№ 20 — Fisgard Lighthouse, British Columbia, Canada

Of all the light­hous­es I’ve ever vis­it­ed, Fis­gard Light­house in British Columbia is my most favourite one to date. When I think of a light­house I would like to live in, an image of this light­house would appear in my mind. There is some­thing very appeal­ing and, dare I say, very roman­tic about it.

His­tor­i­cal­ly, Fis­gard Light­house is the first light­house on the west coast of Canada. It was built in 1860 on Fis­gard Island out of mate­ri­als shipped from Britain. In 1950–51, a cause­way was built out to Fis­gard Island from the shore of Van­cou­ver Island at Fort Rodd Hill by the Cana­di­an Army.

We saw a deer at the park­ing lot of Fort Rodd Hill! You have to walk through the fortress to get to the light­house. The fortress was also pret­ty inter­est­ing. We learned a bit more about Cana­di­an his­to­ry there. It was a love­ly spot that seemed to be under-appre­ci­at­ed, but may­be it was only because we were there on a week day.

№ 19 — Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

Rebec­ca and I had been online friends for, like, ever. As in more than 10 years. May­be 13 years? She lives in Aus­tralia. She went to Canada sev­er­al years ago but was in the wrong part of the coun­try so we didn’t get to meet. She was final­ly in the right part of the coun­try last year in Octo­ber so I made a point to meet up with her. Even booked a hotel room so we could spend as much time as we could.

It was dark out when we final­ly met, but I would rec­og­nize her any­where, what with her blue hair and all. When I saw her, she was tak­ing pic­tures of the falls. I tapped her back and an awk­ward moment ensued. But then we hugged, had our pic­ture tak­en by my hus­band, and it wasn’t so awk­ward any­more. We had din­ner togeth­er that night.

The next day, first thing in the morn­ing, the four us (Rebec­ca, her friend Grace, my hus­band, and I) head­ed down to the Nia­gara River to take a voy­age under the falls on the Maid of the Mist. The Maid of the Mist boat tour was one of the items on my buck­et list so I was super excit­ed about being able to final­ly scratch it off the list, and even more so when I learned that we would be on one of the last voy­ages of the icon­ic Maid of the Mist from the Cana­di­an side. They’re replac­ing it with a mod­ern cata­ma­ran-type boat this year and you’ll only be able to take the Maid of the Mist from the Amer­i­can side. 

The boat tour was just as amaz­ing as I’d imag­ined it to be. I was expect­ing it to be a lit­tle bit scary, but it wasn’t at all. But even with a rain­coat on, I still got soaked from the mist. I was a lit­tle wor­ried that the mist would kill my cam­era because I just couldn’t stop tak­ing pic­tures and videos of the falls, but sur­pris­ing­ly it sur­vived! The pic­ture above was tak­en from the boat. I have many oth­er, bet­ter pic­tures of the falls but I just had to post this one just for the fact that it was tak­en from the Maid of the Mist. It was such a great expe­ri­ence and I’m so glad that I got to scratch some­thing off my buck­et list with my old pal Rebec­ca!

№ 17 — St. Lunaire-Griquet, Newfoundland, Canada

St. Lunaire-Gri­quet is a town near the north­ern­most tip of New­found­land. I took a pic­ture of this lit­tle ice­berg when we were on our way up to L’Anse aux Mead­ows, an ancient Viking set­tle­ment. Though it might seem lit­tle, you’ll nev­er know how big it is actu­a­ly under­neath. Such is the thing with ice­bergs. This ice­berg was not the only ice­berg we saw while we were in Newfoundland’s North­ern Penin­su­la. There were at least half a dozen more in dif­fer­ent shapes and sizes. The North­ern Penin­su­la is part of the so-called Ice­berg Alley. It’s more fun than a tor­nado alley for sure.

On our way back from L’Anse aux Mead­ows, we went to have lunch here at the Dai­ly Catch restau­rant. They served the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. I could tell that the fish was fresh. St. Lunaire-Gri­quet is an old fish­ing com­mu­ni­ty after all. The lady who served us brought us our drinks and men­tioned that it was not just ice in our drinks but pieces of ice­berg. We thought she was jok­ing so we laughed, but then she went back to the kitchen and came back with a plas­tic bag con­tain­ing a big chunk of ice­berg for us to take a look. She said her hus­band just brought it back from the sea this morn­ing. So it wasn’t a joke.

When I put a tiny piece of ice­berg in my mouth to melt, it didn’t melt very quick­ly. I’m guess­ing it was because ice­berg is much denser than reg­u­lar ice. Come to think of it, I might have had some microbes from hun­dreds of years ago in my body, thanks to those pieces of ice­berg in my iced tea! 

