Category Archives: Travel

taking a breather

Fall – my favourite season.
The change in the air, the turning leaves, the golden light and the crispy mornings – I want to soak it all up before the cold comes.
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
This year especially the weeks feel so rushed – so many appointments, so much preparation for the house and all that goes with it. Thinking about insurance and money stuff makes me anxious.
I needed time away from it all and we set out on Sunday for a small hike.
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
autumn walk | little home by hand
A few hours in the sunshine followed by apple pie with cream and a hearty veggie soup at home in the evening and all is right with the world.

travelling europe: le marche in italy, four days in june

“I feel at home right from the moment I step out of the plane into baking heat and sunshine. This region of Italy holds so many childhood memories, fuzzy with age. The smell of pine trees and sunscreen. It’s like visiting a place you used to live in, familiar and strange at the same time, a tugging at the spider web of memories. The places have moved on but your memory of them hasn’t.

I am travelling with my dad, to stay at my friend’s home and it feels like a last vestige of childhood – tagging along, everything taken care of and organized, no obligation attached except that to enjoy myself.

I am enjoying the heck out of myself. I’m soaking up every minute, storing it carefully in my mind for future reference and just swim along with the rhythm of the days. Perfectionist me is on a break.

This is partly due to the fact that my Italian is decidedly rusty and I can’t carry lengthy conversations anyway (oh, who am I kidding, make that any conversation at all). In a region not much frequented by foreign tourists my timid “Parla l’inglese?” is without fail met with a friendly but firm shake of the head, no. As a result my vocabulary in sign language expands vastly in just a few days while I stumble through my sparse Italian.”

travelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blog

“As always the food is simply amazing. Every time I come here I’m shocked by how good it is. I think it comes down to the fact that Italians just adore good food. During dinner on our first evening, enjoying a gentle breeze on the terrazza, revelling in the goodness laid out before us, the main topic of conversation is where we’ll eat in the next few days (at home or at a restaurant). Once that is settled we move on to what exactly we’ll eat and (if made at home) how we’ll go about preparing the ingredients. The discussion takes hours.

The food is always simple – meat salted and roasted, tomatoes sliced and drizzled with olive oil, a chunk of parmesan cheese, zucchini and eggplant thinly sliced and roasted with a crust of breadcrumbs. It’s a revelation.”

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travelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blog

“We stroll through ancient hilltop villages, eat well, drink a lot of white wine and just enjoy the heat, the sea air and the rhythm of Italian life (Coffee and brioche for breaktfast, pasta for lunch and a long, lazy family dinner stretching well into the evening hours).

Four days pass quickly but instead of trying to hang on to them with regret as long as possible I decide that it’s ok. I feel at peace and deeply grateful for these moments in time and cherish their memory.”

Italy makes me sentimental.

travelling italy | little home by hand blog19travelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blogtravelling italy | little home by hand blog

Instead of my usual narrative I decided to copy a few ramblings from my diary for you. I don’t often write diary entries but had some alone time while in Italy and felt compelled to take these notes.

For a soundtrack to these images have a listen to:
A Piedi Nudi – Collage
E Tu – Claudio Baglioni
Due Raggazi Nel Sole – Collage

Simple summer Pasta recipe

  • Cook pasta al dente
  • Mix cherry tomatoes, tuna from the can, fresh parsley and olives (optional) with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste
  • Mix hot pasta with cold ingredients and enjoy

may flowers and a little inspiration

May is one of my favourite seasons for hiking – nature is showing its lushest and greenest side, the moderate temperatures are perfect for spending many hours outdoors and my pollen allergy has yet to realize it’s time to start acting up again.

Hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.

We enjoyed a beautiful and rather tough hike in the Eifel National park again last weekend (this one to be precise). Being out in nature always restores my peace of mind but there is something exhilarating about completing a challenging hike.

Hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.Hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.

Germany can be so beautiful. Discovering new areas and little gems like this medieval town (which was the start and end point of our hike) is a joy.

I have not been particularly active online lately but I quietly read a lot so here are a few things I  want to share with you:

Making

  • Have you seen Melody‘s new knitting pattern, the Blóm Shawl? So beautiful!
  • Swooning over the gorgeous naturally dyed yarns Liesl added to her shop recently

Minimalism and living

I have been thinking of the clothes I wear quite a lot recently, partly triggered by getting back into sewing, partly because I am constantly purging and trying to reduce the amount of stuff I own.

I recently read Marie Kondo’s famous decluttering book and loved it. For someone who is intent on owning as little as possible she has a very deep emotional relationship with the stuff she does decide to keep. Her approach of ‘keep only what sparks joy’ has impacted the way I look at my things much more than the regular, rational ‘rules’ of decluttering. I dream of owning only what I need and truly love. How wonderful is the idea to come home to a space where every item in it brings you joy?

