Welcome to our blog

Welcome to our blog. During the coming year we travel (backpack) around the world and will try to regularly post some updates on our whereabouts on this page.

Sonntag, 29. August 2010

Goodbye Canada

Good bye Canada!!!!

We had a fantastic time.
We traveled 65 Days in Canada, we drove some 12'000 km coast to coast, from Halifax to Vancouver (without getting lost much Georg!)
We met many great people, enjoyed the great sceneries, learned a lot about Canada.

Good bye Canada!

We avoided driving at night as much as possible, moose and elk on the road are a real problem.

Since Robin was small he constantly finds money on the street. Just under CAD 2.00 he found the last 2 months :-)

Oma joined us on the trip and here, during the night it is not only time to say goodbye to Canada, but also to oma, who traveled back to Holland the day before we left Canada.

Canada was great. But now it is time to go to Japan! Stories follow soon.

Vancouver Island

As Sonja was away for work for a week, oma, Matthew and Robin stayed a few days in the city and then headed to Vancouver Island to stay with Bianca and her family.

From Capilano, an easy bus ride brought them to the ferry.

Sonja's cousin Bianca and her husband Peter live on Vancouver Island

Congratulations Robin !!!!!!

A great icecream cake for Robin's 13th birthday.

Peter drove the motorboat and pulled oma, Matthew and Robin with high speed over the water.

"Tubing" it is called and a whole lot of fun.

Sonja arrived as well and we were introduced to another way of tubing. It was a one person 'tube' on which you need to lay down and hold on. Also here the motorboat pulled Unfortunately we forgot the camera, but it was CRAZY.

A lot of fun and a challenge for Peter to throw the kids off :-)

With Bianca we had a nice day discovered Vancouver Island for a day as well. The island is a great place to live!

Thanks again Bianca and Peter for staying at your house, we had a lot of fun!

Mittwoch, 18. August 2010

Arriving in Vancouver

On the way from Jasper to Vancouver we discovered a river where the salmon returns at the end of their life.

Salmon are born in the (sweet water) river and make their way downstream to the ocean once the are big enough to start this trip. They then live in the (salt water) ocean until it is time to return to exactly the place where they are born. They swim upstream - which is really difficult -, and some 15% that make it lay their eggs and then die. Mission completed.

End of the journey. Salmon arriving, see the dark spots in front of the stones... :-)

Arriving in the Kamloops area, the beautiful green landscape changed to the above semi-desert. Something we had not seen before. Recent forest fires but also some tree desease gave us the above view for many kilometers.

Driving up to Vancouver city, the traffic jams started on the highway already.
The city itself is jammed with cars. Coming from the north, the only way to the airport and the southern ferries is through the city. Really crazy.
That space is a problem we saw at the only city campground in the Capilano area. We got a tiny spot to camp on, but for that on a prime location, easy access to the city bus for example.

On the other hand, there is the huge, beautiful, Stanley park at a prime location in the city.
Loads of activities can be found there.

Once Sonja was gone for work, Oma, Matthew and Robin went to the excellent aquarium. If you go to Vancouver, don't miss it.

Jasper National Park

Both Jasper and Banff have touristy city centers, but still nice places to visit. Time for oma to drink plenty cappuccinos, search for some souvenirs, visit more bookstores and libraries, do more homework and all that good stuff.

We were just told about the drought in British Columbia (BC), the next and last place to visit on our Canada trip. On our last morning in Jasper, Albert we quickly cooked our last eggs on our camping neighbour's gas stove.

Robin got to join a skate boarding course in Jasper for a day and learned some further skating skills. Canada is 'heaven on earth' for skaters.

Next to many other things, Canada = Salmon
So time to find out more about these fishes we stopped in Valemount, BC and found a lot of interesting information about the salmon's lifecycle.

And got to see some fish arriving at the place they lay their eggs and die.

Donnerstag, 12. August 2010

Banff National Park

Oma most likely brought the rain from Holland, it was pouring down for hours on the way to Banff national park.
Late that day it cleared up and for the largest part of the week the weather stayed nice.

The animals came out again...

Lake Louise is beautiful. But VERY touristy...

The whole park has stunning views. Here an extremely blue lake, which we reached after a short walk.

Finally we were got to know who-is-who. The majority of the animals we see are the squirrels and co.

Between Banff and Jasper are the Columbia Icefields. Apparently the WHOLE population of North America would fit on this massive gletcher.

No matter the tremendous amount of tourists, we stopped and explored the visitor center to check out the icefield exhibit.

Robin's campfire in the national park burns nicely.

Normally every site is very spacious, has a firepit and a table with benches. Maybe there are not many conveniences for Western standards... no electricity, no internet, no flushing toilet, but nature pure, a fantastic night sky and so to say: pure luxury without these "conveniences".

