David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

David J. Farley of Plympton, Plymouth, United Kingdom

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

CANADA and ALASKA- May 2008

I am back from my tour of the Canadian Rockies and my cruise up the Inside Passage to south east Alaska. Although quite tiring it was a truly wonderful experience the memories of which I will treasure for evermore. For those of you who may be interested I will give a brief outline of the itinerary we followed.

On Day 1 we departed from London Gatwick on our charter flight to Calgary, Alberta. On arrival we transferred to our hotel in the picturesque town of Banff for a two night stay. On Day 2 we visited the beautiful Bow Falls, the Cave and Basin and took a cable car ride up Sulpher Mountain. On Day 3 we drove to Lake Louise, described by many writers as the most beautiful place in Canada.

Staying overnight at Golden before continuing on Day 4 through the magnificent Rockies to Kelowna for another overnight stay. During this journey I managed to see an elk, a black bear and several bald eagles in the wild. Sadly though not a moose in sight! On Day 5 we continued across British Columbia to Vancouver where we stayed for a very welcome three nights. Day 6 saw us visit Chinatown, Gastown, Stanley Park and the magnificent harbour. We also went over to Vancouver's Northshore and managed to walk across the spectacular Capilano Suspension Bridge followed by a cable car ride up Grouse Mountain to see a couple of Grizzly bears. On Day 7 we travelled by ferry to Victoria, capital of British Columbia, on Vancouver Island. In the afternoon visiting the truly colourful and vast Butchart Gardens.

On Day 8 we joined our cruise ship the MS Statendam at Canada Place, Vancouver Harbour. Day 9 we cruised up the Inside Passage and again marvelled at the scenery and wildlife. We arrived at Juneau, capital of Alaska on Day 10 from where we visited the Mendenhall Glacier. Next day (Day 11) arriving early at Skagway, a lively relic of the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898.

Day 12 was the highlight of the whole holiday for me when we cruised around Glacier Bay and saw the truly amazing sight of the Marjerie Glacier which appears in the photograph at the head of this posting. The blue tint shown in the photograph is very real and has to be seen to be really appreciated. To watch the glacier "calving" and listen to the loud rumblings was truly awesome.

Day 13 saw us arrive at Ketchikan where we visited Totem Poles Park and entered a typical First Nation clan longhouse on a reservation. Later the same day we attended a lumberjack show and witnessed the might and power of several lumberjacks who put on an exciting display of their skills and talent. Day 14 was spent at sea cruising our way back to Vancouver. It was thrilling to watch from our balconies the whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals in their natural environment. On Day 15 we arrived back at Vancouver and went on another tour of the city this time visiting the market on Granville Island and also Queen Elizabeth Park before transferring to the international airport for our return flight to the UK.

Only two negatives to report. The first being that at Butchart Gardens I managed to accidentally drop my expensive Nikon digital camera rendering it useless for the remainder of the holiday although the microchip was OK and my special thanks must go to Jim and Valerie Ward, two fellow guests on the cruise, who very kindly loaned me their second camera in order that I could continue shooting great pictures onto my own microchip. Thanks a million folks.

The second negative happened at Vancouver International Airport when my luggage was weighed and found to be 12 kilos over the limit of 20Kg. I was charged an outrageous 192C dollars (£101.50) for the excess allowance. That equates to 16C dollars or roughly £8 per kilo which I consider to be an absolute rip-off. So my souvenirs turned out to be very expensive souvenirs indeed and you can rest assured my relatives know all about it! So be warned, travel very light when visiting Canada or face a hefty bill like me!

That said, the positives far outweigh the negatives. I will soon forget the minus points but I will never forget the stunning scenery, exciting wildlife and especially the friendly welcome we received from the ordinary citizens of Canada and Alaska whom we came into contact with throughout the whole vacation. I give thanks to Almighty God for a super holiday and a safe return to my home.

Finally, I have uploaded a slideshow of many of my photographs from this holiday and they can be viewed at the head of this page immediately below my welcome message.


Annette said...

Oh David, it sounds lovely.
I did miss you when you were away I must admit.
Thanks very much for those lovely photos you sent me. They are so cute.
I have sent them on to my firnds so they can enjoy them.
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Mr Farley,

I'm not sure if you will remember me but I had the honour of serving as an SC at Saltash during your tenure. It has been wonderful reading your blog. I was especially enthralled by your vacation in Canada. I have travelled the same route as described by yourself. I now reside in the beautiful city of Vancouver and have done so for a number of years.

Kindest Regards,

Ruth Preston (formerly Fisher)

Old Plod said...

Hello Ruth,
Of course I remember you and how mighty pleased I was to see your comments posted on my blog. I trust you and your family are well and enjoying life in that truly lovely city of Vancouver. I often recall my visit and relate to friends that if ever I decided to emigrate Vancouver would be my first choice of location. I was really impressed with all that it has to offer. I wished I could have stayed longer! As you may know I have been blessed to have travelled to many parts of the world so coming from me that is praise indeed. You live in a wonderful country and I'm sure you appreciate how lucky you are. You did not say how you came upon my blog but if interested you can find out more about my past career and current interests by visiting my website at;
Thank you once again Ruth for posting a comment on my blog and I hope you will return for more updates in future.
Kind Regards,

The Religious PĂ­caro said...

Thank you so much for sharing your photos. It looks like you really did have a wonderful trip.