Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Globe and Mail: Top 10 Home, Sweet Wonders

Ninstints in Gwaii Haanas, British Columbia.
Photo by Sue Frause.

The Globe and Mail ran a travel feature about top spots around the world titled 10 places to check out (before you check out)I haven't been to any of them.

But they also did destinations closer to home called Top 10 Home, Sweet Wonders. 
I did better on the Canadian list, having been to Montreal, the Broken Islands, Ninstints and the Rideau Canal. Here is their list:

HOME HOPEWELL ROCKS, NEW BRUNSWICK

The Bay of Fundy, featuring the highest tides in the world, is a marine wonder. For me, the most dramatic place to appreciate this force of nature is at the Hopewell Rocks. The 90 billion tonnes of water that move in and out of the bay twice a day have carved cliffs into dramatic pillars. Where else can you walk on the ocean floor at low tide, and then watch from observation decks as the incoming water rises again? Laszlo Buhasz

DAWSON CITY, YUKON

Once a raunchy frontier town of shacks, saloons and brothels, the capital of the Klondike Gold Rush had 40,000 people swarming it in 1896. Now, the lively little town of about 2,000 in the land of the midnight sun lives off its colourful past and is full of eccentrics, fiddle music, festivals and bearded men reciting Robert Service poetry. Laurie Gough

MONTREAL, QUEBEC

Montreal, during a summer festival of your choice, is a model for urban Canadian living. Why no other major Canadian city has properly exported it remains a mystery. (Hint: the key is shutting down the streets completely and allowing people to carry their drinks to the next venue). Chris Turner

CHURCHILL RIVER, SASKATCHEWAN

The main highway of the fur trade and exploration on which everyone from Sir John Franklin to Simon Fraser and David Thompson paddled was the voyageurs' pick as the most beautiful section of the entire Montreal to Athabasca route. It's still that way today. Jason Schoonover

BROKEN ISLAND GROUP, BRITISH COLUMBIA

Off the west coast of Vancouver Island lies a pristine archipelago of about 100 islands and rocky outcrops that beg to be explored by paddle. A labyrinth of lagoons and channels passes through a landscape of wind-sculpted rock, weathered cedar, and pristine beaches. Don't be surprised to find yourself sharing the sheltered waters with whales, sea lions and seals. Julie Angus

NINSTINTS, GWAII HAANAS, BRITISH COLUMBIA

This tiny abandoned B.C. fishing village of decaying houses and weathered totem poles, which are slowly being reclaimed by the surrounding forest, is animated by the spirit world of Haida myth. Norman Howe

RIDEAU CANAL, OTTAWA

The best way to experience the canal is on skates. Get up early on a cold winter morning and skate its length when it's quiet and uncrowded. Anthony Jenkins

CAPE ST. MARY'S, NEWFOUNDLAND

It is best to walk the trail to Bird Rock, Cape St. Mary's, in a fog. The trail skirts bogs and brooks and sheer cliffs that plunge to the sea. You can hear the Atlantic booming, and as you near the Rock you can see ghostly swirling shapes and then hear the cacophony of gannets, kittiwakes, murres, razorbills and more. Marq de Villiers

ELLESMERE ISLAND, NUNAVUT


Ellesmere Island is as far north as you can go in Canada. When the ice melts for the brief summer, the sun – perpetually at the horizon – reveals green Arctic meadows alive with tiny wildflowers and a contented silence the rest of the world has lost. Wallace Immen

LAKE O'HARA, BRITISH COLUMBIA


Cupped like a jewel between Rocky Mountain peaks, the lake's setting belies the fragility of this environment. Access to a small campground and a rustic lodge, as well as day use, is limited. But even a day trip provides a remarkable alpine experience. Laszlo Buhasz