Friday, July 23, 2010

Butchart Gardens

Our last big day out in Canada was spent at the Butchart Gardens. It is quite an excursion because you have to take a ferry ride to Victoria Island. To get to the ferry station and the ride across to the island takes well over 2 hours but our tour guide made it quite interesting. All the tour guides have a well rehearsed narrative to inform you and keep you amused on your travels.

The Butchart Gardens were a spectacular mix of traditional flower beds all perfectly in bloom and magnificent old trees that have been part of the garden since the beginning. We both agreed that our favourite gardens were the Sunken Garden and the Japanese Garden.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Glacier Bay - Alaska

The final part of our amazing Canada holiday was to take a cruise to Alaska. We stopped in 3 towns, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan but the highlight of the cruise was to sail around Glacier Bay. The ship sails, as sensitively as a cruise ship can, into Glacier Bay and has park rangers on board to explain the amazing sites that are revealed as the ship rounds each point in the bay.
The bears feeding on the beached whale were a perfect example of nature in action. There were a number of bears tolerating each other and taking turns to feed because of the abundance of food. The whale would provide enough food for the bear families for a number of weeks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Grand Pre Winery and The Tangled Garden

We had a beautiful meal at the Grand Pre Winery and tasted the "Ice Wines". The Ice Wines are made with grapes picked and crushed when they are frozen. The grapes are even picked during the night (in the snow) to make sure they are cold enough.
After lunch we wandered through the Tangled Garden just a short drive down the road. The area is rich in history and the story of the English settlement and Arcadian expulsion.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

River Runners

We went with Albie and Gill to a near-by adventure called the River Runners. As the highest tides in the world start to come up the Shubenacadie River, rubber boats with outboard motors ride the tidal bore. Sand banks and the narrowing of the river cause turbulence creating waves and “rapids”. The boat drivers take full advantage of the waves to get you as wet as they can making repeat runs through the rapids to add to the fun.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Bears at Lake Kennisis

The black bears can be found at the rubbish dump. People deliver their rubbish very carefully but the bears are so well fed and busy foraging that they are ignore most of the goings on. The mother bear above was guarding her two babies which she had sent up a tree. There seemed to be another bear wandering around that she was protecting them from.

Niagara Falls - July 1st

Niagara Falls was everything we expected. They were impressive!
We left early and raced all the traffic, spending a good part of the day viewing The Falls from all the different positions in the park like surrounds. Of course we spent time going on the "Maid of the Mist" and "Behind the Falls". The gardens and township surrounding the Falls is beautifully maintained and many families enjoyed the lawns with picnic lunches or just as a place to take time out.