№ 11 – Cabot Trail, Nova Scotia, Canada

This picture was taken during our honeymoon almost nine years ago. We spent most of the time in our 2-week honeymoon road trip in Nova Scotia and the drive through the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island was certainly one of the highlights. It was a very scenic drive.

Our friends who lived in Halifax (the capital of Nova Scotia) at the time and whom we met earlier in the trip told us that we might see some moose there. I was really excited about that. I had never seen a moose in its natural habitat before. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any. In fact, I had never seen any moose in the wild until three years ago. Strangely, once I saw one in the wild, I keep seeing them when we are up north in the cottage country. Maybe I broke some kind of a curse somehow.

To quote Wikipedia, Cabot Trail “is named after the explorer John Cabot who landed in Atlantic Canada in 1497, although most historians agree his landfall likely took place in Newfoundland and not Cape Breton Island.” When he landed in Canada, he actually thought he had landed in Asia! John Cabot is the English name for Italian explorer, Giovanni Caboto. His biography is pretty interesting.

№ 9 – Spirit Island, Alberta, Canada

You don’t have to have the ability to walk on water to get to Spirit Island by foot from the mainland. You could just simply walk there. But you probably don’t want to do that or you would make a whole bunch of tourists angry for ruining their pictures of one of the most photographed spots in the Canadian Rockies.

You can only get to Spirit Island by taking the Maligne Lake boat tour (well, you could probably hike there but it might take a while). The boat tour was a little pricey but I guess the beautiful scenery we saw during the tour made it worth it.

We had to sit around waiting for our boat for quite a while. I remember us making some stupid videos while waiting because we were bored. There wasn’t really much to do there otherwise. Well, we could’ve rented a canoe or a kayak, but that would’ve been redundant. At least the surrounding view was pretty.

Spirit Island is located on Maligne Lake within Jasper National Park, which is one of my favourite Canadian national parks. If you have to choose between Jasper and Banff National Parks to visit, go for Jasper. You won’t regret it! It’s just as beautiful but not as touristy. Too bad it’s about four hours away from where we will be in June.

№ 8 – Norris Point, Newfoundland, Canada

Norris Point is a quaint little town in Bonne Bay, within the beautiful Gros Morne National Park. It is home to the most excellent Bonne Bay Marine Station where we had a fun, educational time one morning, getting introduced, up close and personal, to some interesting sea creatures, some of which we even got the chance to touch.

While I was busy taking pictures of the sunset one evening, a local man was filling my husband and his dad in on all the latest local gossips. Later I learned that the man actually had his own show at the local radio station. We sure got all the gossips from the best source!

Anyway, I just realized that I had lost a two-day’s worth of photos from the Newfoundland trip due to some photo transferring kerfuffle that happened about a year ago. Pretty bummed about it, but there really isn’t much we can do about it. Oh well. Live and learn.

№ 7 – Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Victoria is situated in Vancouver Island. We took a ferry ride there from the mainland. It was a pleasant one. We passed quite a few cute little islands along the way and enjoyed some beautiful views.

The picture above is of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. I believe it was tai chi day when we were there, which explains the crowd in front of it.

I don’t really remember much about this city other than that it was a beautiful city and that my husband accidentally drove the car into an opposing traffic lane one night. Ooops! I blame it on the stupid car GPS.

I would love to go back there again one day to see more of the city. We didn’t get to see much at the time due to time constraints.

№ 5 – Gatineau Park, Quebec, Canada

The photo is actually from the Mackenzie King Estate but it’s within the Gatineau Park so I’m not really cheating. The other photo I have of the park is kind of boring so this one will have to do it.

William Lyons Mackenzie King is the 10th Prime Minister of Canada. This estate was his summer home. Upon his death, he left his estate to the people of Canada. I was especially interested in all the ruins that can be found all over the estate but was somewhat disappointed to learn that the ruins were more like salvaged parts of various demolished buildings and not really ruins of buildings that used to be in the estate. It was still interesting to learn where the ruins came from. I think the arch in the picture came from a now demolished bank building.

And gosh, if you are a bug magnet like me, do not, and I repeat, DO NOT visit Gatineau Park in the springtime. The black flies will eat you alive! They are such a bunch of tiny, blood-sucking, flesh-eating jerks!

№ 3 – Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland, Canada

We took a boat tour here and the walk to where the boat tour started was like 3 km long through a swampy land. Being a whiny hiker, I was not impressed, especially since it was a sunny day. I always get grumpy on sunny days. Fortunately, the boat tour was worth the long walk. Like I mentioned in the haiku, this “pond” used to be a fjord connected to the sea before all the glaciers melted many, many years ago. The rock walls surrounding the “pond” are about 600 m high. The waterfalls on the right-hand side of the picture is called the Pissing Mare Falls (I kid you not). It is supposed to be one of the highest waterfalls in eastern North America at 350 m. All through the boat tour, I was crossing my fingers that no boulders would break off into the “pond” because the last time it happened in the early 20th century, it caused a 30 m tsunami!

I love Newfoundland. It’s kind of like Iceland but with more trees and moose and less volcanic activities. Will definitely go back there at some point.

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