Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Wilds of Canada, from British Columbia to Nova Scotia via New Brunswick.

When I was eight years old my family drove north from California and entered the wilds of Canada. British Columbia came first, and I was amazed at the lush beauty of the country. So much greenery, bright blue lakes, and tall, elegant pines. The wooden totem poles with their carved, scary faces, and the fact I had to wear a sweater in August. 

We took a huge ferry over to Vancouver Island and visited a botanical garden. A mock-up of Ann Hathaway’s thatched-roof cottage was there. My mother said she was Shakespeare’s wife. I don’t remember if I knew who he was at the time, but I vowed to see the original cottage in England when I grew up—and I have.

We dallied so long on the island, that we missed the ferry and had to stay the night. My father wasn’t happy because the inn was expensive, but my brother and I thought it a great adventure. The hotel we stayed in resembled an old English castle, with dark paneled walls and suits of armor lining the front hall.

Back on shore we traveled through Alberta and Saskatchewan, visited Banff and the magnificent Banff hotel. Even at the age of eight, that place impressed me. But British Columbia will forever have a place in my heart.

My next foray into Canada was many years later when I attended a writers’ workshop in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. We visited a nearby lighthouse where we climbed up into the wooden dome and watched a recording of a man who’d grown up in the lighthouse.

My husband and I drove around the island and looked at other lighthouses, one a bright red, watching out on a windy, pristine shore. We saw an ancient rampart in Halifax.
We visited pretty wooden villages, ate lunch at Indian Falls in Lunenburg and had the best haddock ever. To get to Nova Scotia, we drove the entire length of New Brunswick. The main road cuts a swath through towering pines, a wilderness I wish we’d had more time to explore, but we were late for the workshop.

This coming May I plan a trip to Saint John, New Brunswick where I’ll delve into its history in depth, watch the famous tides that can drop forty feet in the Bay of Fundy, and stand on the knoll of Fort Howe—unfortunately this fortress no longer exists—where some of my upcoming story on the settlement of New Brunswick takes place.

Coming in February 2018
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  1. You've seen more of Canada than I have! Having enjoyed your Serptent's Tooth series I'm really looking forward to your Bride book.

  2. That's not my series, but thanks for commenting.

  3. I love British Columbia too! They have the best provincial camp grounds and yes, you need to wear a sweater in the evenings in August. Sounds like you visited the Butchart Gardens in Victoria, which was built in an old quarry. :)

  4. I wish I could find the old pictures I know are somewhere of this vacation.

  5. Interesting post Diane, you've certainly seen a lot of the country.

  6. Thanks, Anita. I plan to drive across someday.

  7. What a drive that must have been! Never been to the West Coast North, and really want to some day.