Some inspiring articles on the interwebs about clothing and minimalism:

  • Growing a minimalist wardrobe. This post on one of my favorite blogs ‘Reading my Tea Leaves’ really resonated with me. Why not wear clothes you love to pieces every day instead of having a closet full of things you are only mildly interested in?
  • 10 Step Wardrobe Revamp. I have yet to work through this but it looks very interesting!

Reading

  • ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed – touching and inspiring read!
  • The Moral Bucket list or How to become a better person – digesting this article will take me a while and a few re-reads
  • 5 Reasons Why People Need To Go Camping. Yes, yes and yes. This mostly applies to travelling in general as well. “We need to breathe new air, walk on new ground, and feel the awe of seeing something we’d only seen in books, or not at all.”

How has May been treating you? Getting a regular dose of fresh air?

travelling europe: england

Why do we love to travel?

For me, travelling is a way to reconnect with myself, to soak up new experiences, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and to escape the buysiness and frenzy of everyday life.

Even though travelling can be very tiring physically it always leaves me feeling refreshed mentally. A couple of days in different surroundings and I feel my creativity stirring, ideas popping into my head, senses sharpening.

That’s why I like to take a few days off now and then, visiting friends who live elsewhere or just escaping for an extended weekend by the sea. I had long been meaning to visit my friend K again who lives in Chesham, London, with her british husband and their small son. Two weeks ago  J and I set out bright and early on Monday morning to catch the ferry to Dover. I love 5am starts – no, really! At  5am I am wide awake and excited to be going on an adventure (I then proceed to drop dead by 9pm every evening).

Once arrived we spent the days wandering Chesham, discovering nearby parks and estates and enjoying an english spring (bluebell season!).

Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.One of many advantages of staying with locals is that they know the best places to eat or order take-out. We had thai and indian cuisine for the first time and it was sooo good. Anyone know a great recipe for Naan bread?

Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.We lucked out with the weather and strolled through Ashridge and Cliveden in bright, ‘warming-the-soul-after-winter’ sunshine.

For our last night in England we headed down to Eastbourne, wanting to see the cliffs and lighthouse at Beachy Head and just to enjoy a whiff of sea air on the pier. We walked around the cliff top for hours, had a great dinner at Old Dave’s and dropped into bed exhausted at the fantastic Bay Tree Guesthouse (highly recommended, the place and owners are lovely).

Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.
Travelling England | little home by hand blog.
On the way back to Dover we took our sweet time and visited Scotney Castle which is actually a manor house plus a medieval castle plus a gorgeous garden – fantastic stop for a cloudy day!
Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.The real Downton Abbey?

Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.Travelling England | little home by hand blog.A magical garden landscape and a real feast for the eyes. No wonder I felt refreshed and bursting with creativity after strolling through this! I have a strange relationship with travel – afterwards I always need a couple of quiet days to rest and let my mind work through the experiences and at the same time it leaves me feeling energised.

Does it feel the same for you? Does travel energise or exhaust you, make you feel excited or uncomfortable?

exploring germany: luebeck

In February I travelled to the north of Germany to spend two days in the city of Lübeck.
Travelling Europe: Luebeck. little home by hand blogTravelling Europe: Luebeck. little home by hand blog
The main reason for going was to see a specialist for my back problem and I was sufficiently desperate to undertake a 6-hour-trip across the country to see him. I had never been to Lübeck before and had no idea what to expect of the city.
Cue big surprise when I found it to be one of the most charming cities I have ever visited!
Travelling Europe: Luebeck. little home by hand blogTravelling Europe: Luebeck. little home by hand blog
Lübeck is one of those rare cities largely untouched by World War II bombings so most of the buildings and streets are historical, century old reminders of the glorious and prosperous times of the Hanseatic League.
Travelling Europe: Luebeck. little home by hand blogTravelling Europe: Luebeck. little home by hand blogTravelling Europe: Luebeck. little home by hand blog
In between treatments my mom (who had accompanied me) and I strolled the city center and surrounding streets, treated ourselved to delicious marzipan cake at the historical Café Niederegger and marvelled at the majestic and often seriously crooked old housefronts.
Travelling Europe: Luebeck. little home by hand blog
Lübeck charmed us when we didn’t expect it and it reminded me that there is so much of my own country I haven’t yet seen!

