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Lovers in Lake Louise

18051773_10154707942359195_22615939_nIsn’t it just so beautiful?

We spent 1 night in Lake Louise and to be honest, it is all you need (in the winter) unless you have the money to stay at the Fairmount hotel (wish I did!).

We stayed in the town of Lake Louise- which is about a 10-minute drive to the lake. The town is cute and has the essentials but not much else. We stayed at the Mountaineer Lodge that was your typical wooden cabin kind of look hotel, it has a Jacuzzi (which is always a plus)- breakfast was included and delicious- no complaints really and would defiantly recommend.

As soon as we got to Lake Louise and checked into our hotel, we fueled up on a delicious wrap and hot peppermint tea (its chilly in February) at the Trialhead Cafe ready to walk to the lake thinking that this is what everyone does- until we realized that no-one else was walking… and there was no-one else around… whilst walking in the woods… which was soooo beautiful by the way- its when nature honestly makes you smile and breeeeath; it was a true winter wonderland and so refreshing.

18073348_10154707941309195_1976583040_nNow the problem was, coming from the UK and not being so clued up on bears in Canada- we did wonder ‘what if we woke up a bear?’ Yes, I know that they are in hibernation, but we don’t know where they are hibernating and if its possible to accidently wake the beautiful creatures up. Although I would really like to become friends with a bear I’m not sure it will want to be my friend. So we freaked ourselves out thinking that no-one is around and can hear us scream if we did come across a bear, we had watched a survival program once and there is basically no way to save yourself against a bear unless you stand up to it and hope it backs down. So we decided to walk on the road, which also isn’t the best idea as all the smart people are driving up to the lake. Anyway I think it took us about 1-2 hours to walk there, no joke (according to google maps it takes 1 hour, but we took a little longer due to exploring along the way)- by the end I had been through every emotion possible (blown away by the beauty, scared by the bears that weren’t there, angry at Jamie for not protecting me from the bears that weren’t there, laughing at Jamie sinking into the snow without snow boots on, exhaustion wondering when we would get there, worried thinking will we ever get there, happy at the beautiful views, ecstatic I saw some huskies, and then over whelmed when I saw the lake with my very own eyes; as you can tell we are quite the hikers lol).

Now onto the lake…

It literally is a wonder of the world (well it should be, because I don’t think it is), it is breathtaking, amazing, beautiful- makes you realize how naturally beautiful the world can be sometimes. With it being February, the whole lake was frozen over and you could walk on it. Again, not something us Brits are used to and from speaking to Canadians you can walk/skate on a lot of lakes in the winter out here, this was quite surreal for us- walking on a lake? Surely it isn’t safe, but we did and we didn’t fall threw- I’m not sure if anyone has? I may look into that actually (ps. There is a sign to say walk at own risk). They had also just recently had the Ice Magic Festival (an ice sculpture festival) so that was cool to see, and you can skate around it, there were also areas where you could play hockey and then obviously you can walk for as long as you could see.

DSCF3310Now I will state here that Lake Louise will always have a special place in my heart, as my boyfriend of 3 and a half years decided to pop the question whilst walking across the lake (and I said YESSSSS!). I honestly had no idea and it was only when I could see him becoming nervous I thought ‘OMG ITS HAPPENING’ and burst into tears. So well done to my fiancé along with Lake Louise who made me the happiest girl ever!!!

So, the night draws in… we get a taxi back to our hotel (you must be crazy if you think we are walking again), we Jacuzzi, we shower, we get ready and head out for dinner around 7.30pm. We walk into a restaurant only to be told ‘oh we are closing in 10 minutes’. Are you crazy? Closing at 8 o’clock, what kind of place is this! We look around and start to realize there isn’t a large selection of restaurants, in fact there was only one other- so our decision was made (for us), we will go to that one. The restaurant was ok, better than the, ‘petrol station’ or ‘gas station’ dinner we thought we were having; so just be aware, if you visit Lake Louise and stay in the town- go out to dinner early!

