There’s so much more to Canada than just Vancouver, crisp and clean and lively as it is. Just a ferry-ride away – don’t miss the seafood chowder! – Vancouver Island has pretty arty-crafty villages, hazy blue beaches, Butchart Gardens tucked into a quarry and quaint, historic Victoria. Cross the mighty Rockies – take the train – where bears wander down the main street of Banff and Lake Louise is a startling gem surrounded by glaciers.
Calgary buzzes in July when everyone comes to town for the Stampede – wear your cowboy boots and practise your ‘Yee hahs’! More bears up north: white ones this time. Cross Hudson Bay by tundra buggy and see magnificent polar bears completely at home in this hostile environment.
Over east, pretend you’re in France in Quebec and Montreal – it isn’t hard to do. Or leave sophistication behind and enter ‘Shipping News’ country along the Atlantic Coast: lighthouses, lobster pots and weathered men with Viking ancestors in brightly-painted no-nonsense fishing boats. Go whale spotting – but keep an eye open for icebergs!