Autumn Paradise, Gatineau
I’ve just spent the past two weeks in the Great White North, visiting family and revelling in my first-ever Canadian autumn. As an introduction I thought I would share an account of one of the defining experiences of the trip: seeing the spectacular fall foliage outside Ottawa.
Early one morning I awoke to the sound of the phone going off beside my bed. It was Eric, a childhood friend of my father who had lived in the capital for more than thirty years. That afternoon he took me into Gatineau Park, a vast tract of protected forest less than 30 minutes from Parliament Hill.
Remarking that I had come at just the right time, Eric drove us through a spellbinding, never-ending sea of orange. I was utterly gobsmacked – from luscious golds to fiery bursts of scarlet, the hills were draped with the full spectrum of autumn colours. Although I was more than happy to see the forest on foot, we still drove between a series of scenic lookouts, bearing the names of Champlain, Huron, and Étienne Brûlé… two explorers and one indigenous tribe, evoking an era when Canada was the nascent Viceroyalty of New France.
And as for the weather, not even the promise of rain could ruin my jaunt through Gatineau Park. Here are twelve of the best images from my camera: