Hudson’s Bay Christmas window display, Downtown Toronto

I have to say that this Christmas window display at the Hudson’s Bay Company store (Downtown Toronto) really brought out the child in me.

As a Muslim, Christmas is a special time of year as we celebrate with our Christian sisters and brothers the birth of Jesus, an important prophet in Islam too and whose miraculous birth is beautifully described in the Qur’an. And although this time of year has become increasingly a consumer event and has unfortunately lost a lot of its spiritual meaning, it is a time of the year where you can take a step back and maybe look at life a little differently, especially before  a new year dawns upon us all.

It took me back to when I was young, a time when I used to watch Christmas movies with my family during the Christmas holidays, that Christmas buzz  that you sometimes experience, it was  bit like that.



The photos above show the different stages of the display which you may work out, I also filmed the moving display to bring to life what it is all about.  Whether you agree or disagree with Christmas here is not really the point, I personally just took joy from the minute detail that went into this display, very, very Christmasy wouldn’t you agree?

A very happy Christmas to all my friends…and those who do not know me. I wish you all the very best for the New Year and hope and pray that our next year is a healthy, fulfilling, loving, peaceful and compassionate one.


Toronto Christmas Market (Distillery Historic District)

I love this time of year, my wife and I particularly like going to markets in general, so it was a real treat to be able to visit the established ‘Toronto Christmas Market’, especially as it was only open from November 20th to December 20th.   Continue reading “Toronto Christmas Market (Distillery Historic District)”

The end of this epic road trip! Banff Downtown/driving to Calgary Airport

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd/Sunday 4th October)

Well, this is the end of a truly enthralling adventure.  I am so thankful that I had this opportunity and I fully appreciate how fortunate I was to be able to take this on.  Continue reading “The end of this epic road trip! Banff Downtown/driving to Calgary Airport”

Yoho National Park, Upper Spiral Tunnel

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd October)

The mastery of railway engineering is certainly seen here, its quite amazing what has been created.  The railway link that was created here was a massive undertaking and the transport links that have now benefited from such engineering I am sure are fully appreciative of this fantastic feat.  Remember, we are talking about the Canadian Rockies here, the range of mountains that demand respect and leave you in awe and wonder of them, the rugged terrain that surrounds this area is not to underestimated.

There were several options that were available before they created this, but apparently they went for this particular route because of its shorter distance to the Pacific Coast and because of its close proximity to the US border.

Obviously these tunnels did not just appear, and when they were created, they faced significant serious challenges, for example, there was one instance when a train derailed killing three workers.  In addition to this, if you take into account the fact that the engineering of the late 1800’s is not what we have today, relate that to the fact that the geography of this land is demanding to say the least, it really is an awesome job.

Today, between 25 and 30 trains pass through these tunnels daily.  I was lucky enough to see one these trains pass through with the time I had.  It was a pleasant experience.  You first hear the train approaching from a distance, but you can’t really make out exactly where from, then you catch the first glimpse which is great.  However, the highlight, is definitely when the train enters into one of the tunnels and then starts appearing through the lower tunnel, I had not seen anything like it before, the train carriages just keep coming, it was so long that the train was fully visual on the top and bottom level, coming in and out of the tunnels!  The photos that come after, are photos from another road on the way to Banff National Park.

As I left here and began my drive to Banff National Park, I passed by some roadworks, I am not sure exactly what they were doing, but watching them carve out huge chunks of rock from the side of the mountain…while I was on the same mountain, well, a bit disheartening let me tell you!

Yoho National Park, Meeting of the Waters

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd October)

After leaving Takakkaw Falls, a short drive takes you back down the windy road to a place called “The Meeting of the Waters”.

It maybe a little difficult to appreciate the two different types of water that meet here.  The Yoho is sort of milky in it’s presence, this is a result of the rock flour from the Waputik Icefield, the glacier melts and end up in the water.  On the other hand, the water from the Kicking Horse River is much more clear, the water here too comes from the glaciers, but the silt contained in the water seems to have more time to settle, its as if it gets sifted before it arrives and then mingles with the water from Yoho.


