She has been the talk of the town over the past couple of weeks. Raised to an instant-celebrity status, an apparently regular girl became famous across Brazil without showing a single image, sound or anything. Simply because her whole family was hanging out together; except for Luiza, who was in Canada.
She might have come back already, but what’s left is: what is so appealing about Canada?
Well, it’s the second-largest country by total area in the world, with a population of nearly 35 million people. Just so you know, Brazil is a bit smaller in size, but is home to more than 190 million people. It’s way up North America, between the United States and the North Pole, and temperatures can get down to freezing – 40ºC in the winter.
Canada was colonized by both the English and the French, who first arrived on its east coast and explored the St. Lawrence River around the 1580s. That’s why the country has two official languages and different culture and traditions in its Anglophone and Francophone areas.
Having such a large territory, Canada offers visitors the most diverse landscapes. A great trip is from coast to coast: starting east from Halifax, in the province of Nova Scotia, traveling all the way across the country to British Columbia.
From Nova Scotia, you can take the train going to Montreal and experience one of the liveliest cities on the planet: in the summer time, everyone is out on the streets, enjoying the fine weather until very late at night with a hint of French style that is just addicting. The museums and beautiful architecture of this city built within an island surrounded by the St. Lawrence River – or Saint Laurent, in French – make it even more interesting. From there you can travel up to Quebec City and fall prey to the only walled town in North America. Again, the architecture here is mesmerizing: from the stone walls and tiny houses to the magnificent hotel Chateau du Frontenac, the whole scene seems perfect.
Going south there’s the country’s capital, Ottawa, right on the border of the provinces of French speaking Quebec and English speaking Ontario. Parliament Hill is another beautiful site to be visited, as well as the Canadian Museum of Civilization, located in the town of Hull, on the other side of the river. In the winter, some of the city’s canals become a long ice rink for everyone to go skating around downtown.
Toronto, the largest city in Canada, lies on the shore of Lake Ontario. A modern, vibrant place that is arguably the most cosmopolitan city in the World that hosts great nightlife, concerts, theatres and sports events. About an hour away are the famous Niagara Falls, where there’s also a well-known casino.
Heading west we find the classic scenes we are used to see when we thinking about Canada: the prairies, the pleasant cities of Winnipeg and Calgary and the fabulous Rocky Mountains. If you’d like to spend some time there, the town of Banff may be the best base for tourists to explore the area.
Further west, between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean is Vancouver and Whistler, home to the 2010 winter Olympics and voted the best city to live in 2011 where you can practice virtually all winter and water sports; a unique contrast of land, urbanism and sea makes you want to stay there for good. Victoria, a short trip away, has one of the country’s most celebrated gardens.
For all that and a lot more, there’s no wonder why Luiza travelled so far. How about you, would you like to do the same?