The AbsoluteVisit Blog
The Top 100 Places in the World...And So Much More
Blogs from: Canada
Photo of the Day – Stormy Jasper Valley – Jasper National Park, CanadaFirst, Merry Christmas everyone! I know that many of you will be spending time with your families today – enjoy every minute of it.
I took this photo this past summer while exploring Banff as well as Jasper National Park (right next to Banff) with my girlfriend Anne. On this day, the weather was not particularly great, but it did add some pretty epic weather sightings such as this one along the way.
I always find it interesting how much weather can play a roll in a trip, a photo, a memory, a moment. Sometimes rain can ruin a trip, sometimes it will make for the memory of a lifetime. Other times you’ll be begging for the sun to come out to cap off an epic sunset and other times you’ll be wishing it would hide to get you out of 100 degree heat. You just never know. Regardless, make the most of it!
Photo of the Day – Mythical Morning on Lake Moraine – Banff National Park, CanadaLake Moraine is my favorite lake in the world. It is a crystallized teal blue color, has the backdrop of the incredible Canadian Rockies, and has classic natural beauty of evergreen trees, rocks, snow and rocks.
I have only been to Lake Moraine once on a very early and chilly Summer morning in July this year and it is a place that I can’t wait to return to. I found true peace here as the natural beauty seems to take any negative thoughts or pain away. I really want to spend some time there and truly soak it all in.
Where is your peace place?
Photo of the Day – Stormy Athabasca Falls – Jasper National Park, CanadaIn July I took a trip to Banff with my girlfriend Anne – although you must know that by now with my non-stop Banff ‘Photo of the Days’ (here, here, and here). Well, what’s funny about this photo is that its not from Banff, but from the neighboring Canadian National Park, Jasper. Jasper National Park is equally as large as Banff, but not nearly as well known as Banff seems to have hoardedd all of the spectacularly blue lakes which have made Banff so famous.
Regardless, Anne and I drove all the way out to this waterfall and we actually got pretty lucky. It was a stormy day as you can see, but that mean the waterfall was in full throttle! With a light rain and an incredible amount of mist from the falls themselves, it was hard to get this shot off, but I just managed it. This is no Iguazu, but pretty cool I think.
Photo of the Day – A Turquoise Sunrise at Lake Louise – Banff National Park, CanadaLake Louise is probably the most famous lake in Banff and perhaps rightfully so. The area is littered with blueish green colored lakes and although my favorite was Lake Moraine, I can see why many call this their fave of the bunch.
It was a very long and early morning when Anne and I had already ventured up to Lake Moraine, but we had to give Lake Louise her own chance as well. And as expected, the turquoise of the lake crushed anything the sun was trying to do on this sunrise.
We unfortunately did not get a chance to canoe on the lake, but I plan on doing it next time!
Photo of the Day – Banff from Above – Banff National Park, CanadaOn our last day in Banff, Anne and I finally got a decently clear day to take the gondola up to the top of Sulphur Mountain (2,281m or 7,486ft) for this spectacular birds-eye view of Banff Town. We were lucky as a storm actually rolled in right after I took this photo and completely ruined the view.
From atop Sulphur Mountain, I really got the feel of just how big Banff National Park (AbsoluteVisit #66!) is and just how much I missed of it But, thats OK – it makes for an easy excuse to return!
Photo of the Day – Sunrise Canoes at Lake Moraine – Banff National Park, CanadaIf you couldn’t tell by my previous post regarding my trip to Banff, I was blown away. I think this picture does another great job of speaking a thousand words about why Banff is simply awesome without me preaching on and on.
The canoes, the incredible water color, the simplicity of the nature surrounding the lake and of course, the sunrise all add up to not only make a fantastic photo, but to also show what makes Banff so special.
Photo of the Day – Unbelievable Blue at Lake Moraine – Banff National Park, CanadaI am back from Banff, but certainly wishing I wasn’t. Before I went to Banff this past weekend, I of course did my homework and knew for certain that I would be checking out the lake you see in today’s photo, Lake Moraine. In many other photos and stories I saw this incredible blue lake and couldn’t believe it to the point that I had to see it with my own two eyes.
On an incredibly early Sunday morning, Anne (my girlfriend) and I experienced a wonderful sunrise over Lake Moraine. Truth be told, the sunrise itself was nothing particularly special, but the lake made up for that … easily. The lake is not only special because of its unbelievable color (due to Rock Flour), but also due to the epic snow capped mountains and perfectly placed brilliantly green forests surrounding it. Also adding to the effect on this particular morning was that Anne and I were 2 of 6 people “surrounding” the lake. The early bird gets the worm and waking up at 4AM as I mentioned a few days ago always seems to pay off!
Lake Moraine is an absolute must do during your trip to Banff National Park and with my visit this past weekend, I have no doubt the Banff is worthy of its #66 position on the AbsoluteVisit list. In fact, maybe it should go higher?
Photo of the Day – Sea to Sky Highway Sunset – Between Vancouver an Whistler, CanadaI took a trip in late 2011 up to Vancouver with my good friend Dan. From Vancouver, we headed North to Whistler. Although Whistler was beautiful and we did some canoeing on a incredible lake, what stole the show for me was the drive. The drive from Vancouver up to Whistler takes you along the coast on the ‘Sea to Sky Highway’ which is dotted with islands and mountains making for some spectacular scenery.
What I particularly love about this sunset snap is the “whispiness” of the clouds. I’m pretty sure that is not a word, but I’m also pretty sure you know what I’m talking about!
Photo of the Day – 100 Strangers Staring Death in the Face – Niagra Falls, USANiagra Falls is the perfect place to use as an example when discussing why there are so many amazing places around the world that you will not find on the AbsoluteVisit Top 100 list. Standing on the top of the Maid of the Mist boat underneath the falls is guaranteed to be one of the best experiences of your life. I’ve done it (see the photo below) and it is something I’d recommend everyone check out. However, it did not make the AbsoluteVisit Top 100 list. Why?
The first reason is rather obvious if you think about it, the list is finite and arguably small when you consider the number of places on our planet that are deserving of a visit. There are hundreds of places that have amazed Will and I on our travels around the world. The AbsoluteVisit list is published to help give you an idea of what we feel are the Top 100 Places out of that larger set of spectacular sites. While we both really enjoyed Niagra Falls, when we force rank all of the places around the world Niagra slips roughly into the top 100-150 range.
The second reason Niagra Falls is not one of the Top 100 Places to visit is because it is not at the top of it’s category globally. The travel community generally holds Iguazzu Falls, Victoria Falls and Angel Falls all above Niagra (all three are on the AV list). Unless Will and I were very biased towards waterfalls, I don’t think it makes sense to list arguably the fourth or fifth best waterfall on the planet as one of the Top 100 Places you have to visit. There is just something about seeing the best of something in it’s category.
What do you think? And lastly, why does nobody in America plan trips to Niagra anymore? I’m not suggesting you take your honeymoon there (Niagra holds the nickname “Honeymoon Capital of the World”), but the falls are sitting right in our backyard and it sure feels like nobody visits. Pair it with a few days in Toronto across the border and you have yourself a great vacation.