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File: 86168_LA Times_Alberta.indd 12 MAY 2008 1830 70% V6 Integrated Production Studio APPROVED BY BIG AD WRITER PROD PROOFREAD FILE NAME 86168_LA Times_Alberta.indd DESCRIPTION LA Times Print Ad - ALBERTA CLIENT CTC COLOURS C M Y K DOCKET CTV USO P86168 TRIM 10.88" x 21.0" DA ms/jp/ms/k PIC INFO Hi Res BLEED NA AD tim SEPS RUN on screen - may 5/08 LIVE NA PR jg OUTPUT hi res pdfx1a PAGE 1 FONTS Helvetica Neue, Franklin Gothic, Times DDB CANADA • 1600 - 777 HORNBY ST, VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA V6Z 2T3 • T 604 687 7911 • F 604 640 4344 Start your own story at GoCanadianRockies.com A quick stop at the visitor centre revealed the area’s colourful history. This really was Canada’s Wild West. Right down to exploding coal mines and saloon shootouts. Of course these days the trails see more action from hikers, bikers, and the odd bighorn sheep. T he trails were hidden gems. No wonder train robbers and rumrunners were so fond of them. “Don’t worry. Lex will get you up and back in one piece,” said Lynda Flato as she bemusedly watched me try hoisting my leg over Lex’s back. Lynda, who co-owns and operates Sky- line Trail Rides in Alberta’s Jasper National Park with her husband, Dave, is a seasoned equestrian who prides herself on knowing which horse to pair with which rider. In my case, a horse willing to tolerate being poked and prodded for three days by a cityslicker on a quest for the ultimate Rocky Mountain high, who hasn’t been in the saddle since Clint East- wood was making spaghetti westerns. Our destination was Shovel Pass Lodge, Jasper’s oldest permanent backcountry camp, located midway along world famous Skyline Trail. Renowned for its wild and rugged beau- ty, Skyline Trail is one of the classic back- packing experiences in the Canadian Rockies. It begins amid fragrant forests and winds past cobalt-blue lakes, then ascends above the treeline to traverse the jagged ridgelines of the soaring Maligne Range. FIRST STOP, FESTIVAL CITY My adventure began in the provincial capital of Edmonton, only an hour by air north of Cal- gary. Home to almost a million residents, Ed- monton is a vibrant metropolis with a bustling arts and culture scene. Known as Canada’s Festival City, it offers an incredible variety of festivals throughout the year, including Canada’s largest Fringe Theatre Festival, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, and Nextfest’s show- case of youth arts and music. While in Edmonton, I took in the fascinating Muttart Conservatory, where each pyramid houses a different climate, the Art Gallery of Alberta’s collection of Aboriginal art, and then hunted for treasures along the 124th St Gal- lery Walk. I even spent a few hours at West Edmonton Mall, the World’s largest entertain- ment and shopping centre, before sampling some of Alberta’s world-renowned AAA beef at a steakhouse near my hotel. INTO THE WILD From Edmonton, I headed west to Jasper National Park. Famous for its canoeing, kaya- king, hiking, swimming, golfing, fishing, and horseback riding, Jasper also contains Miette Hot Springs, the hottest mineral springs in the Rockies. Its magical waters left me feeling revitalized and ready for my three-day back- country adventure. With Lynda leading the way, Lex and I hit the Skyline Trail. During the next three days I was rewarded with inspiring views of snow-capped peaks and glimpses of resident wildlife, includ- ing mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, and a proud marmot standing guard at a crest of a high mountain pass I reached one sunny afternoon. In the evening, Lynda served hearty home cooked meals while Dave, a former Jasper Park Warden, told me stories, like the one about how the lodge got its name when the railroad came through in 1911. The original surveyors had a pack trail put in from the railhead to Maligne Lake. But there was too much snow higher up so they cut down trees and made shovels out of them to dig out the snow, then left them as trail markers. He continued to share tales of the wild well into the evening before we all retired to our cozy, heated wood cabins. THE WORLD’S MOST SCENIC DRIVE After Lex delivered me safely back to the trailhead, I bid goodbye to my backcountry hosts and headed south along the breathtaking Icefields Parkway past glaciers to Banff Na- tional Park. Within an hour’s drive of Banff are five world-class ski hills and six signature golf courses. Visitors can hike, paddle and bike amid towering mountains, secluded val- leys, boreal forest, alpine meadows, glacial lakes and rivers—a diverse ecosystem that is home to countless species of wildlife. After “roughing it” in Jasper’s backcounty, I looked forward to spoiling myself with stays at the charming Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on the shore of Lake Louise, and The Fairmont Banff Springs, the renowned “Castle in the Rockies” . I made sure to book appointments at their full-service luxury spas for all the pampering a saddle-sore urban cowboy could ever want. It was the perfect way to end my adventure. SOAKING IT ALL UP As I soaked in the soothing waters of nearby Banff Upper Hot Springs, just up the road from The Fairmont Banff Springs, I thought about how health-conscious visitors from around the world have been “taking the waters” in Banff National Park for over 100 years. What a rejuvenating way to end my adventure! I had traveled through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, stayed at unique historic lodges, ate like a cowboy, and even learned to ride like Clint (well, almost). No doubt about it. In Alberta, I had found my Rocky Mountain high. Visit www.canada.travel to learn more about creating your own vacation stories. Planning this trip • Skyline Trail Rides offers a 3-day pack trip to this backcountry lodge for riders and an all-inclusive package accommodation for the hikers of the Skyline Trail. Visit www.skylinetrail.com • For reservations at the Jasper Park Lodge, Chateau Lake Louise or Banff Springs Hotel, visit Fairmont Hotels (www.fairmont.com) • For more on Edmonton’s Festivals, visit www.edmonton.com • For general information about Alberta, visit www.travelalberta.com Did you know? • Banff National Park has in excess of 1,000 glaciers. • The name “Banff” is derived from Banffshire, Scotland, the birthplace of two of the original directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway. • The name Jasper comes from Jasper Hawes who worked for the North West Company in the early 1800s. • The Banff Springs Hotel is said to have several ghosts, including a dancing bride, who was ascending a staircase to join the wedding party when she tripped and fell to her death. A City Slicker sets off in search of the ultimate Rocky Mountain high in Alberta. Canadian dreaming
Transcript
Page 1: CTC writing samples

