Beautiful British Columbia

The license plates in BC say, “Beautiful British Columbia”. Simple, to the point, and so very, very true.
I’ve just spent the last week bearing witness to the “Beautiful British Columbia” while visiting my best friend who recently moved to Vancouver. I was stunned the moment I stepped out of her home as I had the landscape of endless mountains just instantly fill my view. As I walked the streets of downtown Vancouver, I was thrilled to see those mountains peek in between the gaps of the skyscrapers as if playing a little game of hide and seek with the people of the city. The mountains really were just unassuming in its grandness and merely acting as a humble backdrop for the city. Just so laid back and cool. How I’d love to wake up with that view every morning...


Took in a lot of nature in the past week...a rarity in my regular hustle and bustle downtown life in Toronto. A nice change of pace considering all the school and work madness that’s been consuming (and will now resume consuming) my days. I went out to see the Capilano Suspension Bridge right in the thick of the rainforest and some 200+ feet high above the waters of the Capilano Canyon.

And Carm and I took a road trip up to the mountains yesterday to enjoy the peaceful quiet of Lynn Canyon, which was quite possibly the highlight of my trip. Way up high in the Lynn Canyon Valley, we hiked (using this word very lightly) to a nice secluded area where we spent the afternoon playing by a stream dotted with rocks. It was such a glorious day full of sunshine and just the right amount of cold. So much calm and quiet, I wish I could go back and just spend the day there reading or writing. Such a perfect day, I felt like I was in a movie or something. Le sigh...I’m daydreaming as I write this....

Lynn Canyon Valley

Thinking back and trying to savour every moment of my trip, I can’t help but feel a sense of pride of living here in Canada. It’s crazy how diverse this country is...not only demographically and culturally, but geographically as well. It’s such a vast nation full of surprises. I travelled out east to Nova Scotia last year at around this time of the year and the land told a different story there as well, with the ocean endlessly stretching out, seemingly merging with the sky at some point. East to West, North to South, each region in Canada has a different vibe to it. It’s exciting and invigorating to know that. Makes me want to grab a car and some friends and just drive all over the country. I’ve still so much to see and learn.

But anyway, I’m just really happy that I took the time out to go see both my friend and another part of my country. It’s always such a great feeling to go out and explore something new...

Here’s to discovering a wider world!

**To view more photos from the trip, click here.

A Boat, A Bus, and a Train

I can't go without blogging about my travels back to Vienna from Venice. With a combination of boat, bus, and train, my journey encompassed all sorts of landscapes. Starting in Venice, I had to ride the Al Vaporetto, the boat, to get to the bus station. It was a lovely short ride along the Grand Canal, giving me my last glimpse of the palaces, the gondolas, and the island. Bittersweet.

The Grand Canal

From there I took the bus to an Austrian city called Villach. Didn't really know what to expect to see from my window...maybe some small Italian towns, but nothing spectacular. More than anything else, I think I was just upset that I was leaving Venice to enter the world of cars  again.

But my frame of mind changed soon after with views of winding roads, acres of vineyards, and would you believe it, the Swiss Alps. I had no idea that I'd even come across those great mountains during this trip! I had totally forgotten that the Italy, Austria, and Switzerland all neighboured each other! And surrounding the mountains were little streams and a river with the cleanest water I've ever seen in my life. I don't know the name of that river but the woman next to me said it's one of Italy's longest...I'll have to research that later. But anyway, there I was sitting on the bus in awe and I couldn't help but think that the people who live there get to see this scenery every single day. Do they realize how beautiful it is? Do they still appreciate its grandness or is it just there...a backdrop simply ignored?

The Alps

But alas, the journey didn't end there...I had to switch on to the train and enjoy four glorious hours of the Austrian landscape. How could I have forgotten that the Sound of Music took place in Austria? With the vast and rolling hills in sight, I pictured Maria twirling around singing, "the hills are aliiiiiveeeee...". So lovely! Seeing the homes there, I imagined again of how life must be like. Crazy to think how much diversity there is in this world... both in lifestyle and in geography.

The Hills of Austria

I really didn't expect that adventure back to Vienna. I just thought I'd sleep or read much of the way but how could I with scenery like that? Who knew the sights I'd behold on a boat, a bus, and a train would be so breathtaking?