Don’t be a bear! Go to meet it in Canada and follow our suggestions! :-)
When we were kids, our grandparents sang a song that made us imagine Canada full of little houses “with a lot of red little fishes and liliacs”. Do you want to know if it is really like this?
It is the second largest country in the world, after Russia, with a surface area of 9 millions of km2! Who got the chance to visit at least a part of it knows well that the Canadian landscape is more than colorful log houses and perfect manicured garden (about that, did you know that neglect backyard could provide you a fine?)!
If the Western Canada, the one with the beautiful Vancouver, big parks and Grizzly bear, is further away, also the closer Eastern Canada on the Atlantic Ocean, separated from Italy by 9 hours of flight, can give you an idea of the amazing landscape. Here, Québec and Ontario are the most attended provinces by tourists interested in historical heritage and in natural trails.
It is known that Canada is one of the biggest green lung of the world: compared to its extension, the population density is very low. As it occupies most of Northern Hemisphere, it has a very freezing winter, that lasts from October to April. In some zones temperatures gets -30 °C, forcing the big cities inhabitants to build real underground cities (as in Montreal and in Toronto), along kilometers of passages with shops and equipped public areas.
These cities are surprising as they maintain alive the culture (strongly inherited by the French and British colonialism) and the typical business development of the “new world”.
So, between the high skyscrapers of the cities, you can find cathedrals in Gothic style with amazing colorful stained glasses and not far some districts with typical “terraced houses”, stone buildings, small shops and pub with colorful signs, that come from the Northern European tradition (as you can find in the beautiful city of Québec).
The metropolitan areas, that have nothing less than the American ones, are even safer and socially virtuous, for the positive synergy between the various ethnic groups and communities, which live since last centuries. But the great thing of Canada is the wild nature. For this reason, we could not miss this place!
Somehow visiting Canada can be stressful… There are hundreds of kilometers of distance between the most interesting places, linked by big highway that come across neverending lakes and woods. So, our suggestion is to plan a medium/long term holiday, by rented car or even better by organized tour bus, addressed to big cities and parks. Let’s go meeting “who lives out of town”…
Going to Canada means meeting at least once the bear! No fear, there are some parks with observation points for everyone, kids and adults, such as Rivière-à-Mars (in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region), where the specialized guides of Okwari Adventures take you to observe safely the Black Bear in its natural habitat.
You can learn to recognize bears scats on tree trunks along easy paths and admire continuous rainbows created by amazing waterfalls in the middle of strict canyons. Also making a tour with canoes on the isolated lakes to discover the beaver dams is funny and relaxing. There is always a surprise: such as getting in touch with the habit of Native Americans, that before their disappearance lived in harmony with nature.
Then, unavoidable is the appointment with…whales! From Tadoussac harbour there are organized excursions by boat and rubber boat to spot them. Here, Saguenay river meets San Lorenzo river and they create a fjord with a very special protected marine ecosystem: the Atlantic current flowing create the perfect environment to the development of krill, the main food of the cetaceans that spend entire seasons here… You can adventure into the sea with binocular and cameras, then turn off the engines and wait… It does not take long time to watch on the surface white belugas, orcas, black whales, small whales and if you’re lucky also the light blue whale! Some of them get closer… a very strong emotion!
If you are interested in the biodiversity of boreal fauna, there are some parks where, in a limited but large and natural area, you can observe various species that live free, such as at the Zoo Sauvage in Saint Felicien, that is more similar to a safari than a classic zoo. Instead, if you are curious about history and daily life of the ancient colonist communities, you can visit the reconstruction of villages with inhabitants dressed up with historic dress, like in the “ghost” village of Val-Jalbert, risen around a paper mill with actioned by a waterfall.
Water is the main theme of Eastern Canada: like the famous Niagara Falls. Today, it is surrounded by a highly urbanized area because of the tourists that come from the USA side and from the Canadian side. But let’s focus on the water and ignore the overbuilding around. It is an unique panorama from the top or from the bottom, as for them who adventure with ferry-boat under the waterfall! Here you notice the great power of water, that is also cause of erosion and it make the fall pull back of 30 cm every year. This is the reason why the flowing is reduced in the night hours. Who knows how long we can enjoy this view!
There is a lot more to tell about Canada: we hope you can discover it with a trip that will make you really understand the vastness and also the vulnerable beauty of our planet and its inhabitants, always keeping in mind to bring our summer essentials with you! ;-)
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