File: 86168_LA Times_Alberta.indd12 MAY 2008 1830 70% V6 Integrated Production Studio APPROVED BY

BIG

AD

WRITER

PROD

PROOFREAD

FILE NAME 86168_LA Times_Alberta.indd DESCRIPTION LA Times Print Ad - ALBERTA

CLIENT CTC COLOURS C M Y KDOCKET CTV USO P86168

TRIM 10.88" x 21.0" DA ms/jp/ms/k PIC INFO Hi Res

BLEED NA AD tim SEPS RUN on screen - may 5/08

LIVE NA PR jg OUTPUT hi res pdfx1a

PAGE 1 FONTS Helvetica Neue, Franklin Gothic, Times

D D B C A N A D A • 16 0 0 - 7 7 7 H O R N B Y S T, VA N C O U V E R , B C , C A N A D A V 6 Z 2 T 3 • T 6 0 4 6 8 7 7 911 • F 6 0 4 6 4 0 4 3 4 4

Start your own story at

GoCanadianRockies.com

A quick stop at the visitor centre revealed the area’s

colourful history. This really was Canada’s Wild

West. Right down to exploding coal mines and

saloon shootouts. Of course these days the trails

see more action from hikers, bikers, and the odd

bighorn sheep.

The trails were hidden gems. No wonder train

robbers and rumrunners were so fond of them.

“Don’t worry. Lex will get you up and back in one piece,” said Lynda Flato as she bemusedly watched me try hoisting my leg over Lex’s back. Lynda, who co-owns and operates Sky-line Trail Rides in Alberta’s Jasper National Park with her husband, Dave, is a seasoned equestrian who prides herself on knowing which horse to pair with which rider. In my case, a horse willing to tolerate being poked and prodded for three days by a cityslicker on a quest for the ultimate Rocky Mountain high, who hasn’t been in the saddle since Clint East-wood was making spaghetti westerns.

Our destination was Shovel Pass Lodge, Jasper’s oldest permanent backcountry camp, located midway along world famous Skyline Trail. Renowned for its wild and rugged beau-ty, Skyline Trail is one of the classic back-packing experiences in the Canadian Rockies. It begins amid fragrant forests and winds past cobalt-blue lakes, then ascends above the treeline to traverse the jagged ridgelines of the soaring Maligne Range.

FIRST STOP, FESTIVAL CITYMy adventure began in the provincial capital of Edmonton, only an hour by air north of Cal-gary. Home to almost a million residents, Ed-monton is a vibrant metropolis with a bustling arts and culture scene. Known as Canada’s Festival City, it offers an incredible variety of festivals throughout the year, including Canada’s largest Fringe Theatre Festival, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, and Nextfest’s show-case of youth arts and music.

While in Edmonton, I took in the fascinating Muttart Conservatory, where each pyramid houses a different climate, the Art Gallery of Alberta’s collection of Aboriginal art, and then hunted for treasures along the 124th St Gal-lery Walk. I even spent a few hours at West Edmonton Mall, the World’s largest entertain-ment and shopping centre, before sampling some of Alberta’s world-renowned AAA beef at a steakhouse near my hotel.

INTO THE WILDFrom Edmonton, I headed west to Jasper National Park. Famous for its canoeing, kaya-king, hiking, swimming, golfi ng, fi shing, and horseback riding, Jasper also contains Miette Hot Springs, the hottest mineral springs in the

Rockies. Its magical waters left me feeling revitalized and ready for my three-day back-country adventure.

With Lynda leading the way, Lex and I hit the Skyline Trail. During the next three days I was rewarded with inspiring views of snow-capped peaks and glimpses of resident wildlife, includ-ing mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, and a proud marmot standing guard at a crest of a high mountain pass I reached one sunny afternoon.