What city surprised or captivated you the most? Let me know!

through crunching snow

snowy winter walk. little home by hand blog

This winter has been the real thing with weeks of icy mornings and a mix of rain and snow and slush. In this area of Germany the snow never sticks around for long but surprisingly only an hour’s drive can take you to a different world.

snowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blog

I still try to go hiking every other weekend. It feels good to be outside, to be moving. I can’t do other sports right now and hiking is really my only chance to challenge my body until the breath comes short and the muscles start to protest. It feels good.

We often pick the Eifel National Park – about 1-2 hours drive by car it affords endless walking opportunities (do you call it hiking or walking by the way?).

snowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blog

On this particular day we had set out early in the car with not a flake of white in sight. We had picked a 12 km hike (about 7.5 miles) which we estimated would be a comfortable distance to do on a winter day. Imagine our surprise when we arrived in a perfect winter wonderland!

The snow was ankle deep and untouched, sparkling under blue skies. It smelled clean and frosty like open spaces filled with snow always smell.

So much for poetry. After the first quarter hour of laboriously tromping through the hard, shiny mass we realized that those 12 km would maybe be a little more challenging than we had anticipated.

snowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blogsnowy winter walk. little home by hand blog

It was one of those hikes where perfect beauty matches perfect exhaustion – we lost our way and ended up making a detour thus bringing our total up to 15 km and four hours with no opportunity for a real break. One of those times when you find your limit and push past it out of necessity, feeling ridiculously proud afterwards as you nurse your aching limbs. One of those days where a hot shower and a comfortable evening on the couch wrapped in blankets at the end of it has never felt so good.

I love those days.

walking in the woods

Fall smells so good. The rich, earthy smell of wet leaves and colder nights, mingled with the comforting scent of woodsmoke from a chimney being used for the first time in months.

I feel the urge to be outside and in motion in the crisp air, to walk and climb until I am pleasantly warm and breathless.

hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.The woods around here are exploding with color and I treasure every minute of this season. I could spend all day outside, hiking, leaving civilization behind (and it never really is far behind in this densely populated part of Germany).

hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.Given the choice I would hop on a plane to Scotland right now or drive down all the way to the Alps. As it is, I try to make time to explore areas within an hour’s drive. These photos were taken two weeks ago on a day trip. We hiked from the Müngstener bridge up to Schloss Burg.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen my phone photos from the day already. These days I seem to shoot as much with my phone as with my ‘real’ camera.

M6hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.hiking in Germany. little home by hand blog.With the daylight hours spent like this and the dark time in the evening used knitting by candle light, that is one perfect day.

What’s your perfect day? Similar to mine or completely different?

the most beautiful place in the world – how scotland captured my heart

If you have been reading here for a time you know that two years ago I travelled to Scotland (see the old blog post here).

I fell in love with the country back then and have been longing to go back. With a few days off at the start of the month J and I decided to take a short trip to the Isle of Skye, a place we hadn’t managed to fit into our schedule two years ago. The flight to Glasgow was over in a wink but the drive up into the highlands took several hours, plenty of time for J to practice driving on the left side of the road, for me to gasp at the countryside and for us both to make some scenic detours…scotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogWe visited Kilchurn Castle and drove along beautiful Glen Etive, stopped for a bite to eat at the fantastic Ben Nevis Inn (what a lovely place!) and arrived on Skye rather late and tired.

After indulging in a hearty breakfast the next morning including porridge, homemade banana bread and scrambled eggs with smoked salmon (so good!) we set out for some serious walking. First stop was the “Old Man of Storr”, an absolutely stunning landscape.

scotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogI think the pictures pretty much speak for themselves. Screaming, really 🙂

Ever since we got out of Glasgow we had found ourselves in breathtakingly beautiful surroundings and every corner we turned provided us with more unbelievable views. Walking in this landscape is simply a dream.

A pretty demanding one I’ll admit. I haven’t been able to do any sports in the past year (save some hikes in Canada) and am sadly out of shape.

The Quiraing was next.scotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogWhat I love about walking in Scotland is that there are sheep and cattle everywhere looking curiously at you panting past.

scotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogOn our second day on Skye we visited Skyeskyns, a wonderful local sheepskin workshop that offers informative tours on their handmade processing of sheepskins.

I just had to do some yarn shopping too of course and picked up a few skeins at the Shilasdair shop. They have a little exhibition on dyeing with local plants which was very interesting.

