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Autumn Paradise, Gatineau

Maple leaves

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:

The view from Champlain Lookout

Country roads

A riot of colour

Autumn palette

Picnic paradise

Sugar maples

Forest clearing

My favourite lookout – Étienne Brûlé

Meech Lake


The beach at Meech Lake

Canadian Monet

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. How absolutely beautiful! It is autumn here and the trees are turning gold, but it is not as impressive as Canada.

    October 27, 2011
    • Before arriving in Canada I had seen plenty of photos showing the autumn leaves, but nothing could have prepared me for the real thing!

      October 28, 2011
  2. I think I’ve just found another travel blog to keep up with! Isn’t travel awesome?? I loved the photos of the fall leaves, especially since I experienced my first Autumn less than two weeks ago in Austria. Beauty like Autumn leaves just reminds you how lovely the simple things in life are. 🙂

    October 29, 2011
    • Yes, I think I pretty much live to travel! I’ve only been back from Canada a few days and already I’m itching to get back on the road. SE Asia seems like a logical next trip, considering how close I live to it all. 😀

      October 29, 2011
  3. Fall is the best season, isn’t it? Loving the colors 🙂

    November 8, 2011
    • Absolutely. It was the first one I had in North America – the colours completely blew me away!

      November 20, 2011
  4. Dijiste “visiting family”. Así que, tienes familiares en Canadá?

    Por otra parte, no tengo palabras para describir la belleza y nitidez de tus fotografías. Es simplemente, como si llevases contigo una ventana portátil con la que nos mostrases todo lo que tus ojos ven en tus viajes y trayectos.

    AMAZING again 🙂

    November 20, 2011
    • Sí, la mitad de mi familía vive allí en Canada. 🙂

      Muchas gracias por un cumplido tan profundo – es por eso que mantengo un blog de este tipo. Quiero compartir aquellas experiencias que encuentro en mis viajes recientes. Me alegro!

      November 20, 2011

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