In the evening, Lynda served hearty home cooked meals while Dave, a former Jasper Park Warden, told me stories, like the one about how the lodge got its name when the railroad came through in 1911. The original surveyors had a pack trail put in from the railhead to Maligne Lake. But there was too much snow higher up so they cut down trees and made shovels out of them to dig out the snow, then left them as trail markers. He continued to share tales of the wild well into the evening before we all retired to our cozy, heated wood cabins.

THE WORLD’S MOST SCENIC DRIVEAfter Lex delivered me safely back to the trailhead, I bid goodbye to my backcountry hosts and headed south along the breathtaking Icefi elds Parkway past glaciers to Banff Na-tional Park. Within an hour’s drive of Banff are fi ve world-class ski hills and six signature golf courses. Visitors can hike, paddle and bike amid towering mountains, secluded val-leys, boreal forest, alpine meadows, glacial lakes and rivers—a diverse ecosystem that is home to countless species of wildlife.

After “roughing it” in Jasper’s backcounty, I looked forward to spoiling myself with stays at the charming Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on the shore of Lake Louise, and The Fairmont Banff Springs, the renowned “Castle in the Rockies”. I made sure to book appointments at their full-service luxury spas for all the pampering a saddle-sore urban cowboy could ever want. It was the perfect way to end my adventure.

SOAKING IT ALL UPAs I soaked in the soothing waters of nearby Banff Upper Hot Springs, just up the road from The Fairmont Banff Springs, I thought about how health-conscious visitors from

around the world have been “taking the waters” in Banff National Park for over 100 years. What a rejuvenating way to end my adventure! I had traveled through some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, stayed at unique historic lodges, ate like a cowboy, and even learned to ride like Clint (well, almost). No doubt about it. In Alberta, I had found my Rocky Mountain high.

Visit www.canada.travel to learn more about creating your own vacation stories.

Planning this trip• Skyline Trail Rides offers a 3-day

pack trip to this backcountry lodge for riders and an all-inclusive package accommodation for the hikers of the Skyline Trail. Visitwww.skylinetrail.com

• For reservations at the Jasper Park Lodge, Chateau Lake Louise or Banff Springs Hotel, visit Fairmont Hotels (www.fairmont.com)

• For more on Edmonton’s Festivals, visit www.edmonton.com

• For general information about Alberta, visit www.travelalberta.com

Did you know?• Banff National Park has in excess

of 1,000 glaciers.

• The name “Banff” is derived from Banffshire, Scotland, the birthplace of two of the original directors of the Canadian Pacifi c Railway.

• The name Jasper comes from Jasper Hawes who worked for the North West Company in the early 1800s.

• The Banff Springs Hotel is said to have several ghosts, including a dancing bride, who was ascending a staircase to join the wedding party when she tripped and fell to her death.

A City Slicker sets off in search of theultimate Rocky Mountain high in Alberta.

Canadian dreaming

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MF1

0754

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8

Learn the language of polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba.

ROBE

RT R

. TAY

LOR

CHURCHILL, MANITOBA, The polar bear capital of the world.

For more information on Manitoba, call 1-800-665-0040, ext. CG8 or visit www.travelmanitoba.com.

Send us your favorite stories and

pictures about your travels in

Manitoba. Enter at itsmymoment.ca

and you could win the adventure trip

of a lifetime to Churchill, Manitoba, to

kayak with the beluga whales!

Nothing can prepare you to go nose to nose with an enormous polar bear. So close that you can almost smell its breath. Yet here I was with my best friend, Amy, literally frozen in awe as the great ice bear reared up on its hind legs and literally came within inches of us.

It’s a good thing we were safe behind the window of our tundra buggy and not out for a stroll in the snow. As the bear sniffed at the glass we looked at each other and grinned. This is what we had come halfway across the continent to see!

A BIRTHDAY TO REMEMBERYou should have seen the look on Amy’s face when I announced that I was taking her to Churchill, Manitoba—polar bear capital of the world—to celebrate her birthday. Ever since she was a kid Amy has been fascinated with the largest land based predator on Earth, which she had only seen in zoos. Now we were going to see them in the wild!

THE CULTURAL HEART OF THE CONTINENTOur fi rst stop and jump-off point for our adventure was Manitoba’s capital of Winnipeg. Situated at the geographic centre of North America, Winnipeg is often described as the “cultural cradle of Canada”. This beautiful prairie city has a long tradition of developing its arts and multicultural communities. Winnipeg is home to the oldest theatre company in Canada, the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America, and one of the world’s most respected professional modern dance companies, to name just a few of this remarkable city’s cultural exports.

CULTURAL TREASURESAfter checking into the Fort Garry Hotel, an historic landmark in the centre of the city, we decided to take in some of Winnipeg’s attractions. We fi rst visited the Winnipeg Art Gallery, which houses the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art. Amy was delighted to see beautiful soapstone carvings of polar bears on display.

We also visited the Manitoba Museum, which features several interpretive galleries where you can explore the history and environment of the province. There was even a fascinating recreation of a 17th century English harbor where we boarded and explored a full-sized replica of the original ship that sailed into Hudson Bay in search of furs in 1668.