We saw the ruins of two Iron Age brochs, Dun Fiadhairt and Dun Beag, impressive structures slowly crumbling among the grass and blooming heather.

scotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogWe had left what would turn out to be my personal highlight for last – a walk to the Fairy Pools near Glenbrittle. Situated at the foot of the Cuillin mountain range this landscape just takes your breath away. Oh, and the wind did too. It was so windy that day that I was actually, physically blown over once. Good thing we had decided earlier to skip a walk near high cliffs that day *mustnotkillmyselfwhileonholiday*.

scotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogWe said goodbye to Skye all to soon and with a heavy heart. One last warm breakfast at lovely Blairdhu House and then it was off again on the road.

Bye teddybear cattle!

scotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogWe had decided to do a completely touristy thing on the way and visit a distillery. We took a tour at the Edradour distillery which turned out to be so much fun! The smallest distillery in Scotland, they produce only small quantities of whisky, a lot of the process still by hand involving century old machinery.  We also got to taste the whisky and a whisky cream mix (like Baileys but so much better). I had never thought about how whisky is really made and found it fascinating.

scotland. little home by hand blogscotland. little home by hand blogMy only regret in this holiday: we could easily have stayed three times as long and it would still have been too short. In Scotland I have found the country I want to return to again and again, savoring the landscape, the people, the language.

Highlands, I’ll be back. For sure.

scotland. little home by hand blog

canada part 3

Part One | Part Two

We left the Clearwater area behind after an eventful day and finally made our way to the Rockies. I had dreamed of seeing the Rocky Mountains ever since I was first in Canada in 2009 and now it was finally happening!

We stayed in Jasper the first night and after checking in at the motel we pondered on what to do with the rest of the afternoon. We had a few hours of daylight left but struggled to commit to more driving and walking as we were pretty tired by the journey. In the end we did decide for a larger route down to Maligne Lake. Little did we know it would become one of the most memorable evenings of the whole tour!

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogFirst stop was Maligne Canyon, a hugely impressive sight!

As we went on driving and passed Medicine Lake we noticed a few cars parked on the side. By now we had gathered that was a clear sign for wildlife sightings and amazingly, a few hundred metres away in a cluster of trees on the banks of the lake there was a bear with her cub snuggled close!

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogWe would have squealed if we hadn’t had to keep quiet not to disturb them. Right about this time I started really kicking myself mentally for not bringing my big zoom lens. I had left it at home because it’s just too heavy to lug around all day. If I’d known we could see wildlife from the car I’d have packed it. Always, always pack your big lenses going to Canada! There were even more black bears just beyond the trees, feeding on a big patch of grass land.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogPlease note that both these photos are cropped out of a larger photo, so we were quite a distance away really. With our tiredness blown away successfully by the thrills of seeing the bears we made our way to beautiful Maligne Lake and more wildlife sightings.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blog Isn’t he (or she?) pretty! As it was growing late (and we were scared of bear encounters) we couldn’t take the walk around the lake but turned back down the road. We had seen quite enough for one day, we told ourselves. Passing Medicine Lake on our way back we looked to see if any of the bears were still around and amazingly, one single black bear was prowling the shores of the lake, completely ignoring any watching tourists and just going its way with a lazy elegance.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogI think I realized then what felt so odd about these bear encounters – usually animals you “meet” in the wild are quick on their feet, darting here and there, always on the look out for predators and danger. The bears however seemed not to have a care in the world, completely ignoring their surroundings in their search for food. The behavior of an animal with no natural enemies.

So much had happened within a few short hours! We found out the next morning at the Visitor Center that an unsually large number of bears had been frequenting the area. Driven lower down by a harsh winter and lack of food for themselves and their cubs they had decided the Jasper area was the place to be in mating season, causing quite a few incidents with grizzlies. A lot of trails were closed because of this and as we were not particularly keen on meeting an angry grizzly bear we chose populated trails and sights for the next day. Oh, and we splurged on a can of bear spray. Just in case.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogThe Valley of Five Lakes trail turned out to be a wonderful alternative to the trails directly around Jasper. We also drove up to Mount Edith Cavell that day, a complete change of scenery!

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogWe had really arrived in the mountains then, an impressive sight.

On the next day we set out to visit Athabasca Falls and walked along Beauty Creek and its eight waterfalls. A wonderful trail and highly recommended. If you don’t mind signs telling you not to stop for a stretch of the hike because of bears. Yikes.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogAfter that it was on to the famous Columbia Icefield where you can walk right up to the Glacier. This was one of only two places in the Rockies that we found to be completely overrun by tourists. Still, you can’t tour the Rockies and not go see it!

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogLast stop of the day was a small hike up to Peyto lake, though snow forest. Yes, it really was that color!!

