Category: Get Active

Follow me on a road trip in Ontario including canoe camping and stops in Killarney, Halliburton, Niagara Falls and of course Toronto!

I have fallen head over heels for Canada one the first day of my first big solo backpacking adventure in 2012. Back then it was British Columbia and Alberta that stole my heart – Vancouver, the Rockies, Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. Four years later I was set on a road trip in Ontario. I wanted to see Toronto and the Niagara Falls, but also get off the beaten path and into the forest, and finally try canoe camping. In these two weeks I saw enough to fill many notebooks and memory cards – and make a little video!
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For one sunny weekend in September I found myself in the wilderness of Ontario, fulfilling one of my biggest dreams: canoe camping in Canada.

 

Did you hear that noise?

No one answers. Obviously. I’m alone in my tent in the middle of Killarney Provincial Park. My tent is the only one on the little clearing in the forest. I was the only one who could have heard the noise. – There it was again. A quick and scratchy sound right next to my head. I open my eyes. It’s light out, but the sun hasn’t risen yet. There is no rain sheet covering my tent, so I can see the treetops high above me. The scratching is back. I realise it is actually not all that close, but rather a bit higher up in the tree next to my tent. It is coming closer. Something is moving down the trunk. I sit up and suddenly everything goes super quickly. Alarmed by the movement in the bright red spaceship-like structure there on the floor, the black squirrel raced down the tree, zoomed past the tent and disappeared in the leaves across the clearing. Had I really just been woken up by a squirrel? Just in time for sunrise? Or was this a dream?

Far off from that – I found myself in the wilderness of Ontario for a weekend by the lake – canoe camping in Canada.

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In Glasgow there is no need to go far to get outside - the Seven Lochs Wetland Park is a perfect day trip location and conveniently accessible by train!

What does a city need for you to consider moving there? What are the non-negotiable characteristics you could not live without? Maybe you need a thriving arts culture, great arthouse cinemas, versatile theatres, well-curated museums as well as contemporary gallery spaces; or are you looking for an energetic entrepreneurial atmosphere, loads of co-working spaces, start-up initiatives and project hatcheries? People are important too – who would want to live in a city with grumpy locals where it is hard to meet new people, or a place where everybody works so much to afford life there that there is hardly any time to enjoy said life to its fullest.

All these things are important to me, but when it comes to the most basic requirement a city must fulfil in order for me to feel at home, is its landscape. I recently went to Toronto and realised something about the city which was probably the same cause why I never fully adapted to life in Berlin – it is more or less entirely flat. I asked myself, where have all the mountains gone?
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While the castles are pretty, I feel for a very different attraction of the Royal Deeside: the beautiful trails of the Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve.

I have just returned from a road trip round Scotland with my mum exploring a part of this country that neither her nor me have ever seen before. This means discovering a completely different side than what you might recognise from the Highlands and the isles. Our road trip was leading us to Aberdeenshire, the northeastern part of Scotland that is particularly famous for its castles, the whiskies of the Speyside, the abundance of farming and fresh produce, and the most gorgeous beaches. Our first destination was Royal Deeside, the valley along the River Dee in the eastern part of Cairngorms National Park. 
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A Quick Guide to Oban, Scotland | View from McCaig's Tower

Recently Scotland has been blessed with gorgeous sunshine and at times even summer like temperatures – at least if you’re Scottish and anything above the 19 Celsius line is ‘summer’ and calls for shorts and t-shirts. One of these summery weekends in May, my partner and I set out to the west coast of Scotland – our home for the weekend: Oban.

Oban is a small town and a little out of the way for most Scotland-travellers, as it is not located along the popular route between Glasgow, Fort William and Loch Ness. And yet it is one of Scotland’s most famous towns, not only the Seafood Capital of Scotlan‘ but also the Gateway to the Isles with ferries leaving for the Inner and Southern Hebrides like Mull, Islay or Jura.

Sadly, we could only stay for one night before duty called again in Glasgow, so we rented a car and left for our adventure early on a Saturday morning. Read on for my quick guide to Oban and a one-minute travel guide vlog with seven things to do in Oban.
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