CULINARY CROSSROADSThat evening, after a soothing break in our hotel’s luxury health spa, we decided to dine at the Forks, an expanse of riverside property in the heart of downtown Winnipeg. A crossroads of Aboriginal civilizations for thousands of years, the Forks is still Winnipeg’s most popular meeting place. It offers a range of eclectic dining choices refl ective of Winnipeg’s status as possibly Canada’s fi rst truly multicultural city. We chose a restaurant with stellar riverside views and feasted on local specialties like range-fed bison and sweet pickerel cheeks mixed with ethnic favorites like Ukrainian perogies.

WHERE THE BEARS AREThe next day, we fl ew north to Churchill. Over 60% of the world’s remaining 25,000 polar bears live in Canada’s pristine Arctic and each fall they gather on the coast of enormous Hudson Bay near this former fur trading post for their annual migration. They can also be spotted earlier and later in the year.

After our close tundra buggy encounter with the polar bear we carried on to a nearby wilderness lodge, where we observed snow white bear cubs happily playing in the snow as their mothers kept a watchful eye. It was a truly humbling experience to share a day with one of nature’s most beautiful creatures.

SONG OF THE SEA CANARIESAlthough we had come to Churchill to see polar bears, we were thrilled to discover that we could also listen in on beluga whales—nicknamed “sea

canaries” because they use sound to help them navigate the rivers emptying into Hudson Bay. While we opted for a boat tour, more adventurous travelers can kayak or snorkel alongside these friendly, curious sea mammals. Some came so close to our boat we could almost reach out and touch them!

THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTHThat night we witnessed a special treat—the celestial phenomenon of bands, curtains and streamers of colored light called the Aurora Borealis (or Northern Lights) that appear in the sky predominantly in the Arctic and Antarctic regions of the earth. Cozy inside our plexi-glass covered Tundra Dome, we watched mesmerized as glowing colors fl ashed across the horizon in what The Cree Indians call the Dance of the Spirits.

MEMORABLE MANITOBABack home again, we marveled at what an incredible adventure we had enjoyed in a place often overlooked by travelers. From Winnipeg’s amazing multicultural attractions and warm hospitality to Churchill’s breathtaking arctic scenery and unforgettable encounters with some of nature’s most magnifi cent creatures, it was a truly memorable birthday.

DID YOU KNOW?• Polar bears are the largest land predators, and

are the largest of all bears.• Polar bears have been known to swim a hundred

miles at a stretch.• Manitoba basks in more than 2,300 hours of

bright sunshine each year.• There are more than 120 public and private golf

courses in Manitoba.• Famous Winnipeg musicians include Neil

Young, The Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Chantal Kreviazuk, and Remy Shand.

Visit www.canada.travel to learn more about creating your own vacation stories.

Planning this trip

• Air Canada has direct fl ights

from Los Angeles to

Winnipeg, with connections

to Churchill.

www.aircanada.com

• For Manitoba travel planning,

visit Travel Manitoba

www.travelmanitoba.com

• For more about Winnipeg

attractions, visit

Destination Winnipeg

www.destinationwinnipeg.ca

Canadian dreamingUp close and personal with the tundra’s titans in Northern Manitoba

File: 86168_LATimes_Man2.indd21 MAY 2008 1330 70% V1 Integrated Production Studio APPROVED BY

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AD set in Times New Roman

(closest match to LA TIMES

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21 MAY 2009 1200 45% V5 Integrated Production Studio APPROVED BY

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Tasted the wine, then fell for the Falls.From the rush of the colossal Falls to the quiet romance of vineyards, orchards and picturesque colonial towns, Southern Ontario’s Niagara region is the ideal place for a long weekend escape.

A dramatic getawayHome base was historic Niagara-on-the-Lake where our romantic bed and breakfast was an immaculately preserved Victorian mansion where pampering was the rule, along with gourmet meals and fine local vintages. This postcard perfect town is home to the world-renowned Shaw Festival, which runs from April thru December. We saw a play, then drove to a nearby Niagara Falls casino for a midnight round of blackjack.

Grape expectationsLounging on a sunny patio sampling limited edition vintages – our idea of relaxation. We had over 70 award-winning wineries to choose from, serving Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Cabernet, Shiraz, and numerous Estate Blends. Not to mention the fabled Niagara Ice Wines. Amid rolling hills and orchards, we ordered fresh locally grown culinary pairings that went perfectly with the region’s finest wines.

Taking the FallsAboard the legendary Maid of the Mist looking up at a massive river of water plummeting down, you understand why Niagara Falls is one of the wonders of the world. Every minute over 6 million cubic feet of water plunges over the crest of North America’s most powerful waterfall. Nature’s fury was the perfect backdrop for a romantic dinner in the revolving restaurant overlooking the Falls. I don’t know what was more dazzling, my wife’s new dress or the spectacular Falls fireworks show.

From sails to spasWant a rejuvenating way to spend your day? Try a refreshing morning sail on lake Ontario, then some high-end spa pampering. Think deep tissue massage, manicures, hot stone sessions and acupuncture. I loved the special Niagara Region grape and wine product treatments while my wife raved about the signature maple syrup wrap.

Playing a roundWe brought our clubs knowing that the Niagara Region’s over 40 golf courses include some of the finest in the world. I’ll never forget playing a hole overlooking the rolling hills of the Escarpment with the on-site winery as backdrop. Downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake even boasts North America’s oldest golf course.