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogA must-have stop on this leg of the journey was Lake Louise (I did mention two places overrun by tourists, no?) and a hike up to the somewhat quieter Lake Agnes. A lovely walk, leaving the stunningly turquoise Lake Louise below to pass beautiful Mirror Lake and finally arrive through snowy forest trails at Lake Agnes with chucks of ice still floating on it.

I have to admit of all the wildlife we saw on our tour the chipmunks were probably my favorite!

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogPhew, this is getting to be a very long post so I’ll close with two images of Moraine Lake, the last stop of our journey in the Rockies. The next day our route would take us deep into the prairies of Saskatchewan to visit friends and experience the real Canada far from the well trodden tourist routes.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blog

 

canada – part 2

Part two of my Canada road trip picks up where part one left off. We were sorry to say goodbye to beautiful Vancouver Island so soon, but it was time to head deeper into BC.

Right off the ferry we took a little detour to see the Suspension Bridge at Lynn Canyon. This is a great and free-of-charge alternative to the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge which we skipped in Vancouver.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogI am scared of heights so this really gave me butterflies in the stomach! You can’t see it but I’m gripping those rails really tightly!

We headed back on the road and after refueling the car for the first time (yes, it was so exciting for us two girls with very little car knowlegde that it deserves mention) we arrived at our next destination, the Greenwood Country Inn in Pemberton, by late afternoon. The Inn had been a recommendation from a friend and was among the best accommodations we had on our trip! The room was wonderful and Margit, the hostess, helped us with every question and need, from advising us on the best restaurants and mountain walks to lending us bear spray to getting rid of the giant (ok, maybe not so giant) spider in our room.

We ate dinner at One Mile House that evening and it deserves mention because, man, we never thought you could eat so well in Canada! Locally produced, fresh food at very reasonable prices. If you’re ever in Pemberton, be sure to stop by and eat there!

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogLook, there war even some funny looking beer! Coming from a beer and wine country it was a little strange for us that alcohol selling is so restricted in Canada (you can only buy it in special shops etc.). We weren’t drinking anyway because we were driving every day but still – it felt unusual to us.

After a perfect breakfast at the Inn (including fresh fruits, nuts and a vegetable omelette – just saying, it was SO good) we set out for a day long hike up to Joffre Lakes.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogThe hike was an amazing experience, especially as the main trail was under construction at the time and the alternative route was pretty adventurous. Going hiking in a real wilderness, far away from other people or civilization was a new experience for us. The hikes I was on in Norway and Scotland were always populated and well trodden. Canada on the other hand felt like the real thing, the real wild with the threat of a bear or a large cat appearing around every corner.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogThere are three Joffre lakes and the middle and upper one were spectacular, such a reward after the hike!

After spending the whole day hiking and being sore and cold we jumped at the chance to use the hot tub at the Inn and spent the evening relaxing in it with the snow-capped mountains all around us.

The next part of our journey would take us to Clearwater and the Wells Gray Provincial Park. On the way we passed the breathtaking Nairn Falls and some lovely lakes and landscapes, temperatures soaring up to nearly 30°C in the desert area around Lillooet and dropping down again to 12°C within a few miles.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogIn Clearwater a very different sort of accommodation awaited us: we had rented a little 1940’s log cabin at Dutch Lake Resort. The lake and surrounding area at the resort were beautiful but after the luxury we had experienced in Pemberton this was quite the adventure and we half wished we were back in the cozy floral bedroom at the Inn.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogThe Wells Gray Provincial Park awaited us with low clouds, thunderstorms and mosquitoes – and breathtaking scenery. The park is full of waterfalls, each more stunning than the one before and we particularly loved Spahat Falls and Hemlcken Falls.

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogWe also saw our very first bear in the Park, just on the side of the road, a black bear walking by and munching on the grasses by the road, completely oblivious to the traffic jam it was causing!

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogNow this might not be an uncommon sight for Canadians but for us Europeans it was simply thrilling. A real, live bear just doing its thing, not in a zoo or enclosed area but living there in this wonderful landscape!

Of course walking along the trails alone felt quite different after this encounter. It’s one thing to know there are bears in the are and another to actually meet them. We stopped at Ray Farm just after seeing the bear and were rather jumpy walking around (though the huge mosquitoes were partly responsible as well).

Canada road trip. little home by hand blogCanada road trip. little home by hand blogWe ended the day with another highlight, a hike to Moul Falls through dense woodland and down slippery, wet steps along the waterfall’s edge. We didn’t go behind the waterfall because the day was drawing to a close but it was an impressive sight.

Our time in the Clearwater area had left us with mosquito bites, a healthy respect for the local wildlife and so many new impressions it was hard to keep them all organized in our minds. Next up would be the Rocky Mountains and Jasper.