blue Lagoon! This place now has a spot in my top 10 fav places I have ever been traveling! I figured for this travel diary I would do something a little different since the pictures speak for themselves I am just going to give a bit of info (maybe questions you might want to know before visiting) and then any tips I have!
 
BOOK in Advance!!! No matter when you are going I would book in advance as this place often sells out! I booked it a week or two before visiting and I was limited to booking times and by the time I got to Iceland it was sold out for my entire stay so had I not pre-booked I would not have gotten tickets.
 
The Blue Lagoon is actually closer to the airport than to Reykjavik, so it is best to combine booking your trip here with either an airport arrival or departure! This also can save you a bit of money as you can combine airport pickup/drop-off with your blue lagoon tour. We chose to do this before departure so we booked the earliest morning pickup possible. The bus picked us up at the hotel, dropped us off at a bus station where we exchanged our printed tickets for actual tickets and then hopped on a new bus to the Blue Lagoon. You don't need to book your pickup time from the blue lagoon as the buses run regularly, just make sure you give yourself plenty of time if you are heading to the airport! (You are given a schedule of pickup times).
 
Luggage? The first building you see after getting off the bus is for luggage storage. For an extra fee you drop your suitcases off here. We did this and then only brought a smaller bag with the necessities and valuables inside with us. It is handy if you pre-organize what you want to bring inside with you!
 
Feeling Spendy or Thrifty? While getting your bracelet you also have the option to rent towels, robes, slippers and even swimsuits. If you are visiting the Blue Lagoon in the winter and/or part of a layover than I recommend renting all of the above (well maybe bring a swimsuit). If you are visiting in the summer or during an extended stay in Iceland then you may wish to bring your own towel and flip flops and skip the additional fees. There are many hot springs around Iceland so it may come in handy and save you money to bring your own.  
 
Hair Conditioner - Inside the change rooms you will be told that you must shower naked (there are stalls with curtains) before you will be able to enter the pool area. They do ask that you shower before putting your swimsuit on, so you may want to just enter the shower area in your towel with swimsuit in hand and then you wont be bothered by the staff. While showering they do have free conditioner to load into your hair but don't rinse it out! This is literally the most important tip I can give you. I have heard horror stories of what the water can do to your hair. I loaded mine with conditioner and put it up in a bun and never dipped my head under the water and had no issues.
 
Don't forget your hair brush! After swimming with your hair loaded in conditioner you are going to want to wash and brush it out!
 
Give yourself plenty of time! It is very relaxing (even with frigid air temperatures) and you wont want to get out. So give yourself a good 3 hours-half day minimum to spend here!
 
If visiting in the Winter: Enter the water through the indoor pool and then use a pool door to get outside. This limits the amount of cold air touching your body.
 
Bring a GoPro or Lifeproof case! I used a Lifeproof case on my iPhone and was so glad to have had it! Although they may not compare with the quality of my Canon camera it is better than nothing! and you can capture some memories!
 




 

 This is my opening the door reaction! WOW that air is cold!


 

 
After a bit of a swim around it was mask time!! If you have just paid for a basic entry you get the white mask free of charge - if you have paid for more of a deluxe package you get an extra green mask for afterwards.


 

 
 After rinsing off the mask it was time for a drink!



 
 

 

Travel Diary Iceland: Day 3 Golden Circle


For day 3 of our time in Iceland we booked the ever popular Golden Circle Tour. The Golden circle consists of 3 of Iceland's best and most popular destinations: Gullfoss, Geysir and Þingvellir National Park. Most tour companies also add little extra bonus stops and those may differ from company to company. Our bonus stops included the Quake Exhibition, Faxi Falls and a Crater!


Our first stop in the morning was to a shopping mall to see the Quake 2008 Exhibition. In May 2008, the Southern part of Iceland experienced a powerful earthquake (6, 3 on the Richter scale).

The Exhibition gives you a glimpse of what it was like following the Earthquake even including a simulator. "An earthquake crack that was encountered at the building site in 2003 is visible in the floor and is illuminated up for visitors" (www.south.is).



   
Faxi Falls
 
After a quick stop at a crater (not very photogenic in winter) we moved on to our next destination. Faxi falls is a smaller waterfall than Gullfoss, but was definitely worth the stop. After we all got our photographs we moved on to the bigger and more famous waterfall.
 

Gullfoss

Gullfoss Waterfall also known as the Golden Waterfall is one of the most iconic pictures of Iceland. The waterfall is fed by Iceland's second biggest glacier, Langjökull. The property of the waterfall has much to offer including beautiful views in every direction, a restaurant and a gift shop. The waterfall is free to visit so you can always rent a car and do the stop on your own.





Geysir Geothermal Field

The next stop on the Golden Circle tour is to the Geysir Geothermal Field. It is an expansive area with many pit of boiling mud but the focal point is Strokkur. Strokkur is a fairly active geysir as it spouts water approximately 100 ft (30 meters) into the air every few minutes. 
 




 



Þingvellir

Last but not least on the Golden Circle tour is Þingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park. Þingvellir is a key location in Icelandic history, as it is the birthplace of the worlds first parliament (930AD). What attracts many tourists to the location is the fact that the park lies in a rift valley or no-mans-land between tectonic plates.