A ride to rememberOne afternoon we rented bicycles and explored some of the region’s scenic loop rides, enjoying magnificent scenery, including the Niagara Escarpment, one of the world’s unique natural wonders. Famished, we arrived at a famous winery where we dined on tender elk, creamy goat cheese, sun-ripened heirloom tomatoes and homemade bread. Fresh fruit pastries and cappuccino led to a final glass of ice wine, capping a memorable weekend.

Want to create a memorable vacation you’ll fall in love with? Visit www.niagarafallstourism.com

Good thing we were in the market for a great time.Beyond the historic grandeur of Parliament Hill, we found Canada’s national capital to be a city of culture, fine dining, superb shopping and plenty of opportunities to escape to nearby rolling hills and serene lakes.

Taking a greener pathWe kicked off our first day cycling one of the beautiful bike paths through the heart of the city lining the Rideau Canal. A recent addition to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list, it becomes the world’s largest naturally frozen skating rink in winter.

A ByWard for great foodWe then headed to the ByWard Market, the historic heart of Ottawa. After sampling maple syrup and fresh fruit sold by local farmers, we discovered a local delicacy called Beaver Tails – fried pastries topped with sugar and cinnamon. The Market is also full of restaurants and nightclubs. There’s always something to see, from street-corner buskers to beautiful reproductions of famous artwork in restaurant courtyards.

Mummies and masterpiecesOttawa has superb museums and art. The stunning National Gallery of Canada was our favorite. It houses the country’s national art collection and international exhibitions throughout the year. Its latest show, From Raphael to Carracci: the Art of Papal Rome, features masterpieces of Italian Renaissance art. We also loved the Canadian Museum of Civilization’s exhibition, Tombs of Eternity: The Afterlife in Ancient Egypt.

Festival cityOttawa’s summer festivals appeal to just about everyone. You can sample cuisine from around the world, listen to an orchestra play under the stars, catch Canada’s largest blues festival, or watch international competitors paddling their dragon boats. The mother of all parties takes place on Parliament Hill on Canada Day, July 1st. The famous Snowbirds aerial show roars over the Parliament buildings, the colorful Changing the Guard ceremony happens, there’s a huge concert, and a massive fireworks show marks the nation’s birthday.

Capital storiesTouring Parliament Hill, the seat of Canada’s national government, was fascinating. We saw the Senate and the House of Commons, visited the ornate gothic library, and rode an elevator to the top of the Peace Tower to catch a panoramic view of the city and the gorgeous surrounding Gatineau Hills. But by far the highlight was that evening’s Sound and Light show, which recreated the story of Canada through music, giant projected images and spectacular lighting effects.

Thinking of capitalizing on our own spirit of discovery? Visit www.ottawatourism.ca

Rode the rails in classic style.17 days and thousands of miles of gorgeous scenery later, you’ll agree that touring Canada by train is an elegant way to appreciate this beautiful country.

Rocky Mountain magicAfter boarding VIA Rail’s flagship transcontinental train, the Canadian, in Vancouver, we embarked on an unforgettable travel experience. The spectacular sunrise over the Canadian Rockies the following morning. Sipping tea in the domed observation car as emerald lakes, evergreen forests and towering mountains glided past. Stopping in Jasper to visit magical Maligne Lake and its uninhabited Spirit Island. Nature at its pristine best!

Rolling on relaxationAs the Canadian Prairies rolled by en route from Jasper to Toronto, I began to appreciate how much more you can see of this amazing country when you don’t have to drive. The leisurely pace of life aboard our refurbished 1950s era ‘Art Deco’ Silver & Blue Class sleeper cabin allowed us to savor each moment. The meals, the service, everything felt like it was from a better, forgotten era.

Bears, belugas & the BorealisAnother advantage of exploring Canada by rail is taking fascinating side trips en route. Like the one we took from Winnipeg north to Churchill on the shores of Hudson Bay, where we saw majestic polar bears and actually swam with a friendly pod of belugas. At night, the Aurora Borealis bathed the sky with celestial bands of color.

Breakfast in bedThere’s nothing like eating eggs benny from the comfort of your bed while the countryside rolls by. Later, when we didn’t have our eyes pressed to the observation car windows, we dined on sumptuous grilled trout with lemon, AAA Alberta sirloin steaks and prime rib served in the elegant dining car adorned with fine china, silverware and linen.

Next stop, spa!Imagine combining the stress-free comforts of train travel with blissful spa treatments at every stop. This delightful concept is called VIA’s Spa Train, and it stops at fifteen luxury spa destinations as it rolls across Ontario and Quebec. Each spa offered packages that included accommodations, meals, treatments and return train travel. All we had to do was decide which sensual sanctuary to choose.

Big city stopoversPulling into Toronto, we felt the vibrant cosmopolitan pulse of Canada’s largest city. Summer here means arts and music festivals in eclectic neighborhoods. We also explored amazing museums and galleries, ate superb cuisine, and did some high end shopping. Then it was on to Montreal, a fascinating francophone metropolis. Highlights included charming Old Montreal, Mount Royal Park and Notre Dame Basilica. Our final stop was historic Quebec City, the only walled city north of Mexico, and the cradle of French civilization in North America.

