Canada has always been a Black Tomato favourite, so this is one project we’ve all been seriously excited about. With so much to see and experience, it was hard to keep the itinerary under control (we could spend YEARS in this place) but we think we’ll manage to cram in some of the most exceptional aspects of this vast country into 15 days. From Vancouver to our final stop in Montreal, we’ll be experiencing everything from kayaking with orcas in BC to ranch life in Saskatchewan to the spectacular views over Toronto from the famous CN Tower in Ontario. We want, more than anything, to illuminate the diverse nature of this incredible destination and to inspire you to experience all that we do on this trip, and more, first hand. Our first stop is Whistler, so, around nine hours after departing from London Heathrow we landed into sunny Vancouver and wasted no time in picking up our car. It was time to hit the highway.
To be honest, landing at midday local time when our bodies were preparing themselves to settle down for a night of sleep was a bit of a shock. I didn’t think anything could shake off the jet lag. That was until we started driving north along the Sea to Sky Highway and the spectacular landscapes began to roll out before us. Instead of sitting quietly, both of us sat up and began to take notice, exclaiming in awe when, at every turn, yet another stunning mountain view or sparkling stretch of ocean came into view. Even the most incredible photographs I’d seen of BC beforehand did no justice to what I was seeing now.Read more
Snow covered peaks shrouded in mist swam in and out of view behind the sweeping hills of pine trees that rolled down to be swallowed by the perfect blue of the Pacific Ocean. We stopped often to take pictures. Every time we felt we’d got enough shots, another view point would appear better than the last. Eventually though, we made it to Whistler Village and checked into the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel before heading back out to explore. Although it’s best known for its intrepid ski runs in winter, Whistler in summer and autumn is just as exciting. Incredibly popular with hikers and mountain bikers, Whistler has proven itself to be the perfect year-round activity destination. Arriving in September, when many families had left and most children had gone back to school, we enjoyed a peaceful atmosphere as we wandered through the charming village. Initial exploration complete, it was time to go back to the hotel and to bed. Tomorrow you’ll be treated to views from the Peak to Peak Gondola and more, so stay tuned, it’ll be worth it.
Feeling refreshed after a much needed sleep, we headed out early and made our way to the village. We set up our equipment at the base of Whistler Mountain where mountain bikers can be seen speeding through the air and over their last jumps before the trail ends. Whilst there are leisurely tracks for novices to sail down, we waited patiently for someone to brave the centre trail and the huge jump that signalled its end. It wasn’t too long before the experienced riders could be seen coming towards us, firing up great clouds of dust behind them as they went.
Next, it was time to hop in a cable car up Whistler Mountain. It takes around 25 minutes of travelling at a fair speed to reach the platform that Whistler’s famous Peak to Peak Gondola sets off from, so you can imagine how high up we were. Stepping out of the cable car, we immediately felt how the temperature had significantly dropped. The air, too, was different. Sorry to sound cliche, but it was so incredibly pure. And yes, we may have spent a moment or two simply taking deep breaths, enjoying the sensation of unpolluted air entering our poor, smog ridden London lungs, but trust us, you’d probably do the same.
We decided not to take the Gondola straight away as our map highlighted a series of short hiking trails. These we excitedly embarked upon, and the views we stumbled across (quite literally at times) were spectacular. At such heights, surrounded by such mammoth mountains and endless pine forests, we both started to feel pretty small and insignificant. Without seeing it first hand, you can’t truly begin to imagine both the size and majesty of the mountain ranges that surround Whistler. One trail in particular saw us descending the side of Whistler mountain until we reached a view point that looked out over a mountain pass carpeted in pine trees that was broken only by the zig zagging lines of trickling streams.
Back at the point we started (after we’d struggled back up the mountainside, cursing our lack of fitness) we decided to finally take a ride on the gondola, from the peak of Whistler Mountain to the peak of Blackcomb Mountain. We could have ridden back and forth for hours. The views afforded by the route the gondola takes above the mountain pass were unforgettable. Floating through the air between these two mountains, it felt as though we were seeing the world in HD for the first time. The air was so clear, the sky so blue and the snow so white on the mountain peaks.
Having been up in the mountains all day, we decided to finish off with a chair lift ride to the Whistler Mountain summit. At this height, the numerous snow-capped mountain peaks felt incredibly close, and the loyal clouds that cling to them felt within touching distance. It was the perfect place to end our adventure in Whistler. Looking down upon the town and the forests, mountains and rivers beyond, we started to realise just how special Canada is, and, naturally, we got even more excited about what we still have to come over the next two weeks.
Scroll through the gallery above to see some of our favourite moments in Whistler.