Also be aware that a lot of places in general are closed over the winter, including Lake Moraine (the road is closed October- May). We really wanted to visit Lake Moraine as well as it has been my screensaver on my laptop for like 2 years (since we have been planning to move to Canada) so we wanted to see it for real! Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, I believe (and the taxi driver told us) there isn’t enough tourism in the winter to maintain the safety of the lake hence it is closed off. We also saw some super cute lodges (Paradise Lodge and Bungalows) on our walk to the lake, they were stunning, wooden and proper country feel lodges- these were also closed but I have definitely got my eye on them for when we return (we want to return in the summer and see lake moraine). DSCF3286Overall, Lake Louise was a memory and experience we will never forget, it literally was the best 2 days of our travels and definitely lived up to its expectations. We would highly recommend it to anyone, even in the winter. Any questions you have, please write in the comments because I couldn’t recommend Lake Louise enough and love talking about it hehe.

See you soon,

Jollietravels xxx

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Cool in Calgary

Calgary we had a split visit as we spent 2 nights at a value inn, then went to Lake Louise for a night and then returned to Calgary for 1 night at NUVO Hotel before heading up to Edmonton. I recommend the latter hotel; the 1st hotel was fine, there were just a few things we weren’t sure about- but it was an experience and that’s what travelling is about. The hotel reminded us of something out of a movie (see picture below), somewhere you’d expect to be a crime scene lol. For example, there was an empty pool, the reception lady was behind bars I’m guessing for her protection and we found porn magazines under the bed. We were on a main road so I’m guessing the hotel was for guests that are on the road a lot and can just pull in for a night. We made sure our belongings were locked up safe though! To be honest, I enjoyed staying there- relishing in our travels and trying something different for sure.

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We arrived in Calgary on a Wednesday and I specifically remember going to the reception and asking ‘so where can we grab some food around here?’, there was a ‘Dennys’ across the road but we wanted to go downtown and to a restaurant (so by the way, this hotel was a CTrain ride into the city- maybe like 10 minutes). And the women’s reply was ‘sooo, hmmm, places aren’t usually open on a Wednesday evening’ lol you can imagine our reaction. We were like surely this can’t be right, so ignoring her advice we jumped on the CTrain to downtown- and she was right, we could hardly find anywhere that was open. I’m sure there were some places that were, but it was the evening and we hadn’t been downtown beforehand so unfamiliar with the area and couldn’t find anywhere. We jumped back onto the CTrain and went to another stop where we saw a supermarket to grab some food but ended up finding a restaurant that was open and was actually busy and had great food (and lots of sport, lucky Jamie). IMG_2691.jpg

Calgary is such a nice city, it is built up like any city and is clean, there is a big shopping center, good food places- there is an equivalent to the CN tower called the Calgary Tower however there are lots of taller buildings around so we didn’t see much point going up it; maybe it’s worth it? They have a cute park that had an ice rink there and wasn’t busy at all so we relaxed around there for a while. Overall, we liked Calgary and it was a place we considered living as its right next to the Rockies but why we were there I felt like there was something missing and there just wasn’t a lot happening. Don’t get me wrong, we were there in the winter and I would have loved the idea of the summer there and just heading into the mountains at the weekend but the city was just lacking something. I guess writing this blog post makes me realise that we didn’t really do much there just explored the city. We definitely would like to revisit Calgary in the summer before we head into the Rockies and would definitely like to go to the stampede. I will keep you updated 😉

See you on the next one (more pictures on the next one I promise)…

Jollietravels xxx

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Vancouver

After our magical time in Whistler, we decided to explore Vancouver for 5 nights, which we had heard so much about! (By the way we booked our journey one bit at a time, before we left the UK we had Iceland and Whistler pre-booked and everything else was just what we fancied doing next; we wanted the freedom to choose when and where whilst travelling as well as getting settled into the country and setting ourselves up for the 2 years we had on our visa). The journey back down to Vancouver was just as gorgeous as the way up but unfortunately it rained that whole day which ruined the visibility from the bus window; I still managed to snap some of it though.

We decided to stay in a hostel for our 5 nights due to the expense however, I don’t think we would return to this hostel again- yes it was fine for those 5 nights on the cheap but I don’t personally think I would or could do it again. And that’s all I’m going to say on that lol. I will also mention that, it rained 4 out of the 5 days we were in there, so I feel my opinion and time spent there does not reflect the true experience of Van- we were restricted to what we could do. We would like to return though, preferably in the summer when we know there could be less rain. If anyone has been to Vancouver and can recommend their favourite things to do in the summer, I would love to hear them.

