Two forms of paradise in British Columbia

Today’s post was written by Femke Gow.

If you’re looking for diversity, BC Canada is without a doubt the place to be. I have come to believe that there is not a single activity that can’t be done somewhere in the British Columbia; from surfing to backcountry skiing, to afternoon tea in a floral display garden. It’s all there to be enjoyed. I went to Vancouver and Whistler on two separate occasions and never have I ever seen such different but equally awe-inspiring views. Whistler’s views in particular, are so vast and overwhelming that they’re almost intimidating, while at the same time they drag you inwards by their immense beauty.

I visited Whistler during the winter and I don’t believe there is a more perfect time for it. If you are a skier or a snowboarder, or any other form of a snow-enthusiast, this will be paradise! This is where the professionals took part in the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and has been voted among the top four-season resorts in all of North America. Snowboarding in Whistler was truly a dream, and as any snowboarder should know, it’s all about shredding the powder. Thanks to the two mountains, three glaciers, over 200 marked trails and an average snowfall of about 10m, there’s still some virgin tracks to be cut into that soft, gleaming powder. I’ve been snowboarding for about six years now, and I can safely say that one of the best feelings of snowboarding is cutting your own tracks into fresh powder, going where no one else has gone, seeking the thrill of creating your own route, which is exactly what I did when I went to Whistler. However, obviously one of the dangers of creating your very own route is that it become very easy to get lost, which is exactly what I did. When looking for some adventure with my other snowboarding friends, we all decided to go off piste into the winding woods, only to discover when we got out the other side, on what was meant to be the same piste, that we had somehow found ourselves at the top of a vast, open plain of powder. As amazing as that was, each of cruising through the snow, we did have to find a way back at some point, and as any lost-in-the-snow story goes, we simply had to board around for a good two and a half hours until we found a piste that we recognized. This little excursion did lead us to discover another major advantage of Whistler ski resorts – very well sign posted! But I would recommend staying on track.

Only a two hour drive away from Whistler is Vancouver, along highway 99, also known as the Sea to Sky Highway, making it the perfect destination to follow a hectic week in the snow! Vancouver also has a fabulous reputation, having been voted the Most Liveable City in the World by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It also has the reputation of being one of the only places where you could ski, play golf and hike all on the same day – what more could you possibly ask for from a city! The place that stands out most to me from Vancouver would definitely be Stanley Park. The word park hardly does this place justice; in the centre of it is Canada’s largest aquarium, you can learn about Aboriginal Traditions at the Klahowya Village, there’s playgrounds, tennis courts, a heated pool and even a theatre! There is literally so much to do in this park; you barely even need to go anywhere else. Walking around the rose gardens in Stanely Park was just beautiful. It almost reminded me of the tulip gardens in Holland, such a vast array of colours, and so many people simply gathered there to admire the vivid sights, all talking quietly amongst themselves wondering which part of the park to venture on to next. I feel that the park captures the spirit and essence of the Canadians very well; they seemed laid back, happy and appreciative that their country, and their city has such beautiful sights to offer.

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