Yoho National Park, Takakkaw Falls

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Saturday 3rd October)

Onwards and upwards as they say.  I left the stunning village of Field to continue on through Yoho National Park, I was really happy with how much I did yesterday, I got through quite a bit, it was really a jam packed day:  Mount Revelstoke National Park, Glacier National Park’s spectacular drive, Town of Golden, Yoho National Park: the mesmerising Emerald Lake and the fascinating Natural Bridge, and the gorgeous village of Field…phew!

One of the main highlights of Yoho National Park is Takakkaw Falls. Fortunate timing as this place is closed throughout the winter from October until June, the main reason being high risk of avalanches in this area.  You certainly get an idea of why you would not risk trying to traverse up here during the harsher conditions just through the drive that brings you here.

I hope you get some idea of what the drive is like, I can tell you, it was a fantastic drive, tremendous views, rugged landscape and some of the switchbacks, as you can see below, are very tricky and keep you alert. Its pretty spectacular, the height of the falls is over 1200ft, but for me more impressive is the free fall of water which is over 800ft.

Takakkaw Falls are one of the highest falls in Canada.  In the Cree language, the word Takakkaw means “magnificent” which aptly fits a description for these falls.  From the moment you catch a glimpse of these falls from a distance as you are driving, to when you walk towards it as you leave your car, until you get so close that you feel the wonderful spray gently sprinkling itself all over you, describing the falls as magnificent is a good place to start.

Yoho National Park, the gorgeous village of Field 

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Friday 2nd October)

I had no plan to stay here, it just happened that way.  Somethings are just meant to be, I mean this place was so beautiful, idyllic and just had so much charm, it has history too, as it was established in the 1880’s.  I simply crossed over to see what the village of Field was like, fell in love with its sheer beauty and landscape.  I drove around a little (there are fewer than 200 people who live here) and a few places were already booked and then I came across this amazing building and got some very nice accommodation for a reasonable price.

After I settled in, I decided to go for a short walk before sunset, as I was leaving the accommodation, I saw what looked like Elk or Deer, but I was quite far, so it was not clear.  I ran back into the accommodation as I did not have my camera.  I got into the car to follow, and after about 10 minutes I found them.   They were really beautiful, serene, glorious in their movement, such beautiful animals that I do not believe should ever be harmed.

The three photos that follow the one of inside the room I was staying (which I had to myself for the night) show the view I had from two of the bedroom windows, …if only I had this incredible view every day it would be so refreshing and energising.

The village is utterly gorgeous, it is like those idyllic towns you see pictured on postcards.  The building are so distinct, colourful and inviting.  I had a wonderful breakfast in a local cafe, excellent service and a very tasty breakfast that set me up for the morning exploration that was to unfold.

Throughout my road trip, I had seen numerous fire danger signs, as you may have read in my earlier blogs of this road trip, the danger level was usually low, moving to moderate.  However, the morning I left the town of Field, the danger level moved to…(see below).







Yoho National Park, Natural Bridge

(My solo road trip of western Canada – Friday 2nd October)

After the truly blissful wonders of Emerald Lake, along my way was something called ‘Natural Bridge’.  I so wanted to see this, the Kicking Horse River over time has simply carved its beautiful artistry out of this ancient rock, and what I saw was incredible, what has been created is something very special.  The astonishing thing is, these various formations we see now are constantly changing as a result of the waters brute force.  There will come a time when these formations will no longer be here as they will transition and manifest into other formations, eventually, the bridge will no longer be able to withstand the power of nature that allows it to display itself now.

There are so many different vantage points to see this amazing formation from, every angle leaves you in total admiration and respect of the power of water and what it can do, no matter what comes before it, no matter what lies before it, it will have to submit to the continuous, gentle caressing yet powerful demands of the water.  There are times you cannot believe what you are seeing, the corrosive force of the water is as if a sculpture has deliberately been moulded and the landscape is the artists pride and joy as onlookers behold its splendid beauty.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the Natural Bridge is that it was formerly a waterfall!  I have added photos of information that were present at the site to give a better understanding of what is going on.