Walking on the active sand dunes at sunset, Great Sand Hills.  MIDDLE RIGHT: 70 Mile Butte is illuminated by the setting sun at Grasslands National Park.  |  Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Sun works its magic in Saskatchewan

The Canadian Prairies have the world’s most stunning sunrises and sunsets. Match a colourful sky with dynamite scenery and the effect can be even more dazzling. If you’re wandering around southern Saskatchewan this summer, try these five fabulous and easy to reach viewpoints to watch the sun do its magic. The name comes from the […] Read more

Emerald Lake is surrounded by mountain peaks. | Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

Walk on the wild side in Yoho National Park

We could hear the roar and feel the spray as we gazed up at one of Canada’s highest waterfalls, plunging 384 metres over a sheer cliff. Fed by glacial meltwater high above, Takakkaw Falls is the most famous landmark of British Columbia’s Yoho National Park, yet getting there is an easy 10-minute stroll from the […] Read more

Masks, bags and scarves in a rainbow of colours are for sale in the Antigua market. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Heading back to school in Antigua, Guatemala

Going to school doesn’t immediately spring to mind when thinking about vacations, but hitting the books turned out to be a highlight of recent travels to Antigua, Guatemala. We took Spanish language classes at Proyecto Linguistico Francisco Marroquin (PLFM), a non-profit foundation specializing in teaching Spanish and local Mayan languages. It was a return to […] Read more


The Enchanted Forest in Saskatoon features winter and nativity scenes and animated light shows, like nine ladies dancing from the Twelve Days of Christmas. An internet search can help locate displays or winter events in your area. |  Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Christmas alive with light displays

It’s getting easier to find the top light displays almost anywhere. Simply do an internet search for Christmas lights and the name of a community and chances are that you’ll find a few pleasant surprises. A useful resource in Saskatchewan is www.sparkletour.ca, which includes maps of 15 communities and addresses and descriptions of Christmas displays […] Read more

The view of the Icefields Parkway near the Saskatchewan Glacier is breathtaking. |  Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Take your time driving through Alberta’s Icefields Parkway

Towering snow-capped peaks, magnificent river valleys, picture-perfect waterfalls galore, wandering wildlife and walls of ice dripping from the largest glaciers in the Rockies can all be seen without getting out of the vehicle. National Geographic described the Icefields Parkway as one of the world’s most spectacular driving tours. Fortunately for those of us living in […] Read more


Hoodoo formations at Alberta’s Dinosaur Provincial Park. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Ancient treasures, captivating landscapes

The approach is breathtaking. Travelling across the mostly level farmland near Brooks in southeastern Alberta, we come to a valley rim where the land suddenly drops into a vast expanse of spectacular badlands, the largest anywhere in Canada. The parched land of crumbling slopes, fairy-tale hoodoos and assorted bizarre formations appear in various shades of […] Read more

Karst Spring Trail offers visitors a 3.2 kilometre hike through northwestern Manitoba’s Grass River Provincial Park.  |  Arlene and Robin Karpan photo

A road trip through Manitoba’s Waterfall Alley

Massive walls of water thunder over a fault line. Cataracts and rapids twist through a narrow canyon. Most intriguing of all, a rapid-filled spring seems to gush mysteriously from a solid rock wall. The best part is that all of these spectacular natural features are easily accessible along a paved highway following the Grass River […] Read more

The Kidston Island Lighthouse in Baddeck. |  Robin and Arlene Karpan photo

The spectacular sights of Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail

L istings of the most scenic drives in North America usually rank the Cabot Trail on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island near the top. We decided to see what all the fuss is about and discovered a rare place that more than met our expectations. A third of the loop route snakes through Cape Breton […] Read more


This is an example of breaking the rules. While it’s usually best to avoid putting the horizon across the centre of a photo, this image of Mountain Lake in northern Saskatchewan works because of the strong reflection in the calm water. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

Expert tips for memorable vacation photos

Well-crafted photos can provide lasting memories from a summer vacation. Whether you’re embarking on a grand tour to far-flung lands or spending a week at the lake, keeping a few simple techniques in mind can make a big difference to the quality of your photos. There’s a saying that painting is the art of addition, […] Read more

We enjoyed catching walleye at our campsite on a lake below North Falls. | Arlene & Robin Karpan photo

River of choices; ride the rapids or relax

Sitting on the smooth rocky outcropping jutting into the tiny lake, we looked over North Falls pouring out of Otter Lake and framed by brilliant green forest. Behind us, we could hear the roar of another set of rapids emptying into Mountain Lake, the next in the long chain making up the Churchill River. It […] Read more