"Canada - So much to do, so little time" Top 5 Page for this destination Canada by MichaelFalk1969

Canada Travel Guide: 41,358 reviews and 97,592 photos

The bear necessities

Again - we didn´t see a bear. Except for our last day day in Canmore on TV (CSI Miami: A grizzly murder) and - in the departure lounge in Calgary Airport - reading the local newspaper that a black bear had twice visited the Banff Mc Donalds. If only we had known earlier, I had invested in some BigMacs. We even considered pouring maple-syrup on our car in order to attract a bear (just joking). On the other hand, elk were as common as rabbits where we went, we saw other deer, bighorn-sheep, coyotes, marmots & pikas, and once a beaver family, so wildlife watching had its ups and downs, on the whole.

But that was the only (minor) disappointment in Canada. This XXL-country, 8000 km coast-to-coast, is an intriguing mix of great landscapes and nature with some really interesting urban hotspots like Vancouver, Toronto, Victoria and historic Quebec blended in.

It is a hiking and canoeing paradise ... Indian Summer, wildlife, woods, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, glaciers, the Rockie Mountains, whale-watching - probably the best nature experience in the northern hemisphere (though Norway is at least on par, I think). Plus, the Canadians we met so far all lived up to their reputation for being friendly, easy-going and hospitable.

Very few things didn`t appeal to us in Canada - Banff and Japer townsite are very touristy and can be pretty crowded, the prices for some touristic venues are outrageously high, and lots of tourists choose to ignore national park rules against better knowledge which upsets me every time. But as a rule of thumb, even at the touristy places you quickly lose the hordes if you choose to do some of the more strenuous or longer hikes.

So far, we have been to Canada twice: First in 2000 when visting Ontario and Quebec and in 2008 when we did Vancouver - Vancouver Island - Wells Gray Park - Jasper & Banff National Parks.

This will surely not be the last time we go to Canada. My wife still wants to see Nova Scotia as a big "Anne of Green Gables" - fan, and the smaller or more remote parks like Waterton or Yoho are still on my travel wish list. And I´d very much like to do another trip to Vancouver Island.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:nature, wildlife, the friendly locals, interesting modern cities like Vancouver; maple syrup
  • Cons:moose & bears didn`t show up in the national parks; irresponsible tourists in National Parks
  • In a nutshell:Thank you for the moosic!
  • Last visit to Canada: Sep 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (73)

Comments (10)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 8, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    Hello, Michael! Thank you for sharing your observations and travel advice...It would be great to pay a visit to Canada some day...

  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo
    Dec 17, 2010 at 5:43 AM

    Some nice pages on Canada. It is such a huge country....

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Aug 6, 2009 at 3:35 AM

    Hello, Michael! You have seen so many splendid places there! Well done! ><><

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Apr 18, 2009 at 3:21 PM

    You certainly covered a lot of Canada's major attractions on your trip (although the Atlantic coast is spectacular too)! Thanks for the great tips and photos of your experiences! A pity the weather in the east did not cooperate.

  • iris2002's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2009 at 4:38 AM

    WHAT - NO bear during the whole Canada trip? Too bad, I'd love to see some little cubs in the wild ohhh and a moose, I love moose!! :)

  • PALLINA's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    I have heard of Lake Louise; nice to see it's real crystal blue as it seems in post card

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Nov 4, 2008 at 8:17 AM

    Wow..you have seen so much of beautiful Canada. Stunning photos and excellent detailed tips.

  • madamx's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2008 at 5:21 PM

    Hi Michael, glad to see that you made it out to our neck of the woods. Also glad you enjoyed yourself. We saw a grizzly for you this summer; was a little too close and scary. Will be back to see more! Great job! ~ Helen

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Sep 22, 2008 at 3:27 PM

    stunning as usual!! what a stunning place to visit!Still high on my wishlist (gosh how many places are on it!?)but thanks for inspirational page. all the best.

  • Carmanah's Profile Photo
    Nov 17, 2006 at 12:27 PM

    I agree - Ottawa isn't boring, but it has the reputation of being so! Algonquin Park looks really... remote! I've never been, but have only heard good things!


“and miles to go before I sleep ...”

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