Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Western Canada Diaries - 1. Overview

Years ago I did a series called the "West Coast Diaries" where I recounted my travels of the Pacific coast of USA. This year, I fulfilled a long time dream of touring a couple of provinces in Western Canada. Along with my whole family, we flew to Calgary and from there on travelled throughout Alberta and British Columbia, putting on nearly 4000 km on our rental. Along the way, we saw breathtaking sceneries, from high mountains to prairies to untouched serene lakes to glaciers to cozy little coastal towns to big cities. Canada is truly a beautiful, and vast, country.

My brother took this shot of an elk in Jasper

Our trip included kids (a one and a four year old) as well as elderly folks (my parents). Thus we had to take lots of preparations before we embarked on our trip.
  • We went to the Dollar Store and bought lots of sticker books and colouring books for the kids so they would be busy and entertained on the long drives. In addition, I downloaded quite a few of their favourite movies on to the iPad, as well as taking some small toys for the road. The advantage of the colouring and sticker books was that they could be thrown before we flew back to Toronto.
  • Each trip was planed with plenty of pit stops, along with a limit on maximum amount of driving per day, and rest days in between.
  • Thus we chose quality over quantity. We would rather see two or three things every day, and spend on time on each, rather than trying to rush and see much more. There's always more things to do and see than you can or will on any sightseeing vacation.
  • I also had to cut down on some things that we simply would not be able to do with kids (especially one in a stroller) such as hiking in the national parks or parasailing in the Okanagan Lake.
This was a rough map of our travels.

We chose to drive in a circle and see Calgary, Banff, Jasper and Edmonton (before returning to Calgary). We also took a side trip to Drumheller before this trip. After suitable rest, we drove across British Columbia to Vancouver (via Kamloops and Whistler), before returning to Calgary via Kelowna. When we were in Vancouver, we took a couple of days to visit Victoria.

In the next post, I will iA talk about what to do before you even start the trip, planning and resources to check out before your trip.


nadia said...

How exciting! Love long drives! I can't wait to read the details of the trip and see all the pictures you guys took.

mezba said...

iA Hope to post in detail so people when planning this trip for the future has a first person account. Thanks for visiting!