Leduc, Edmonton and Calgary

1000 Things are going on and we are doing very well.
In the mean time it is the end of August and we are at least 3 weeks behind updating this blog... but nevertheless, we now found some time to give you another update from beautiful Canada.

Sonja's colleague Derek came back to Canada for work and we all met in Edmonton, Alberta.
Our highlight in the Edmonton area was the Energy Discovery Center in the town of Leduc. In February 1947 oil was found here and resulted in an oilboom in both Alberta and Canada as a whole.
The center is great. There is a whole lot to discover here and a fantastic place to go.

Time to hit the road again for a 3 hour drive to Calgary. Derek was leaving us again after doing some work.

Sonja's mom was joining us from here for almost 3 weeks.

Dienstag, 10. August 2010

A quick drive through Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan province is flat. Farmland where ever you look and the only place we stopped was in Saskatoon. The weather was bad, all the hotels were booked out - quite crazy - as there is nothing there.... Campgrounds were not an option as they were flooded since the beginning of the season, which is months ago.

Driving on was not what we wanted to do, it could take many hours before we would find another place to stay.
After some further driving around we found a small hotel at the edge of the town. To make the 'disaster' complete, we had some pizza from Pizzahut.

Positive news: we had a real bed, tv, internet, electricity, own bathroom and breakfast. Nothing to complain about :-)

And the driving goes on.... Edmonton we are on the way...

Parks in Manitoba

We arrived in a nice state park near Winnipeg on Sunday evening. Deer and squirrels and further small animals were running around here.
Since we left Halifax we have seen many Moose-Warning signs already, same here. Driving at night is not at all recommended in the Canadian woods.

Riding Mountain park is really good at educational presentations. We learned about a year in the life of a deer. Here called ELK..... never mind :-)

The day after we explored the North American bisons and their history.
Nice park. Do go if you are in the area :-)

A lot of driving has to be done now, 16 hours in 2.5 days - once again we see how big Canada is...
We need to go to Edmonton for some appointments... more to follow.

Thunder Bay and Kenora, Ontario

Before leaving Sault Ste Marie, located near Lake Superior, we visited the bushplane museum. in Sault Ste Marie. Plane models, the history of fighting forest fires and today's situation. It is all there. A lot of interactive exhibits. Really nice.

It was time for more driving. Through Thunder Bay, where we stopped at the statue of Terry Fox, one of Canadian's heros. Terry got cancer and at an age of 18 his right leg had to be amputed. At the age of 21, he attempted the run coast to coast, from the East in New Foundland to the Pacific Ocean. Terry did not make it, as his illness did not allow him, he died in 1981.

Today however, Canada runs the "Terry Fox Run", this year it is on the 19th of September. Internationally more and more countries participate in the marathon against cancer and collect money for this cause.

Quite a story.

We went on to our next 'home' for the night. This time in Kenora, Ontario. A place we will remember for sure. We just arrived and various camping neighbours were ready to help us to make our stay as nice as possible. Including a family who went fishing that day and had plenty, already BBQ'ed fish for us. Great stuff. It was really delicious.

Freitag, 6. August 2010

Sault Ste Marie and Desbarats

Way to late we left Giordano and his family and drove up north to Sault Ste Marie.

We visited the library, took care of some work and school stuff and picked up an interesting local newspaper about the Algoma region. That is where Sault Ste Marie is -- have a look on the map ok... The region's biggest threat is the 'BIG USA' and local produce is 'in danger'. Meaning people go to the USA and buy fruits, vegetables, milk and meat there.
A big campaign was started by the Canadian local community to increase sales on farmers markets. The project is quite successful.

Time for Matthew to visit some further farmers for his project. Here some pictures of the nice people visited:

In addition, we try to go to every skatepark we pass. It seems every town has at least one here in Canada.
Robin's skills are improving :-)

Before we leave Sault Ste Marie we will visit the Bushplane museum. Coming soon...

Meeting an 'Internet Friend'

Matthew advised a little while ago that he really likes to go and meet Giordano, one of his friends from the internet. Someone he knows for almost 2 years.
Sonja's first reaction: yes right, a friend on the internet. Someone you don't know...

But Matthew kept saying he really wanted to go and meet him. Anyway, long story short, the boys agreed on a time and a date and we drove to this 'internet friend'.

Seriously, this was an incredible experience. Both boys really knew eachother well and got along extremely well. Also Robin and Alessandro, Giordano's younger brother got along very well and so did Melissa, the boys mom and Sonja.

We stayed Saturday evening and under pressure of the kids, we returned on Monday and stayed another day.

A really nice family.
Teaches me not to think bad about all 'people you meet on the internet' :-)