To infinity and beyond + Part 1 Canada
Updated: Aug 26, 2019
To see the world: discovering other cultures, meeting new people, learning other customs has always been a dream I never guessed that could come true. But corny stated, as my just-married-to hubby says: anything is possible, it’s just a matter of how.
As an artist, the search for oneself, the meaning in life, chasing happiness are reoccurring themes that keep my mind busy. But for all these things, I always came to the same answer. Travelling. In my opinion, nothing challenges, opens and changes the mind more than travelling. To explore, meet and see new things everyday. You can count yourself lucky if your partner carries the same ideas, dreams.
A trip around the world started as an idea 3 years ago. From a simple talk with the right people, winning information through websites, working our butts off to save money, and eventually booking and planning (most part) of our trip. We would like to share our experience with you. Maybe motivate you to start your own adventure or just giving you an informative read of our adventures.
Besides sightseeing and enjoying other cultures, I as a tattooartist hope to also discover other tattooshops, arts, styles, artists and grow not only as a person but as an artist as well.
First stop: Calgary, Canada
After a 3 hour bus ride, some delays, and a long but pleasant, flight we arrived at Calgary, where we were warmly welcomed by friends.
Our friends: Bart and Gwen invited us to stay with them in their lovely home in Calgary for a couple of days. Lucky for us, they share a mutual love for nature and adventures. So we agreed to do some hiking together. After two days of taking things slowly, my hubby and I joined in on the greatest outdoor festival of the year: the Calgary stampede. They did not joke around when they said Calgary is « Cowland ». We were greeted with cowboy hats and boots; roasted corn and ribs; rodeos and chuck wagons. And if you love horses, let me tell you this was the place to be.
For our first hike, we did « Rawson lake » and « Serrail trail ». Only a small drive from Calgary, into the Rocky Mountains, and parked next to a lake, our journey started.
The first part of the hike (about an hour or so) went through a forest. This was a nice warmup for what was about to follow. We were warned to keep an eye out for bears (black an grizzly). They warned us that there were a large number of sightings this year, and that they can get really agressive when they have cubs.
Out of the forest, we came into a more rocky terrain alongside the lake, where we actually had to go through snow and ice to get to the last and most challenging part of the hike. For a stunning view, you gotta climb. And climb we did. Always aware of our surroundings and always making contact with other passing hikers. We stayed updated on the « bearstatus » of the trail.
The view we got on top of the mountain was more than amazing! And eventhough our legs and feet were getting tired, it felt addictive and tempting to just keep on hiking towards the other side of the mountain. But hey, there’s only so much you can do in a day, and we still had to make our way back...which wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Though our speed was quite high, our descend was delayed because we were greeted by a mother grizzly and her cub on our trail. Luckily we weren’t the only hikers that day. So we waited until we accumulated a group of about 20 people before raising our walking sticks and making a lot of noise, so mama bear would notice us and usher her cub and herself back deep into the woods. Shortly after we descended the steepest part of our trail, we met a park ranger who said that we all had to go back because they closed the trail as not to disturb the wildlife further.
For our next challenge, we didn’t set the bar any lower, for we aimed to go stargazing at Pyramid Lake in Jasper. A darksky reserve. The ride would be about 5 hours Northwards, and to spice up the drive, we took enough scenery stops (that did not disappoint one bit). The lakes, the glaciers, ... . There is nothing that does not take your breath away! Up in Jasper, we checked in our Airbnb, ate our bellies full and sat down to wait for the sun to set.
The best times to spot wildlife, is either right after sunrise, or before sundawn. So we took off a little early and were able to spot some muledeer and elk on the side of the road.
It was nearly dark when we parked the car near Pyramid lake and walked over a small wooden bridge to a small island in the middle of the Lake. There we sat down and played the waiting game until eventually everything became dark and silent. A few clouds and a falling star later, we were greeted by a stunning full moon, lighting up the entire lake and sky. Suddenly, right when the moon came trough the clouds, we heard wolves howling in the distance and a coyote yippin. Though normally wolves howling in the distance under a full moon would scare the bejeezus out of us, it was actually an enchanting moment. To experience nature like that, I get why people move close to the mountains as our friends did.
After a good night’s rest, and a decent breakfast at the local diner, we packed up and made our way back home. But not before we made a little adventure-detour to Maligne lake! Not sure if that maligne river alongside the road sprouted wildlife, but oh boy they came in numbers. Almost every corner had either a black bear, moose, bald eagle, marmot or elk ready to photograph! (Pics will follow!) Even more towards home, there was wildlife to spot. This truly was a journey that made us check off a lot of the things we hoped to see in Canada.