BEAUTIFUL BELOW ZERO
The best holidays aren’t always in summer. Winter in Alberta is like stepping into a snowglobe
Arriving at Edmonton International Airport, a chauffeur bearing my name on a sign greets me with the reassuring news that the temperature isn’t too cold outside today, just minus 10C. I’m to brace myself for minus 16 later in the week. Alrighty, then.
I’ve joined a seven-day fully escorted Collette bus tour of Canada’s Winter Wonderland to discover the natural beauty of Alberta province as we visit Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. One of the longest established travel companies in the world, this year Collette will celebrate 100 years of small group touring. Back in 1918, the first Collette guided tour left Boston, headed for sunny Florida. The three-week bus adventure cost $68.50. Still a family-run and familyowned operation, today Collette offers 176 escorted tours in 58 countries across all seven continents, and its specialty is North America.
There’s something special about exploring Canada in the winter months, when thick snowfalls whitewash the scenery and hot chocolate hits the spot. For Aussies flying north to a Canadian winter, the weather is undeniably cold. Outfitted in the right gear, it’s not a problem. The beauty of the season, and the romance of snuggling up by the fire in gorgeous grand hotels, makes the occasional frosty nose easy to ignore.