Want to discover more routes to romance and adventure? Visit www.viarail.ca

Make Canada your next destination.www.canada.travel

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Into the wildTruth be told, I was drawn to Canada’s wild west in search of my inner cowboy – and a long cool breath of Rocky Mountain air. Turns out it was the passionate rhythms of Alberta’s untamed heart that melted my own.

Mountain madnessCall me crazy, but the notion of being whisked into true wilderness aboard a helicopter among massive mountains, turquoise lakes, ancient glaciers and blooming meadows is my idea of heaven. Especially when a luxurious alpine resort is waiting for you at the trailhead.

Soaking it upRestoring body and soul in a natural mineral pool bubbling up from the center of the Earth? Early travelers to Banff’s legendary hot springs called it “taking the waters.” I called it a natural blisstory lesson. And the decadent city day spa treatments like salt scrubs and Wild Rose beauty wraps I enjoyed? Urban spa studies, of course.

Horsing aroundRough ridin’ hoot ’n’ hollerin’ good times fit for an adrenaline junkie. That’s what you’ll find at the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth” – Calgary’s world famous Stampede. Hoarse from cheering on chuckwagoneers and giddy from watching barrel racing rodeo riders lasso the crowd, I had to tip my cowboy hat to how this hip metropolis dishes out genuine western hospitality.

Bad is beautifulIt took about 70 million years to carve the sandstone sentinels called Hoodoos that dot the lunar like surface of Southern Alberta’s Badlands. And just one afternoon for me to take a Jurassic trip back in time among some of the richest deposits of fossils and dinosaur bones in North America at the Royal Tyrell Museum.

A ride to rememberLeisurely cycling along the bank of the Bow River as it meandered through Calgary’s ultra-modern cityscape, I marveled at how far its waters had traveled from their pristine source high up in Banff National Park’s Wapta Icefield. Now, sipping a latte on a sunny Calgary patio surrounded by edgy art, cool culture and urban cowboy cuisine, I was content to go with the flow in the heart of Canada’s bold new West.

Getting into the swing of itForget about lowering your handicap on one of Alberta’s 300 plus golf courses. You’ll be too busy gawking at the spectacular scenery to stay on par. Or watching, mesmerized like I was, as a herd of elk gracefully traversed the fairway. Some world-class courses are attached to decadent mountain resorts. Others, to sophisticated city clubs. I even played one with a ranch on the side.

Ready to reach the edge of the world? Visit www.canada.travel.

Ready to head for your own heartland adventure? Visit www.canada.travel.

Ready to meet your own Rocky Mountain match? Visit www.canada.travel.

Air Canada offers the most nonstop service from Boston to Canada.

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Eastern promisesEver seen a humpback’s smiling eye? Paddled past icebergs? Or feasted on freshly caught seafood at a Jigg’s Dinner? We hadn’t either until we explored Newfoundland and Labrador, ending up at a traditional kitchen party in Canada’s wild east end.

Iceberg AlleyOn our first morning, we awoke to see pure white and blue towers of ice rising out of the ocean near our cliffside B&B. Iceberg Alley – running the entire length of Newfoundland and Labrador – is home to 10,000 year old bergs, some as high as skyscrapers. It’s where the Titanic met her untimely end in 1912. And where you can paddle among a pod of friendly 30-ton humpback whales.

Trails less traveledTake a hike, they said, and you’ll see what the world looked like half a billion years ago. So we did, through the untamed wilderness of Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its otherworldly landscape and towering cliffs of glacier carved freshwater fjords.

Something to spout aboutThe 340 mile long East Coast Trail felt like the edge of the Earth as we traversed craggy cliffs and headlands, sea stacks, deep fjords and hidden coves dotted with historic fishing villages. Nothing could prepare us for the natural wave-driven geyser called the Spout. Or for the sense of mystery and solitude that enveloped abandoned settlements and lighthouses like a thick Atlantic mist.

Cuisine worth scoffing atAll that fresh ocean air gave us a whale of an appetite for a traditional Newfoundland and Labrador ‘scoff’, or impromptu feast – long favored by folks here who can cook up a storm at the drop of a fisherman’s hat. We ate fresh cod, lobster, salmon, trout, scallops, and shrimp prepared using centuries old recipes with names like Colcannon, Doughboys, Brewis and Cod Tongues.

Kitchen confidentialsStuffed from another delicious Jigg’s Dinner at a St. John’s tavern, we joined a traditional Newfoundland kitchen party. As the jiggs, reels, and ballads poured forth as plentifully as the ale at our impromptu jam session, friends, neighbors and strangers alike settled into the Celtic rhythms of a Maritime’s night.

Taking a Leif out of historyEver wondered what it was like to be a 16th century Basque whaler? Or one of Leif Ericson’s band of Vikings exploring the New World near the UNESCO World Heritage site of L’Anse aux Meadows in 998AD? All over Newfoundland and Labrador we discovered museums and historic sites like Signal Hill, the reception point of the first transatlantic wireless signal by Guglielmo Marconi in 1901.

