In the Autumn 2012 edition of Scenic Club News we ran a 25th Anniversary Travel Experiences competition and our winner was Colleen Young from Rockhampton, Queensland. You can read about Colleen's Scenic experiences in Scenic Club News, which should be arriving on your doorstep this week!
We received several responses filled with some amazing Scenic Tours experiences and while there could only be one winner, we thought we would share a couple of memories with you.
In August 1998 we joined Ray and Patti Pratt for a 'Western Wildflower' tour of Western Australia. That was when we got the travel bug and our love affair with Scenic Tours began.
In 1999 we travelled with Ron and Leah to Adelaide and up the centre to Darwin. It was a great experience and an eventful one. I took ill in Cooperpedy and was taken to hospital in the coach by Ron at 9.30 at night, thankfully I recovered to enjoy the rest of the trip. We then met up with Leah in Tasmania 2001 where she was hostess on our Tasmania tour.
February 2002 we flew to New Zealand for a 19 day Royal New Zealand experience, which too was a wonderful holiday. We are pleased to have visited Christchurch before the earthquakes and our thoughts go out to everyone in Christchurch. We also met a lovely couple from Geraldon, Western Australia who we kept in contact with and visited in Western Australia on a recent visit. 2003 took us to Darwin for a tour to the Kimberleys abd Broome, Gerry Murphy and Michelle were our tour hosts, a lovely couple.
After a couple of years of saving we flew to Canada in 2007 to join the 22 day Rockie Explorer, our hosts were Stan and Patricia. This was also a wonderful experience!
It would be hard to say which tour we enjoyed the most, but would have to say our first tour with Ray and Patti encouraged us to always travel with Scenic. We hope to also experience the Scenic 'Space-Ships' in Europe while we are still healthy and young enough to enjoy it. We always recommend Scenic Tours to our Friends.
Undoubtedly one of the most beloved destinations in the Canadian Rockies is the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise situated in the Banff National Park in Alberta, which was described in our Scenic Tours Itinerary as Canada's Diamond in the Wilderness and, when our Scenic Tour arrived on 31 July 2009 we had to catch our breath for a minute before admiring one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes. We soon came to appreciate that our tour group was actually staying in this historic luxury resort with breathtaking views of turquoise waters sparkling underneath the towering Victoria Glacier surrounded by pristine green & snow capped mountains.
Our tour was suitably informed that this was the only one place in the world which could genuinely offer spectacular natural mountain scenery, abundant wildlife, four-season leisure & recreation activities, and world-class accommodation within a protected National Park setting & UNESCO World Heritage site. After checking into our Lake View room, which was guaranteed on our Scenic Tour, we enjoyed a nature walk along the shoreline of the lake, before returning to the Chateau to a special treat – meeting and being photographed with a real live 'Canadian Mountie' while learning about their culture & history. We soon discovered that very few law enforcement agencies have as enviable a reputation as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), with the iconic red-coated Mountie on his black horse being one of the most recognized symbols in the world, virtually as synonymous with Canada as the Maple Leaf.
The Force was created way back in 1870's after Prime Minister, John Macdonald declared that the Prairies needed a strong police force to solidify Canada's claim to the West, improve relations with First Nations and wipe out the illegal whiskey trade. It was modelled on the Mounties of the Royal Irish Constabulary, one of the world's first national police forces, and the Mountie soon became the symbol of justice, not rough frontier justice, but the representative of a federal justice that was fair to all and which represented the best of the British Empire
During the Yukon Gold Rush, the Mountie was popularized by American newspapers as always 'getting his man'. Today the Force is the federal, national and paramilitary police force of Canada, with an on-strength establishment of about 25,000 personnel.
After our educational Mountie experience we adjourned to the Fairview Dining Room for our next treat, the Scenic FreeChoice Dining delight where the great inventive menu featured the best in Regional Canadian cuisine, with a firm focus on the use of organic, local and sustainable ingredients. We selected a delicious Salt & Beet Cured Organic King Salmon as our Appetizer served with yuzu cream, pomegranate caviar, petite herb salad. For our Main Course we tucked into the traditional Alberta Beef Tenderloin & Veal Sweet Breads served with english pea & oatmeal pave, green & white asparagus & salsify truffle jus.
Then with barely any room left for Dessert we managed the scrumptious Citrus Taster, a lemon curd tart with ruby-red grapefruit jelly-mini citrus & crème brûlée Cointreau-milk chocolate. Our incredible dining experience was certainly enhanced by some lovely cocktails such as a Lake Louise Glacier Cocktail
together with some interesting red wines which were consumed while constantly admiring the restaurant view of the mountains and glacier-fed turquoise waters where our formal Scenic group photograph below was taken.
Grand Tour of Rockies, Alaska & Yukon Group Photo
B/Row: Ralph Nichol, Chris Simmonds, John Nitz, Brian Mutton, Ross Rohrlach, Michael Sendy, Brian Pearce, Alan Morris, Alan Hill, Bob Henry, Spencer Wills, Bruce Kane, David Lord, Warwick Hansen, Dudley Cunningham
M/Row: Dorothy Nichol, Judy Simmonds, Jeannette Nitz, Judy Turner, Kathy Rohrlach, Lesley Sendy, Doreen Pearce, Marie Morris, Anne Hill, Rhonda Henry, Jo Wills, Pam Kane, Rita Lord, Jill Hansen, Ruth Cunningham
F/Row: Kelly Waddell (Bus Driver), Josephine & David Witten, Carmel & Jim Breene, Elizabeth Vanmerlo, Merril Fourmile, Karen Simpson, Elizabeth & Marilyn Story, Josiane & Marie Therese Robinson, Ann Cambie, Margaret Gleeson
Horizontal: Dana Skogstad (Tour Director)