web analytics
  • Other,  Travel,  Whale Watching

    Where in the world is Sez? An update!

    two whales in the water

    Hello visitors and friends! I apologise for my general silence. It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since I got back from Hervey Bay in August (!!). I thought I’d take the opportunity of this long weekend to give you an update on what’s been happening.

    I realise that title is a bit misleading – whoops! 😬 I’m still here in Australia and no immediate plans for overseas travel, obviously! (Though I’ve been getting daily reminders from Facebook – exactly this time last year I was in Canada! 😭) COVID certainly had other plans for everyone this year, the least of which was any non-domestic travel.

    So what’s been happening?

  • Photography,  Travel

    Rockies Premium Tour – Day 3

    More #RockiesPremiumTour adventures in Banff with Discover Canada Tours!

    Grab a cuppa – or other beverage of choice – and get comfy. This entry is longer than most of the others because it was a BIG day, spent in the stunning Banff and surrounds. I would go back in a heartbeat. ❤️

    2 October 2019
    Hi Banff! I love you! 😍 Can I come back, pleeeeaaase?!

    Banff, AB and surrounds

    Banff Gondola

    Snow capped mountains
    Sunrise glow! (Apologies for the blur – low light and moving gondola carriage!)

    We started our day early – literally in the dark! – meeting at the bus for a drive up to the Banff Gondola! We were booked for brekky at the top of Sulphur Mountain… and it was perfectly timed so our gondola ride was during sunrise! 😍

    The sky had hints of pink in spots – really beautiful – and the reflections off the surrounding mountains were just magic. 💗

    Sulphur Mountain

    Once we got to the top, Kerstin (a fellow tour member 👋) and I immediately headed upstairs and outside to check out that cracking view.

    Holy. Crapola. This was a brand new level of cold I hadn’t experienced yet. 🥶 Even with multiple layers (seriously, a sleeveless tee, a long sleeved shirt, a flanno, beanie, scarf, fingerless gloves etc) AND a fleece-lined jacket with faux-fur lined hood (!) we had to go back inside after about five minutes. That wind factor made ALL the difference!

    Outdoor open plaza with mountaintops in the background
    Sunrise views from the top of Sulphur Mountain

    (Not that it was blowing a gale or anything, but it was blowing enough to be seriously icy on my face and my poor exposed fingers holding the camera! 😬)

    Having said THAT, the views were absolutely magnificent… 360° of magnificent. It was so QUIET (wind notwithstanding) – that real absence of noise. And with only Kerstin and I upstairs at that point, you’d honestly think you were completely alone in the world. Incredibly peaceful and I’m dying to do it all again. 💙

    Breakfast back inside was yummy (again with the a-ma-zing breakfast views!) but I demolished mine rather quickly so I could get outside and explore. (That’s a continuing theme through this trip!) There was a snow-covered mountainside with my name on it and who was I to refuse? 😁

  • Photography,  Travel

    Rockies Premium Tour – Day 2

    Continuing on from Day 1 of the #RockiesPremiumTour with Discover Canada Tours

    1 October 2019
    Being in the mountains is freezing – even when it’s not winter yet! – but oh man, did I fall in love with the Rockies. 😍 I would go back in a heartbeat if I could!

    Revelstoke, BC to Banff, AB

    Revelstoke, BC

    Morning light on the mountains

    I was sharing a room/suite with the awesome Maggie – a fellow Aussie, of course! 👋 – and we woke up to amazing views of sunrise hitting the mountaintops. 😍 What. A. View.

    I didn’t want to miss the light so in only my PJs – not even any socks on my feet! – I grabbed the camera and traipsed out onto the balcony to take some photos. Of course, I only lasted a few minutes then I retreated back inside – I needed some feeling back in my toes. 😅 It was like 5°C outside or something!

    Those beautiful views continued from the restaurant while we had breakfast! Seriously, Canada is THE place for breakfast and lunch views.

    Just sayin’.

  • Travel

    Rockies Premium Tour – Day 1

    30 September 2019
    My third full day in Canada started super early to meet the Discover Canada Tours group and tour bus at Canada Place. (Out of the 25+ people on the bus, over half a dozen were Australian. 😂) Our guides were Joe and Matt. The tour I chose was the 5 days Rockies Premium Tour and so glad I did. The tour hit all the major spots of the Canadian Rockies that I wanted to see/visit plus a few I wasn’t even aware of!

    You’d never believe it but 12 hours on a bus? Actually a LOT more tiring than you’d think!

    Vancouver, BC to Revelstoke, BC

    I’m going to hit this with reasonably short and sharp bits because we did quite a few spots and saw a LOT heading up into the mountains. Plus the tour was (now) three months ago 😭 and my memory ain’t what it used to be! (Note to self: Please start writing place names down.)

    Hope, BC

    Not sure if this guy is meant to be a wizard or…?

    Our first stop mid-morning-ish was Hope, BC which is famous for being a main shooting location for the original “Rambo”. Hope is also making a name for itself in wood carving, with an incredible amount of wood carvings/statues all over town! Something worth seeing – some of the craftsmanship is truly remarkable. Particularly as they do them with chainsaws, not a chisel and hammer or whatever! 😳

    (Apologies for the blurriness in the wood carving photos – I was having trouble getting my camera to focus as the bus was going past)

    Autumn and winter in one

    We left Hope and hadn’t even hit the mountains when we had snow on the side of the road! Keeping in mind that this was the last day of September and technically still ‘summer driving’… 🤷‍♀️

  • Travel

    Peak and Canyon

    My second full day in Canada I did a Landsea Tours day trip – the Peak and Canyon tour – to Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain. I soon discovered that the difference in temperature between sea level and up a mountain can be significant! A beautiful but chilly day on the mountain. (‘Chilly’ may be underselling it – it was FREEZING! When those winds get up – brrrr!)

    Canyon: Capilano Suspension Bridge

    Suspension bridge with lots of people on it
    The bridge! Hang on!

    Our first stop was Capilano Suspension Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world. I can tell you with complete honesty that it felt like it too! Let’s just say that this stop is not for those with a fear of heights. Or swing bridges. With the amount of people on it, it had a tendency to feel like a bouncy castle masquerading as a bridge… 😅