Discover Canada | A Girly Guide!
So this month (November 2015 in case you are tuning in later), I ventured to the other side of the world...at least it feels like that!
I'm in Canada!
You may have noticed the snow-filled backdrops of some of my recent Instagram posts. lol!
Visiting a friend in Calgary (Alberta), Canada then we quickly headed to Vancouver (British Colombia) for the remainder of my week here.
So far, I've seen snow (oh so cold in the mountains of Banff), light drizzle (welcome to Vancouver) and Sunny days (oddly enough, Banff and Vancouver). We have been really lucky with the weather being around 1 to -2 Celsius most days. In Calgary it was a lot colder but that is neither here nor there.
Here are some highlights so far (pictures below):
1) Banff: Went up to the mountains in Banff and enjoyed a great brunch and lots of snow...in that order! It was awesome (yep I used that word)!
I soon felt the cold seeping into my fingers and toes as we hiked upwards to the Hot Springs, so we stopped off in a lovely hotel to warm up before continuing.
Maybe if I come more in the proper Winter (I know, right?) I could consider skiing for the first time in my life. Not very likely but you never know.
Highlight: The SNOW and BRUNCH!!!!!
2) In Calgary itself, I went to the gym (too cold and snowing to run outdoors) and enjoyed a Boot Camp session prior to a great big brunch! Think: waffles, fruits, chicken sausages and banana French toast (below).
Highlight: Obviously, BOOT CAMP and BRUNCH!
Vancouver (British Colombia)
This quaint area is where the city of Vancouver began, hence it is a National Historic Site. It houses a statue of "Gassy Jack" (who set up a saloon serving whisky in 1867) and the Gastown Steam Clock! With shops for fashion and many places to eat, of course we went here on our first night! I bought some postcards and key holders to give to friends and family after the trip.
Highlight: the Steam Clock (obviously!!!!).
Sadly, I wasn't blown away by Chinatown. Although clearly demarcated with it's Panda mascot "Van Van", I didn't feel too welcomed or intrigued by what was on offer. I will give it another chance to redeem itself, however, with a friend in tow next time.
Highlight: to be continued!
3) Stanley Park:
Yes, my first morning run was to and around this beautiful park which boast 9km of uninterrupted pedestrian paths around it (along the seaside) and 27km of pedestrian trails within it!
Needless to say, a 5km run easily became an 8km run! Totally worth it for the breath-taking views of the Lost Lagoon and the beaches alongside it!
I'm planning to check out the Vancouver Aquarium soon!
Highlight: English Bay Beach (of course).
4) Robson Square:
Okay, for a sot of window-shopping (it's not Black Friday yet!), Art exhibitions and some ice-skating (on my to-do list!), this square has it all. Window-shopping for me until some designer takes pity and sponsors me (or gifts me) with their wares: oh Christian Louboutin and Prada, where are you? Some water-proof UGG boots wouldn't go amiss in a UK size 8 either! lol!
Highlight: Vancouver Art Gallery - check out Lee Bul's life-size Mazes!
5) Granville Island:
So I jumped on a bus 50 and headed over Granville Bridge to the Island!
What a wonderful time I had - okay, that was cheesy. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed myself - once I got warm - my fingers really need to listen to me and stop going numb)!
I went to the Granville Public Market, discovered a new fun hangout and discovered an Artist's studio. I am now inspired to take up painting like I wanted to in my teens - I was a sculptor instead....GCSE Art working on Henry Moore-esque clay pieces!
At the Public Market, I bought a variety of loose-leaf teas and was pleasantly surprised by a Yorkshire-accented young lady serving me! Small world, right!
Highlight: the shop, MAKE, where they have knick-knacks and allow you to make your own customised T-shirts at a very affordable $24 each. I got 3, of course so had a discount to $21.50 each! Family tees galore!
More to come soon!
Look out for Part 2 of this travel blog post!
Special thanks to:
Tourism Vancouver, Visitor Centre - so many maps (lol) and useful tips to get to my destinations on my own terms.
I'm Lola - a hair obsessed doctor who stumbled into running long distances and baking all the cupcakes.
I blog about life, running and of course, hair! I'm an Altra "Team Red" Sponsored Athlete, so I will do the occasional running shoe or gadget review.
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I do not own the copyright to all the pictures so I will credit the source, where that is the case.