Canada is the second largest country in the world, losing in size only to gigantic Russia. With this dimension of envying whole continents, the landscapes of Canada offer us a charming diversity. Bathed by two oceans, cut by a huge mountain range and with a harsh winter – especially in the northern prairies – it also has rivers of stunning beauty, modern cities, abundant wildlife and a summer that, so short, is expected for months.
This is the Canada I met, and the first view I had of this world was from the window of the apartment where I lived in Vancouver. On one side, I could see English Bay and, on the other, Grouse Mountain, a famous mountain of icy peaks. If during the winter it is the ideal destination for those who want to ski for their slopes, in the summer it is an invitation for walks, trails and climbs. Despite all this, it is good to know that she is always there, close by, looking at us.
Still in the province of British Columbia, I met Whistler, a city that celebrated with Vancouver the 2010 Winter Olympics. Here the main attraction is Blackcomb Mountain, a peak that rises between the mountain range as if it wanted to surpass all beauty that we see on the horizon.
Already in the state of Alberta, the setting seems to have been taken from film. Mountains of snowy peaks, pine forests everywhere, and lakes of blue water that seem artificially dyed. I am in Rocky Mountain, a collection of natural parks considered World Heritage by Unesco.
This place, if it is not perfection itself, is very close to it. Everything here is quiet, clean and well organized. Thus, it is easy to contemplate the beautiful nature and see wild animals walking freely at a safe distance.
On the other side of the country, I find landscapes more urban, and not less charming. Toronto, the Canadian megalopolis, has in the sky the design of large buildings and the CN Tower, majesty that reigns sovereign here. Built on the shores of Lake Ontario, it is navigating through it that we have a privileged view of the city.
A little further east, is Quebec. It is very different from all other cities in Canada. Starting with the fact that it still retains the wall surrounding the oldest part of the city. Built by the French in an attempt to prevent the advance of the British army, the wall resisted, but the city did not. Taken by the enemy army, Quebec became part of the Canadian territory.
Within the walls, there is another fortress. Known as La Citadelle, the fort was built by the British to defend themselves from French attacks. Today, the site is a center of the Canadian army in the region and maintains the precepts of the 22nd Regiment. A guided tour runs throughout La Citadelle and the museums that are housed here.