Travel: The Greatest Gift In 2012 I scored one of the best gifts a Canadian traveller could wish for: a trip to the Yukon. The year before I was lucky to fulfill another long-time dream: a week in magical Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands). I hesitated when I was recently asked about the next destination on my Canadian bucket list. I know that I'd give my eye-teeth to tour Fogo Island, Newfoundland. And I'd trade my brand-spanking new iPad for a train ticket to snowy Le Massif, Quebec. But, and this may be due in part to the influences of the Yuletide season with images of stars and thoughts of Christmas lights, but topping my wish list right at this very moment: The Northern Lights. The naturally occurring phenomena of the Aurora Borealis (its true name) can be experienced from various parts of Northern Canada. Friends who've been fortunate to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime wonder ventured forth from Northern Alberta while others based themselves in the Yukon. But it's with an almost religious fervour that some travellers point to the position of Yellowknife, capital of the Northwest Territories, as 'the' spot to view the northern lights. Its position under the Aurora Oval is considered a huge advantage for aurora viewing. I've heard the Northern Lights described as brilliant, swirling splashes of reds and blues and greens streaking across the night sky, seemingly breaking up and disappearing, only to regroup in a magical explosion of waves and psychedelic cloud bursts. A distilled scientific explanation goes like this: charged particles in gusts of solar wind from the sun's surface collide crazily with gases in the Earth's upper atmosphere. The result: nighttime magic. These three photos say it all: [caption id="attachment_14454" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission[/caption]
•••[caption id="attachment_14455" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission[/caption]
•••[caption id="attachment_14456" align="aligncenter" width="330"] Courtesy of Canadian Tourism Commission[/caption]
•••If you were granted one Christmas travel wish, where in Canada would you like to go?