Straight from the heartland We heard that Manitoba was a flat-out fantastic vacation destination. What we didn’t expect were adventures including swimming with sea canaries, encountering polar bears, catching the greatest light show on earth, and sampling everything from ballet to bannock.

Titans of the tundraIt’s not every day that you can get up close and personal with the Arctic’s mightiest resident. Except if you’re in Churchill, Manitoba, Polar Bear Capital of the World, during the summer. Cruising the rivers that flow into mighty Hudson Bay in our private wildlife viewing tour boat, we encountered a group of magnificent white polar bears. As they approached the shore, curious but cautious, it felt like they had decided to welcome us to their hauntingly beautiful arctic world.

Swimming with sea canariesThe fun continued in a big way as we dawned dry suits and snorkels and took the plunge to swim alongside beluga whales. Nicknamed “sea canaries” because they use sound to help them navigate the rivers that empty into Hudson Bay, these friendly and curious sea mammals bid you a migratory farewell as they head south.

The greatest show on EarthWe were lucky to have front row seats as the Northern Lights (otherwise known as the Aurora Borealis) made a rare appearance in the midnight summer night sky. It’s no wonder the Cree Indians called this celestial display of vivid bands and curtains that light up the Earth’s antipodal regions the Dance of the Spirits.

Gone fishingWith over 100,000 lakes and ancient waterways, Manitoba is an angler’s dream destination. At our remote fly-in luxury resort, “Namaycush, the dweller of the deep” challenged us to master a lake trout, while great northern pike and trophy walleye put up a ferocious fight. Each catch of the day came with a whale of a tale as big as the world’s mightiest bulldog brute channel catfish.

The cradle that rocksManitoba’s capital of Winnipeg is often called Canada’s cultural cradle because of its extraordinary concentration of world-class performing arts. We took in the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the internationally recognized Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Throw in a legendary summer Folk Festival, innovative modern dance and a pop music hothouse and you’ve got one of North America’s coolest heartland city scenes.

Cultural Crossroads Where can you find the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art? The Winnipeg Art Gallery, we discovered. You can also take a step back into the 17th century at the Manitoba Museum aboard a full-sized replica of the original English ship that sailed into Hudson Bay in search of furs in 1668. Then stand at the Forks, where people have gathered for thousands of years at the geographical heart of North America.

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www.thisiscanada.com Winter 2010

Taste the Canada that locals know (and love) It’s true what they say. Canada is full of unique gastronomic experiences. But don’t take our word for it. Take your own delectable journey. Fondue in the snowy woods high above Vancouver. Reel in the freshest seafood in Halifax. Sip the unmatched sweetness of Niagara’s Icewine Festival. Try authentic First Nations fare in Ottawa. Whet your whistle at one of our award-winning microbreweries. Satisfy your alpine appetite for grilled Alberta AAA beef in Banff. Or share a frosty cocktail at the Hotel de Glace, possibly the world’s most romantic getaway – made entirely of ice. All this and more awaits you right next door. Getting to know the neighbors has never tasted so good.

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Imagine a five star Nordic castle carved entirely of ice – walls, roof, furniture… even the beds (under cosy mattresses). That’s the Hôtel de Glace, only 30 minutes from Québec City – a shimmering masterpiece entirely rebuilt each winter. We discovered that gloves are a good idea while clinking your cocktail glasses (also made of ice) at the ice bar amid fantastic crystalline sculptures. And toques won’t be out of place while you dine on delicious cuisine served at the Auberge Duchesnay, right next door.

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Harold & Mod We were actually married there! It was the perfect white wedding, surrounded by glittering crystals and even a hall of fireworks. Surreal and sublime!

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We thought you might enjoy this frosty bartender’s concoction created to celebrate the Hôtel de Glace’s 10th anniversary. Cheers.

Ingredients 1 ! oz Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider 1 ! oz Belvedere Vodka

(or Grey Goose Vodka)

Preparation Mix all the ingredients and serve it in an ice glass. Mittens recommended. Enjoy.

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One cool cocktail

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Where slow food meets high culture

It’s the opposite of fast food. Sourced from local ingredients. Embracing an older, mellower way of connecting pleasure to cuisine. On a recent trip to Toronto we discovered the Slow Food concept thriving in two of the city’s most culturally connected eateries – Frank, at the Art Gallery of Ontario (named after architect Frank Gehry), and the Royal Ontario Museum’s C5. It’s the art of eating well, taken to whole new levels.

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Michelle44 Did you know that C5 is located in the pinnacle of the mesmerizing Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, designed my New York ‘starchetict’, Daniel Liebskind. Incredible setting!

