Banff to Vancouver via Kelowna

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Dec 17, 2010

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Where I stayed
Youth Hostel

Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

After a final day spent in Banff I rejoined Moose to go to Vancouver.  I could have gone on the Greyhound which would have been cheaper but it is a horrendously long journey and Moose broke it up with a few sites along the way and a stop over in Kelowna.  Unfortunately our Moose guide for this trip was not so good but it is actually far more of a drive than a sightseeing venture so it could have been a lot worse!

We stopped off at Takakka Falls.  The weather had taken a turn for the worse so we weren't seeing them in their best light and I have to say going there so soon after doing the Rockies tour I was a bit waterfalled out so I wasn't as delighted by them as I probably should have been.

We then visited Cedar Forest.  This is an area of woodland with a trail which goes around it.  It is very short and the whole walk takes less than twenty minutes.  The cedar trees are beautiful and it is worth seeing and after driving for such a long time it is nice to get some fresh air and stretch your legs.

Later in the afternoon we stopped off again at Coldstream Valley which is a very pretty spot and sits over the Okanagan Lake.  We stopped off at a nearby winery which I have forgotten the name of (!) and had a spot of wine tasting and a tour of the vineyard and bottling plant before going into Kelowna.

Kelowna is much bigger than I thought it would be and generally everyone was surprised at the size of it.  For some reason we had all pictured it being very small and quaint like Banff or Jasper!  It is a very pretty place.  About 5 minutes from the hostel you can walk down to the riverside and have a dip and/or just people watch as it is a very busy spot due to the views over the Okanagan lake, they are beautiful.  There is also a lovely park on the way to the riverside and a very pretty rose garden with lots of different colours of blooms.

That night I discovered that Canada is ripping off my Scottish heritage, how very dare they!!  Our guide told us of the Okanagan monster.  It is a large green monster which allegedly lives in the lake- sound familiar??  I had never heard of this monster before but our guide tried to say that it was much more famous and superior to the large green monster I have heard of, which is course Nessie!  There were rather a lot of us sitting around the table so I did a quick poll which had 2 questions- have you ever heard of the Okanagan monster, yes or no followed by have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster, yes or no.  It was a unanimous NO for the Okanagan and a resounding and unanimous yes for Nessie.  So by my count Nessie wins the battle of the monsters.  I bought a postcard of the Okanagan monster and they have even had the cheek to make it look like Nessie, you really could play spot the difference and find well not very many at all!!  So a good humoured message for Canada, find your own monster and stop ripping off ours - you can't beat Nessie!!

Day 2 of our journey to Vancouver and we stopped off for lunch at Kettle Valley Railway Walk.  This is a trail that follows a river and takes you along an old railway line.  You walk through a few very dark tunnels along the way which was quite cool in both senses of the word. You have to step carefully to avoid getting soaked as water seeps in through the rocks!  We had our lunch by the riverside which was lovely.  I love the sound of flowing water, it is so peaceful and relaxing.

A couple of other small stops later and we arrived in Vancouver around 5pm.  Our guide drove us around a little bit before taking us to our hostel so we could get a feel for the city.  We were taken to Elizabeth Park which is absolutely beautiful.  I have to say that Canada does parks very well indeed, they are all immaculate and just a joy to walk around.  If you are in the vicinity of one take some time out and explore, you won't be sorry!

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