ON MY TRAVELS
SPEAR TRAVELS BOROUGHBRIDGE
CANADA WEST COAST
I ew from Heathrow in the new BA Dreamliner plane - more
spacious and quieter than normal BA business class. We also
looked at the First-Class cabin - sheer luxury!
After landing in Calgary we enjoyed a fabulous tour of the city
before driving to Banff to board the Rocky Mountaineer for the
‘First Passage to The West Route’. We were extremely privileged
to be seated in the Gold Leaf Service enjoying the luxury,
comfortable and panoramic views from the domed windows -
the stunning Rockies, the Continental Divide, Kicking Horse
Pass and Stoney Creek Bridge were all experienced on our way
An important part of these trips is inspecting hotels and every
one more than lived up to expectations. After our last hotel
inspection, we caught the ferry across to Vancouver Island which
takes you on a picturesque journey through the islands to Swatz
Bay. We called in at Butchart Gardens - 55 acres of beautiful
plants and trees where the fall colours were spectacular!
We continued our tour to Victoria where we stayed at the
Fairmont Empress - one of the most highly regarded hotels,
enjoying tea at the Q which is a must for anyone visiting
Victoria. Over 700 afternoon teas per day are served here
during peak season! One of the absolute highlights of my visit
was our 3-hour whale-watching trip.
We managed to spot humpback whales, sea lions and seals but
sadly did not catch sight of an orca. Maybe next time?
The hop-on, hop-off bus is the perfect way to explore Victoria
and we visited Chinatown, the Old Town, Craigdarroch Castle
and the Marina. We sadly took the ferry back to Vancouver at the
start of our journey home but with time to visit another highlight
of my trip - a trip to Grouse Mountain where we met Grinder
and Koola, two orphaned grizzly bears who live at the top of the
mountain, and we called in at the Capilano Suspension Bridge.
It stretched 137 metres across and 70 metres above the Capilano
River. We also had a walk along the cliff walk which is a series of
narrow stairs and platforms above the Capilano River - not for
Canada is an amazing destination - full of surprises and
amazing scenery and wildlife. Very highly recommended.
ON MY TRAVELS
SPEAR TRAVELS THAME
CANADA EAST COAST
Toronto is just 8 hours by air from the UK and we had a three
night whistle-stop tour of this amazing city. Our home for
the rst three nights was the largest hotel in Toronto, The
Chelsea. After checking in we headed to the nearby Eaton
Shopping Centre which has an enormous array of shops and
boutiques, discount and high street stores and many choices of
On the rst morning I woke very early at 4am and soon realised I
wasn’t the only one hit by jet lag! All the meals on this trip were
amazing, and the Market Garden restaurant where we ate our
deluxe buffet breakfast was no exception. We then headed out
for our day in St Jacobs Country, home to the Mennonites who
originally came from Switzerland in the 1500s.
We arrived at St Jacobs Farmers Market where there were many
speciality vendors, with fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, cheese,
baking of every description, crafts galore, plus local delicacies
like summer sausage, apple fritters and pure maple syrup.
The home-grown produce was brought from local farms by
horse and buggy. After a sumptuous lunch at the Stone Crock
Restaurant in Waterloo County, we were told the full story of
the Mennonites. These simple people are like the Amish
community with no electricity or cars, simple clothing usually
black and carriages driven by former racehorses, which are
The next morning we set off for a walking tour of Toronto with
one of the days highlights being the air-conditioned subway
to the CN Tower where we ventured with caution up to the
The 360-degree restaurant would make a wonderful setting for
a romantic meal with your loved one with stunning views over
the city, all made less expensive by the City pass which can be
purchased to include many of the attractions. Then we headed
to the harbour to join Mariposa Cruises, an excellent 45 minute
sightseeing tour showing the newly revitalised harbour front with
it’s excellent shopping and range of restaurants. Then a tranquil
sail to Toronto’s island Parklands which gave us an excellent
view of the harbour.
Our next city tour highlighted the nancial district, boasting the
Canada’s tallest skyscraper, the CN tower which had become
a focal point for us all. Chinatown, the university, the Roger’s
Centre near to the Aquarium, home to the two pro sports teams,
Little Italy and the Historic Distillery District. Then it was time to
leave Toronto and travel by coach to the Niagara region.
First visit of our tour was the Konzelmann Estate Winery where
we tasted the wonderful grapes! We then headed on our luxury
minibus down the Falls and the beauty of them was outstanding.
The brand new attraction was the zip line over the river gorge.
My whole body was shaking in fear as we ascended to the
platform, suitably supplied with helmets and harnesses.
Unfortunately the weather closed in and the trip was cancelled
as was the helicopter ride over the Falls.
So then on to the cruise. It was recommended that we all stay
downstairs on the boat to avoid getting wet, but we wanted to
experience the full force of the Falls so we situated ourselves at
the top of the boat where we could enjoy the thundering water
and mist of the mighty Horseshoe Falls. A truly memorable trip!