Remember to breathe

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel news

At first thought, the new Canadian slogan of the province of Alberta seems a little strange. But it refers to the landscape. So awe-inspiring is it that it will take your breath away.
The new slogan has already began on television and in posters. You’ll see a lot more of it in January when the key booking period begins. So why should you consider Alberta as a holiday possibility for next year? Or even for skiing this winter?
For a start there are direct flights from the UK into Calgary and Edmonton, the two biggest cities in the province. Secondly – if you are considering skiing – Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper offer some of the best skiing you will find and you’ll be unlikely to be bothered with long queues for the slopes. Time it right and you can even see the Ice on Whyte Festival which takes place there from January 12 – 22, 2012. (Children will never want to leave the giant ice slide.)
If you prefer cross-country skiing, try skiing over the frozen Shadow Lake in the Banff National Park – incidentally, one of five UNESCO world heritage sites in the province. Or heli-hiking. This is where a helicopter and guides take you to a destination where you can hike for a few hours be it over flat or hilly areas and then be air-lifted out. It’s a great way to see some of the more remote parts of this huge province. (over 1,000 miles long) And of course, over winter, the province is one of the places that you can see the Northern Lights from. This season, as CD-Traveller has written elsewhere, the lights should be at their best for years. No wonder then that it looks as though there will be many more of us exploring the lights this winter.
You don’t need to actually travel too far to see some of the sights. Just over an hour away from Edmonton you can enter the Elk Island National Park where nearly a thousand bison roam. As well deer, coyotes, beavers and elk. You’re in the wilderness but virtually still in the twenty first century comfort of a city nearby.
Because of the lack of light away from the cities and towns this is also a great place for space-watching. Although there is a planetarium in Edmonton so you can get a grounding before you go out, there is actually an area set aside especially for viewing. The Cypress Hills Dark Sky Preserve has the artificial lights turned off. So popular has it become, that each August, people come from around the world to join in the Summer Star Party. But in the winter the stars offer just as much and at the Tourism and Trek Station, experts will guide you through what to see for each and every month.

And that’s just a brief look at what’s available in just a few places in winter. Imagine what summer bring brings.

For more on Alberta, click here

images courtesy of Parks Canada

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