So what did we do with our time in Vancouver? In Canada? What’s something I feel you have to do in Canada? Well there are lots, but yes we went to a hockey game! Vancouver Canucks against Minnesota wild! We caught the bus there, and it seemed the majority of the bus were going to the game too- but it was such a great atmosphere, you could tell everyone was hyped for the game and of course there’s always one major fan, chanting for the Canucks to win; it was great, I loved the spirit. We had possibly the cheapest seats so we were up in the stands but I could still see all the ants playing and I could definitely hear the music. The whole arena is full of great atmosphere and they love to get the crowd going… unfortunately Canucks lost that night, but it was a great experience.

On the day we finally didn’t have any rain we decided to go to Stanley Park, which is huge park along the ocean, close to downtown Vancouver. It’s so airy and spacious- a great place to get away from the city. There are lots of things to see and do in Stanley Park including the aquarium (which we didn’t go to unfortunately as the queue was so too big for our liking). We just decided to have a nice long walk and see what was to offer. It wasn’t too busy either which was nice (probably because of the weather) but there was one point where there was literally no-one around, it was like we had gone of the beaten track- but we hadn’t, and we came to a large pond that was really murky and had a shivery fog over the top of it and was a little creepy. Now we aren’t chickens but when you’re unfamiliar with a place, it can be quite un-nerving, we would prefer it if people were around so we know we haven’t wondered off into the forbidden. We soon saw someone after that but we tried to get back onto the trail everyone else was walking on. I can imagine Stanley Park is the place to go in the summer as it’s a great place to escape and I’m sure that pond livens up as well, once the fog disappears lol.

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Of course, whilst in Vancouver we looked around the malls, ate out (as well as in our hostel- we asked the locals who recommended ‘No Frills’ for our groceries). We went to Gastown that was pretty cool, lots of historic buildings and I also must mentioned we experienced our first ever Tim Horton‘s in Vancouver! I was told about Tim’s coffee (double double etc.) before we came to Canada however, I am not a coffee drinker and neither is Jamie so it was never really an interest to us. IF I WAS TOLD THERE WERE DONUTS, then I would have gone there sooner. Our first meal was the pulled pork sandwich, with a Canadian maple donut and a peppermint tea, Jamie had the Boston cream and green tea and ever since then we were hooked!!! Even to the extent that I now own a Tim Horton’s credit card, where I earn Tim’s cash lol- not that I eat donuts that regular as I haven’t had one for a while- I’m hooked on chicken noodle soup at the moment for some reason (call me crazy, I only first had it for the first time like a week ago).

That concludes our visit to Vancouver, like I say there are so many more things we want to do in Vancouver and have a list for when we return- let me know what your favourite things are to do!

Jollietravels xxx

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First blog post

So this is my first post… I thought I would do an introduction page to kick things off and tell you where we are at right now.

We are currently living in Toronto, Ontario and have been since the end of February 2016. We left the UK on February 3rd and spent the full month visiting a few places in Canada we wanted to see and try out; the aim really was to find the perfect spot to settle as well as travel. I am going to write a detailed post of each of the places we visited before we landed here.

We were lucky enough to visit the following places:

Reykjavik, Iceland
Whistler, British Columbia (BC)
Vancouver, BC
Calgary, Alberta (AB)
Lake Louise, AB
Edmonton, AB
Toronto, Ontario (ON)

After visiting the few places that Canada has to offer, we were in love with Toronto the most and here we are….

But it doesn’t stop there! We have had the busiest summer  in 2016 and the weather has been an absolute pleasure and very accommodating (sometimes too hot) so we have lots to share with you on what Toronto has to offer, as well as other places we have visited in the summer and from now on… we have itchy feet and I feel like when I get my pay pack it is normally spent on where to go next.

I am so excited to share our adventures with you and hope you are interested in what my blog has to offer. I am aiming to give useful information on what to do, places to see, where to stay, how to get there and any other useful info I can tell you.

Enjoy,

Jollietravels xxx