Jasmin joined Scenic on one of their mesmerising East Canada Overland Voyages. Her trip was full of breathtaking, flavours and new friends – truly a trip to remember.
Click goes the belt and the engines begin to roar on my direct flight with Air Canada to Vancouver. Not only was I gaining my day back once I got to Vancouver, but I also was getting there the fastest way possible. I start off my journey with the usual hustle and bustle of Toronto – proud flags on display and uniquely coloured taxi cars roaming the streets. Before I hide into my room to catch up on some rest, I do a sneaky trip to the Toronto sign to start the memorable photo collection.
The next morning, I jump on the Scenic coach to begin the journey to see the famous Niagara Falls by cruising on the Hornblower. The journey was long but it was worth seeing the mesmerising large torrents of water and learn about its incredible history. Aside from the beauty of the iconic falls, there is a myriad of things on offer to do. From themed restaurants, jumping on a roller coast or gambling at the casino, if I could give it words, it’s like a mini Vegas. I chose to make my own entertainment with local wine a cheese platter and my amazing Fallsview room at the Marriott. Top of your evening with a nice walk to the Falls where you can take in their beauty when no one is around.
One tip I would give to anyone visiting the are is to not leave the area without a quick lunch visit to the quaint town of Niagara On The Lake. That town is dressed in flowers, a delightful experience in which you can immerse yourself while exploring the endless dining and boutique shopping options.
My next venture takes me to stay at the Hotel Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa. There are no words that could fully describe the beauty of this property, it’s not hard to understand why people from all over the world take photos of this architectural stunner. The property id only a short stroll to the restaurants and markets that draws you into the life of this place. Once there, I took a moment to enjoy the vibrant surroundings – people are lining up for Beavertails, fresh fruit is immaculately on display in baskets and bee farms are noticeably a part of everyday life. When walking through the nearby parks an encounter with the playful squirrels is almost sure to happen. Super cute!
A major highlight and a must-do for all is to visit Parc Omega during any time of the year. This park is home to endless wildlife that is home to this beautiful country. The unique experience is that you can choose to go through the park in your own car and feed carrots the elks, deer & boars. To see a Bison larger than the car you are in is something spectacular. The natural scenery truly makes you feel lost in the beauty of this place.
As I get deeper into the East of Canada I begin to see the French side of this beautiful Country. Montreal sets the scene with some stunning parks and restaurants.
Buy a coffee and sit in the square where buskers show their amazing talent by filling your heart with music. This is a place that will not make you rush. A must do is to see the stunning architecture of the Notre Dame Basilica. The artwork in this place makes you stop and stare at all the detailed beauty it is showing off for you. Taking the guided tour of this place gives you a more in-depth appreciation of the place. And photos are welcomed and trust me you will want some.
I was privileged to stay at Hotel Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, home to the famous room where the interview to place with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in bed. The room is covered in memorabilia and history of that fine moment and the mark on the music he made. If you are a true fan you can hire the very room to experience it for yourself.
Beer is flowing, the crowd is roaring, and that famous music plays every time a team scores. The local Montreal Canadiens were carving up ice and giving a show to their fans as always. This was my first time ever seeing an ice hockey game live and it surely did not disappoint. To see the top league in the world NHL is an unforgettable experience and I would recommend planning to go.
The pace changes when you get to Quebec City but specifically the old town area. My inner child comes out and I feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. This place is a true fairy-tale and is sure to take your breath away at any time of the year. The rivers in winter become the local playground for ice skating and snow games. The snow falls thick and family outings are based around sledding and building that snowman. The Fairmont Le Château Frontenac looks like an enchanted castle that plays on your curiosity to explore further. It offers tradition and culture which makes it the ultimate place to stay. The resident door dog is happy to greet everyone and brings such warmth to the place. All I can say is walk the streets of this wonderland, eat poutine and drink too much.
If you are seeking the hum of a city, the call of the wilderness, the inner Disney princess to come out and local cuisine to satisfy those tastebuds, Eastern Canada is there to satisfy. All these places have given me memories for a lifetime and many stories to share. I feel lucky to have experienced it all and as always I plan to return.
Scenic services, as usual, meets all the luxury expectations by staying at properties like the Fairmont. Even though this specific tour is travelled by coach you are offered ample space that gives you comfort. The large bay windows on the bus do not hinder those endless photos that you will be taking.
That moment when you see something so remarkable it makes you hold your breath
is why Jasmin became a Travel Specialist and has been doing it for 7 years.