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Sample multicultural Montréal’s classic fare

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Taste the treasures of our home and Native land

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ute tio delenibh erat erosto odionse ndreriustrud tem aliquat wisl diamcommy nim velis essed ea feuguer sum nullan et lan hendre faciduisl ullutem et lamet wis nostrud et, commodipisim ndreriustrud nit nulland reetum vel euguer ad enit lute dignim aute essit accum esto odo dolobor alis dolupta tionsendiam, consequat. Lor adion ute tio

While Canada’s Franco-metropolis is renowned for superb fine dining, it’s also no secret that Montréal’s ethnic diversity makes for some delicious casual noshing. Try fresh bagels prepared the same way they were back in Mother Russia a hundred years ago. My personal favorite? A heaping pile of smoked meat on rye at Schwartz’s, a Montréal institution that’s been serving up the finest deli fare around since 1928. Also, don’t miss French Canadian delicacies like poutine (the “Philly Cheese Steak” of Montréal) and delightful maple-syrup concoctions called sugar pies.

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Top Canadian Cuisine Blogs:

midnightpoutine.ca – a Montréal foodie favorite that also covers music, film, fashion, news and events

edibletulip.typepad.com – focuses on the joys of simple, unpretentious food

lexculinaria.com – showcases Edmonton’s freshest foods

Get your greens (and reds) from Vancouver’s last working farm

Choose a dining room with a view

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Smack in the heart of historic Gastown lies Blood Alley – all brickwork and ornate Victorian era lamps. The name’s sinister connotations aside, it’s Vancouver’s hippest foodie destination. Try poached halibut with mussels at L’Abattoir, which serves French-influenced fare under a solarium dominated by an actual tree branch chandelier. Or check out the Salt Tasting Room’s constantly changing menu featuring ten types of cured meat, cheese and condiments. Or savour tapas treats like potted prawns with pistachio butter at Judas Goat Taberna, right next door.

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Get the gang together and drive up to Grouse Mountain, where a gondola whisks you to the top of the mountain, and panoramic views over Vancouver. Then strap on snowshoes and softly crunch through the forest, pristine under a blanket of fresh snow. Soon, you’ll reached Altitudes Bistro, a luxury lodge where delicious cheese, broth and chocolate fondues and wine await. Such a cool way to spend a midwinter’s day.

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Map out a perfect mountain day in Banff

Find this map at www.thisiscanada.com

1 Evelyn’s Coffee Bar – kickstart the day by joining the locals for coffee and mixed-berry muffins

2 Bow Falls Trail – head out into the crisp air for a brisk walk

3 Grizzly House – cook your own buffalo, rattlesnake, and ostrich over hot rocks at your table

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ing ex eugiam quipit wisi bla faci blaoreet, quatet, volor adio odolore doloreros adignim vel dip er sequisci tin henibh et, volesting essis nonse commy num zzrit ea feuguer sum nullan et lan odionse ex eugiam quipit wisi bla faci blaoreet, quatet, volor adio odolore doloreros ex adignim vel dip er sequisci tin henibh

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After working up a mountainous appetite on the slopes of North America’s #1 ski resort 2 hours North of Vancouver, we joined a daily après-ski Whistler Tasting Tour – a gastronomic double diamond mogul run through five of the ski town’s upscale eateries, including some real gems like Barefoot Bistro and Quattro.

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Whistler’s aprés ski scene a taste of heaven

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Plunge into Halifax’s local bounty

What makes our seafood so sensational? Perfectly seasoned mussels, fresh raw oysters, and exceptionally meaty lobster, for starters. Local, seasonal and fresh is the gourmet gospel in Halifax establishments like the Five Fishermen Restaurant, where everything is sourced from local farmers and fishers markets. For a classic Nova Scotian feast, try pairing pan roasted Atlantic salmon, spicy jerk crab or lobster poutine with some great locally produced wines and beers.

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Edgar&Stacy Halifax also has awesome nightlife. Plenty of cool bars and pubs with live bands, cold beer, and good food to fuel the fun.

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Wondering why the New York Times called this Vancouver gem “easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world”? Just try the wine marinated lamb popsicles in fenugreek cream curry on turmeric and spinach potatoes. Or the organic chicken with crimini mushrooms in creamy saffron curry. While you dine, amiable proprietor Vikram Vij chats with guests while his wife, Meeru, directs an all-female staff in creating some of the most innovative south Asian fusion dishes you’ll ever taste.

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The Barnards We don’t know when we so instantly fell in love with a restaurant. An absolute gem.

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How to cook a Digby scallop

Tasty takeaways

A hot grill, a batch of fresh scallops, and a good dose of garlic butter are all you need to prepare one of Nova Scotia’s most famous dishes, according to scallop expert Bob Eisener. Watch the video.

Looking for some culinary inspiration to take home? Want to impress any dinner guest? Try these recipes, guaranteed to charm even the pickiest of palates.

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ex eugiam quipit wisi bla faci blaoreet, quatet, volor adio odolore doloreros adignim vel dip er sequisci tin henibh et, volesting essis nonse commy num zzrit delestrud diat. Ut lametue rcillan ute tio delenibh erat erosto odionse ndreriustrud tem wis nostrud et, zzit ex eugiam quipit wisi bla faci blaoreet, quatet, volor adio odolore doloreros adignim vel dip er sequisci tin henibh et, volesting essis nonse commy num zzrit delestrud diat. Ut lametue rcillan ute tio delenibh erat erosto odionse ndreriustrud tem wis nostrud et, zzit ex eugiam quipit wisi bla faci blaoreet

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Go ahead and wine about winter

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