Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

UNESCO´s Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Get yourself to the sea! Explore the historical buildings and vessels in the UNESCO town of Lunenburg. The breath-taking Lunenburg waterfront is the home of the world-class Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, recently named as one of the top 1000 best places to see in the US and Canada before you die. The Museum commemorates the fishing heritage of the Atlantic coast of Canada. Housed in brightly painted red buildings, with floating vessels at wharfside, the Museum offers a host of attractions, a maritime gift shop and restaurant.

I am going next month and really looking forward to it.

Three floors of exhibits including the world's largest collection of BLUENOSE artifacts. Wharf side exhibits, which include full access to the schooner Theresa E. Connor and the side trawler Cape Sable, where you can attempt to get your 'sea legs'. Visit the aquarium and get the scoop on scallops and lobster lore. Launch a model schooner and listen to a yarn from our old salts that have lived on the North Atlantic all of their lives.

You can fit Lunenburg in on a fly drive holiday to Nova Scotia - try this one

Lunenburg The Lunenburg Inn is highly recommended.

Friday, April 23, 2010

on of my favourite places on earth - the Pacific Rim National Park

Rainforest Trail Pacific Rim National Park - British Columbia

The trail system is a two part adventure and experience into the history of a living rainforest. The walking trail is mostly boardwalk with many interpretive signs along the route. i did it in December and it was gorgeous!

The Rainforest Hiking Trail weaves in and out of fallen trees surrounded by gigantic red cedar and western hemlock trees which tower high above, reaching towards the sky, creating an umbrella-like forest canopy. The trail is an audio theatre experience filled with wilderness sounds like singing birds, trickling water, crackling twigs, scurring wildlife and drifting ocean breezes mixed with a moist scent of forest.

The Pacific Rim Hwy divides the Rainforest Trail into " Loop A" and "Loop B" trail sections forming the number 8. Each loop trail is approximately 1 kilometre in length, mostly an easy going boardwalk trail with, what some would call, speed bumps like wooden stair climbing. There are areas to rest while reading the interpretive signs along the route.

The trail is an up and down affair, dropping in and out of sunken forest valleys passing alongside fallen trees buried in moss sprouting new trees growing from the decayed wood and vegetation.

"Loop A" starts on the otherside of the parking lot, across the Pac Rim Hwy. The route is lined with interpretive signs discussing the history and life cycles of a rainforest. From the parking lot, you can walk to the beginning of the "Loop B" portion of the Rainforest Trail. The interpretive signs discuss the forest environment and the wildlife which inhabit the forest.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Crowsnest Pass - Alberta

The Canadian Pacific Railway and a series of coal mining communities at the end of the nineteenth and turn of the twentieth century founded the Crowsnest Pass.

For over the past century the Crowsnest Pass has experienced an exciting, unique, and often tragic history. Shootouts and train robberies reminiscent of America 's wild west, Emperor Pic's rum-running empire during prohibition, numerous mining disasters, and the Frank Slide make up just part of the Crowsnest Pass ' unique history. The Crowsnest Pass is the essence of Canada 's old and new wild west.

Located two hours southwest of Calgary, Alberta in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta, the Crowsnest Pass is a Mecca for outdoor recreation, history buffs, and artisans. Today you can experience the Pass by partaking in awesome outdoor recreation, taking in incredible mountain scenery, revisiting its unique history, or experiencing the artisans within the community.

A fantastic mountain playground for both summer and winter recreation the Crowsnest Pass offers its visitors activities like mountain biking, hiking, all terrain vehicles, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and world-class fly-fishing.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mountain Bike Park in Whistler

The Whistler Mountain Bike Park opening day is just around the corner, scheduled for Saturday May 15 - weather dependent.

Whistler Mountain Bike Park has something for every level of rider. Gentle, banked cruisers through the Coastal forest. Tight and twisty single track - perfect for intermediate riders. For the armour clad, full face wearing, 50lb. bike group there are steep rock faces, gnarly, root strewn lines, drop offs of all descriptions and more.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Touch the Artic - Manitoba

Churchill is more than just bears! Spring in Churchill is not prime polar bear season however it is the best time to see the aurora borealis. Area residents have been marveling over the aurora for centuries, however, they weren't watching them from the comfort of a modern home or lodge; they were watching them from the comfort of an igloo. Out of respect for both the native people and natural architecture of this land, igloo building was made a central tenet of this exciting and authentic Arctic adventure.

