Monday, July 11, 2016

Canada: Whistler, British Columbia.

Our last week in Canada was spent back on the west coast. We took a bus straight to Whistler after landing in Vancouver. I had every intention of taking photos in the bus while we were on the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway, but I fell asleep for most of the ride, and upon waking, opted to enjoy the view with my own eyes instead of trying to capture it through highly reflective glass.

We arrived late in the afternoon, and by the time we put our bags in our room, had a small rest and made rough plans for the evening it was close to sunset. We headed straight for the tube park, spending a couple of hours sliding with incredible velocity down a bumpy, snowy hill then climbing all the way back up to do it all over again. I was giddy from the entire experience, an amazing way to start our next two days at Whistler. The next day we would zip-line in the mountains shortly after sunrise, flying airborne through the trees, breathing in the fresh alpine air (sadly couldn't bring my DSLR, although I did take a couple of iPhone shots here and here); in the afternoon we snowmobiled in the backcountry, stopping at a cabin for hot apple cider and freshly baked cookies.

Our final morning at Whistler was spent dog-sledding. It was this that probably cemented me & Martin's love for Whistler above all else. We love dogs and we love snow, so spending our last morning with 40 dogs was, hands down, our favourite Canada experience. We were so pleased to see how well taken care of they were and how much the trainers doted on the dogs, with some of the trainers even adopting dogs that could no longer pull sleds. Most of the dogs were rescues, and sledding helped rehabilitate them. They were all so happy, so keen to run well before the moment they were tied to the sleds.

Kila (the white husky that features heavily in my sledding photos below), our trainer's dog, was our favourite—she would run alongside the pack, diving into the thick snow at the foot of the trees (“probably saw a bird”, our trainer said), barking orders at the others. Our trainer explained that she had epilepsy and couldn't pull sleds, but they still let her take part in the runs, letting her be queen of the pack and run alongside the trainers anyway.

It started snowing heavily that same afternoon, just as we rode the Peak-To-Peak Gondola between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain—a fitting way to end our time in Whistler. I thought of everyone back home, melting in the 35ÂșC summer heat. We deeply loved this place—so much so, that in January of 2017, Martin and I are moving to Canada to live there awhile.

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