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Western Canada in two weeks

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This two-week trip to Western Canada is the adventure of two director friends Cédric Conti and Gary Paitre. They crossed much of the territory of Western Canada , from British Columbia to Alberta , while the forest fires raged and the scandal of the native children had just exploded. It is with fascination and melancholy that they tell us about their unexpected stay between lakes and mountains and between forests and deserts. Here is their travelogue in Western Canada, as well as a video that encapsulates it.

The fires of that summer left a hypnotic veil over the entire region and during this journey, they bring back their images and emotions that navigate between sadness and wonder. A video and photo report that pays tribute to fragile and wild nature.

Itinerary in Western Canada

This 13-day journey took the two friends on a great loop from Vancouver to Calgary via Banff, then through the Canadian Rockies before returning to Vancouver via the northern part via Jasper and Whistler . They covered nearly 2400 km of road with a rental vehicle taken from Vancouver. Below is the map that traces their route, the main stages being Vancouver, Kamloops, Banff, Calgary, Jasper and Whistler.

Story of the trip to Western Canada in 10 photos

Gary Paitre tells us about this splendid and unique trip in a few words and photos. Western Canada is of course on the “top list” of destinations to see, but… that year, fires and memory marked a particularity and nature called them to order. The power of the elements has drawn their itinerary and it is by following this common thread that they tell us about their journey. “Water, powerful, elusive, furrows and punctuates the landscape. The earth, generous, arid, sculpts the horizon. Stone, eternal monarch, crowns the landscapes. And very quickly, time is running out. Days pass, leaving place in the sweet bitterness of a journey that is coming to an end. Once back, we look at our photos. The desire not to forget is strong. By reversing the temporality or the angle of an image,

1. Rock

The Canadian Rockies are world famous for their magnificence. These mountains offer breathtaking perspectives whether we are at their summit or at their foot. From the most touristy spots like Whistler or Banff to valleys lost in nature, each place on the mountain reminds us of the power of the elements. The peculiarity this time was the veil of smoke that coats the entire region. The fires of the past few weeks do not seem to be calming down. The mountains hide and seem even more cryptic.

The rockies seen from Lake Louise
The rockies seen from Lake Louise

2. Water

Here, water is present in all its forms: Sleeping, falling and freezing! Stopping at Lake Louise or Lake Moraine , this emerald blue-green embedded in the valley is a unique sight. We are first subjugated. Difficult to take out your camera to film, we want above all to mark our retina. Calm reigns. In contrast, the region is also full of rivers and waterfalls. The power of this element is mesmerizing. The glaciers oscillate between beauty and sadness. The signs indicating the annual decline remind us how much human activity is jeopardizing the balance of things.

The Rockies from the end of Moraine Lake
The Rockies from the end of Moraine Lake

3. Land

A few hours by car from Calgary , we enter the “ badlands ”. Wonderful. Lunar. The landscapes are breathtaking an ocher red circled with geological markings. Our eyes and lenses are subjugated. But the west is also the wild land, the forest of woods, redwoods and cypresses. Land of bears also, we had the chance to meet a little shy one.

Badlands sky view
Badlands sky view

4. The city

Urban forests are dizzying. Vancouver, a beautiful city wedged between mountains and ocean, is a haven of urban culture. Its geography is splendid. Kamloops meanwhile, city of aboriginal drama, freezes the blood. Surrounded by flames, she is plunged into the milky veil of smoke. There is a great sadness here. Calgary meanwhile was a little forgettable. Classic North American city, with no surprises or flavors.

Vancouver sky view

Vancouver sky view

”A-Maze-ing Laughter” waterfront statue in Vancouver

”A-Maze-ing Laughter” waterfront statue in Vancouver

Stanley Park Lighthouse in Vancouver

Stanley Park Lighthouse in Vancouver

Dream Catcher in Commemoration of Indigenous Children Killed in Kamloops

Dream Catcher in Commemoration of Indigenous Children Killed in Kamloops

5. Smoke

Everything here is wreathed in smoke and flames. Forest fires are out of control. The authorities are totally overwhelmed by events. We had to free up one of our Airbnbs to let the lifeguards stay. It is both unrealistic and striking. The smell is omnipresent and even air conditioners struggle to mask it. The smoke being from Vancouver to Calgary and everywhere in the sky we see these helicopters carrying water which make a sad figure in front of the magnitude of the events.

Forest fires near Blustry Mountain.

Forest fires near Blustry Mountain.

6. Time

And like any trip, what’s always missing is time. The time to see more, the time to take the time. We covered several thousand kilometers in just 13 days. Our eyes are raised that we are already moving on to the next step. But here, nature is so powerful, so vast, that time calls us to order. We know that a trip is above all a construction of memories. Western Canada that summer left an indelible mark on us.

Forests covered in smoke

Forests covered in smoke