№ 15 — Stanley Park, British Columbia, Canada

Actu­al­ly, I know exact­ly why. First of all, we always trav­el dur­ing the off sea­son. Sec­ond­ly, I always kind of wish for a lit­tle less than per­fect weath­er because it makes for more inter­est­ing pic­tures, but more often than not, Moth­er Nature’s inter­pre­ta­tion of a lit­tle less than per­fect weath­er is a lit­tle off. The weath­er is usu­al­ly worse than I’d like it to be. But eh, I always end up hav­ing fun any­way. When I’m grumpy while trav­el­ling, it’s nev­er because of the weath­er. It’s always because of some­thing else.

Any­way, Brock­ton Point Light­house (built in 1914) is the light­house in the fore­ground of the pho­to and in the back­ground is the city of Van­cou­ver. Brock­ton Point is the most east­er­ly part of Stan­ley Park. At 1,001 acres, Stan­ley Park is quite large (as a com­par­ison, Cen­tral Park in New York City is 843 acres in size) and has a long his­to­ry. It has been des­ig­nat­ed a Nation­al His­toric Site of Canada.

I didn’t get to see much of Stan­ley Park so I don’t real­ly have much to say about it. It was just one of the quick stops we made while explor­ing Van­cou­ver. The views from along the water­front are quite amaz­ing and I would have loved to stick around for a while and walk some of the trails but alas, there were still so many oth­er places to see in our short time there. May­be some oth­er time.

№ 14 — The Tablelands, Newfoundland, Canada

We walked the Table­lands Trail on our last full day in New­found­land. The weath­er wasn’t the great­est. It was over­cast, windy, and driz­zly. It was sup­posed to be an easy 4 km hike, but I was a wimpy hik­er (still am!) and the gen­tle slope soon made my legs feel all crampy. I told my trav­el com­pan­ions to walk ahead of me and not to wor­ry about me. I might make it to the end of the trail, I might not. I’d just walk at my own pace (which is a snail’s pace, to be hon­est).

By the time I got to the board­walk lead­ing to the end of the trail, my trav­el com­pan­ions were already on their way back. My hus­band hap­pi­ly walked back with me to the end of the trail where the view was glo­ri­ous and the bench­es looked very invit­ing. The pic­ture above was tak­en from the end of the trail.

I don’t know if it would be pos­si­ble to explain the sci­ence of the Table­lands with­out using all sorts of fan­cy words that I’m not even sure the mean­ing of, so I’ll just copy the expla­na­tion from this page:

The bar­ren Table­lands, found between Trout River and Woody Point in Gros Morne Nation­al Park, look more like Ari­zona than forest­ed New­found­land. This is due to the ultra­mafic rock — peri­dotite — which makes up the Table­lands. It is thought to orig­i­nate in the earth’s mantle and was forced up from the depths dur­ing a plate col­li­sion sev­er­al hun­dred mil­lion years ago. Peri­dotite lacks the usu­al nutri­ents required to sus­tain most plant life, hence its bar­ren appear­ance. The rock is very low in cal­ci­um, very high in mag­ne­sium, and has tox­ic amounts of heavy met­als. Peri­dotite is also high in iron, which accounts for its brown­ish colour. Under­neath this weath­ered zone, the rock is real­ly a dark green colour.”

So now you know, and I think you should go there! It’s such a unique­ly beau­ti­ful spot. In fact, the whole Gros Morne Nation­al Park is breath­tak­ing­ly beau­ti­ful. It’s one of my most favourite places on earth. Def­i­nite­ly a must-see!

№ 12 — Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

While my hus­band was stuck in Rich­mond hav­ing fun at a con­fer­ence, I was out with his par­ents explor­ing (get­ting lost in Van­cou­ver was a lot of fun). I think the orig­i­nal plan was to go up to Whistler but all the con­struc­tion work going on (they were get­ting ready for the Van­cou­ver Win­ter Olympics) made the dri­ve too slow for our lik­ing and we only got as far as Squamish before we decid­ed to make our way back to Van­cou­ver.

I read some­where that there was a nice beach there in Squamish so we drove around try­ing to find it and some­how end­ed up at this spot that appar­ent­ly was a set for some TV show. There were some peo­ple doing work on the set but no film­ing was going on. The TV show was called The Guard and it only last­ed two sea­sons. I’d always meant to watch an episode but nev­er got around to it and the next thing I knew, it was can­celled.

I wish I could show you a 360° view of this spot because it was real­ly quite stun­ning with a big rocky moun­tain on one side and a fjord — Howe Sound — with sea green water on the oth­er side (as you can see in the pic­ture). Since I can’t, you just have to take my words for it. :-)