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All ten fingers, and more

We have done it for the first time. For six months now we are living in Canada; we’ve visited South Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia and often we’ve been driving along the U.S. border. But somehow we never crossed it. Something has held us back. Even after having heard from many people that gasoline and groceries are much cheaper in the U.S. than in Canada. But now we did it! We crossed the small border crossing of Aldergrove/Lynden. It wasn’t exactly a piece of cake.

Traffic Rules

4 Way Stop SignCanadian and German traffic rules are quite similar. Nevertheless, there are some peculiarities to be explained here. At first it may seem confusing that the traffic lights are hanging on the other side of the intersection. When you turn right on a green light, you have suddenly a red traffic light in front of you which does not apply for you. What is really confusing however, are four way intersections with stop signs on every street. What to do here?

Crucified on a Totem Pole

Winnetou III (© Rialto Film GmbH)There is the famous noble savage named Winnetou, an Apache chief who only existed in the world famous novels by the German author Karl May (LINK). For generations many Germans were fascinated by these stories in which Winnetou sometimes was bound to a stake to be tortured or killed. Anyway he always was rescued.
That might be the reason why many German tourists visiting Canada believe that the totem poles they see are stakes (in German: Marterpfahl – crucifying pole).

Polite Canadians

There’s a joke about the attitude of Canadians, and it’s confirmed by several sources. It goes like this: If an American is mad at his neighbours because they are bothering him continuously, the American would say: “Now it really gets to me, I’ll get my gun and I’ll shoot my neighbour.”  A Canadian in the same situation says: “Now it really gets to me, I’ll sit down now and write him a letter.”

Maximum speed ​​does not apply to the wind

It’s the end of November; I was on a plane from Abbotsford (near Vancouver) to Calgary, Alberta, for an interview. The flight takes about 1 hour. From there, I had to drive 300 km on Highway 2 heading south. Many public roads are called a ‘highway’. There are also freeways with a maximum speed limit of 80-120 km/h.

Wild Animals

Grizzly with cubCanada is a popular destination, not the least because of its wildlife. Especially in the Rocky Mountains wildlife is abundant. Typically found are the black and brown bear (also known as grizzly bear), moose and Canada’s national pride: the beaver. There is also some deer (mule deer and white tailed deer) and the pronghorn. The cougar (also mountain lion or puma) is a widespread but rarely seen carnivore. Nearly invisible to human beings are wolverines and bobcats. In the southern prairies of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba you might see snakes (rattlesnake and bull snake).

The birthplace of British Columbia – Fort Langley

To Europeans 100 kilometers is a long distance, in Canada 100 years is like an eternity. Everything with a bit of history ends up in a museum. Museums are always very interesting, but usually after a short while, incredibly tiring. In Canada, however, some museums take you back to real life in former days so you can feel what it was like to be there. That is the case for Fort Langley (60 km east of Vancouver), founded in 1827 and where in 1858 the colony of British Columbia was founded. Fort Langley was – like many others –

Shopping starts with a shopping cart

Finally I’ll write something about grocery shopping in Canada. It's funny; it’s not exactly our first time around in a supermarket but since we live in Canada we’re having a hard time shopping because we can’t unlock the shopping carts. The coin just doesn’t fit in the slot to unlock the mechanism. But every adventurer needs a bit of luck and finally we managed to unlock the cart. It lasted two weeks until we solved this secret of Canada's shopping cart.

Osoyoos - Staying with the First Nations

Entrance to NK'MIP CampgroundWe stayed at probably our most beautiful campground so far, the Nk'MIP (pronounced in-ka-meep) campground. It is operated by the Osoyoos First Nations Band and is located in a reserve in the fertile Okanagan Valley in southern British Columbia. The campground is part of a resort which also includes a 4-star hotel, a winery, golf course and a museum, the Desert Cultural Centre. Here are art, nature, history and present melted together.

Oktoberfest in the Canadian country side

The band "The Sunshine Boys" played at the Oktoberfest in OsoyoosOsoyoos is a town of approximately 5000 people located in the southern part of the Okanagan Valley, southern BC. The fertile valley is nationally known for its orchards and vineyards. Osoyoos has the highest average temperatures in Canada, which is one of the reasons why many retirees live here. Between locals, visitors and Canadian campers, who now enjoy this pleasant weather here but will soon move on as so-called snowbirds to the southern states of the US, we attended our first Oktoberfest.

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