The Fire and Ice adventure is certainly our most rugged. The tundra is frozen and snow covered at this time of year which makes for an amazing Antarctic-like experience while being somewhat further south. This trip also offers the opportunity to participate in Inuit traditions. You will build your own igloo (for a night's stay if they feel so inclined) and will witness an authentic dog sled race, the Hudson Bay Quest, move right past your lodge.

Our Great Ice Bear adventure takes place in prime polar bear season in October and November. This is the time when polar bears in the Churchill area congregate in large numbers on the coast of the Hudson Bay as they wait for the ice to freeze so that they can begin their annual hunt. Great Ice Bear is undoubtedly the most diverse and holistic polar bear viewing package offered in the Churchill area. It combines 4 days at our wilderness lodge where bears are seen and photographed on foot or from the lodge, with one day in Churchill on the Tundra Buggy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Columbia River Cruises - Columbia & Snake Rivers Cruise West Small Ships

Scenery. History. Native American culture. You’ll find it all here.
While most river cruises carry you past urban centers and crowded shorelines, much of the Columbia & Snake Rivers remains pristine and wild. You can clearly see evidence of the great floods that carved this region thousands of years ago in the breathtakingly beautiful Columbia River Gorge, the golden coulees and scablands, the great black pinnacles of basalt that guided Lewis & Clark. The volcanic forces of the coast are apparent in snow-capped mountain peaks and the emerald evergreen forests coating the Cascade Range. And you’ll find that the past and present coexist here, from Oregon Trail wagon ruts to the eight locks and dams built to tame the mighty Columbia River.

Adventures beckon daily. Take a jet boat up Hells Canyon past 7,000-year-old Indian petroglyphs. Wander the hidden city beneath wild and wooly Pendleton, where Chinese emigrants once carried out their daily lives. Visit fascinating museums or Lewis & Clark landmarks like Fort Clatsop, where they spent the chilling winter of 1805-1806. The history of the Columbia River region is not one preserved in amber, but one you can touch, breathe and experience first-hand when you travel with Cruise West on our unique Columbia River cruises.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Moose Photography Workshop

Want to get close to a few moose - so close they stick their tongue out at you? Well we offer an opportunity to join professional photographer Rob Stimpson for a few days of shooting up in the northwest corner of Algonquin Park in Ontario on a fun-filled canoe trip. Bring your long lenses and lots of card space or film - which ever you prefer.

Arrive at the Algonquin Log Cabin for lunch (12:30pm). Enjoy a hike around the cabin before a late afternoon introduction of wildlife photogrpahy.
Wine and cheese and dinner at the Algonquin Log Cabin followed by sunset photo shoot of the point.
Accommodation double occupancy at the Algonquin Log Cabin

Breakfast and short transfer to "put in" of canoe route. Travel through lakes to base camp with lunch on the way. Enjoy basecamp on a scenic point covered in Red Pine and enjoy dinner and sunset/ dusk photo shoot with Rob.
Camping accommodation in Algonquin Park

Early morning canoe to wildlife viewing location, with great opportunities to see and photograph beavers, Great Blue herons and loons as well. Return for coffee and breakfast. After packing, out we go for a photo shoot and hike through mixed maple forest. Paddle back to the take out, stopping along the way for a large smorgasbord lunch.

The above itinerary is intended to give you an idea of a 3 day Algonquin photographic workshop. The exact program is tailored "on trip" to the preferences of the group and weather. Please note Algonquin park in June is bug season. Be prepared for black flies and mosquitoes!

Rob Stimpson is back showing all of us amateur photographers how to take great pictures of wildlife. This will be our third year offering the workshop and if the last two years are any indication, we can guarantee you will see moose - lot’s of them! One of our trips counted 28 moose in over 24 hours.

June 4-6 and June 11-13, 2010
£466 per person

"Thanks so much! This was a great trip. I wasn't sure at first - not having canoed before - but it was fantastic! The guides were great and very knowledgeable. And Rob (Stimpson) was great too with lots of advice! So, thank you Rob! And thank you Voyageur Quest for a wonderful weekend!

- 2009 participant, Marilyn Scott