Walking In a Winter Wonderland

Magic has arrived in Edmonton, where Hawrelak Park has been transformed into a scene straight out of Disney’s Frozen. Our very own ice castle has appeared, bringing even the most avid winter hibernators out into the wild. Icicles form an enchanting archway as you step into the castle, welcomed by the instrumental sounds of the Frozen theme song. People eagerly wait for their chance at sliding down the ice slide or to take a seat on the ice throne while the rest of us wander in and out of the paths, tall walls of ice on either side.

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Everywhere you look is another mind blowing display of artistry – hundreds upon hundreds of hand-crafted icicles put together to form the entire castle.

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Don’t forget to dress warm – it is an ice castle after all. Luckily, there’s a little spot for you to warm up your hands.

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… before exploring some more!

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I am SO happy that I turned around after walking out of the castle or else I might have missed this heart that had been carved into the ice.

If you’re in the area or ever have an opportunity to visit an ice castle, I highly recommend it! In the daytime, the ice, snow and winter sky creates a white on white on white appearance that is beautiful. But when darkness hits, the ice castle is flooded in beautiful lights – so a visit in the evening would be just as magical.

 

Sunday Snapshot: The Icefields Parkway, Alberta

Jasper
This photo, taken along the Icefield Parkway between the Rocky Mountain towns of Jasper and Banff, AB is just one of the jaw-dropping views along this stretch of mountain highway. Looking up to the center of the photo, you can see one of the Rocky Mountain’s glaciers that supply all the surrounding lakes and rivers with pure glacier water. You can fill up your water bottle for a taste of some of the purest water in the world.

Sunday Snapshot: Alberta Winter

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I’m a summer girl, always have been and always will be, but there is something to be said about a Canadian winter. One day everything is green and the next day there is snow up to your knees. One of my favorite things about winter is when the trees, rid of their leaves, are dusted in snow. On particularly cold and icy days, the trees will frost over and look like they do in this photo and the world transforms into a winter wonderland.

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Canadian Winter Festivals: Ice on Whyte

Ice on Whyte is an Edmonton-based winter festival where artists come together to develop some incredible pieces of art made entirely out of snow and ice. This year was the 10th annual Ice on Whyte Festival, located just off the popular and bustling Whyte Avenue, and the first one I had ever been to. Featuring beautiful ice sculptures crafted by artists from around the world, Ice on Whyte also offers family skating time, “frozen yoga”, activities for children, entertainment, hot chocolate, sticks of maple syrup taffy on snow, ice carving competitions and more, with each day presenting something new and exciting. The best time of day to go to Ice on Whyte? After dark, when ice sculptures are lit up in a fantastic array of colors.

Much to do at Ice on Whyte!

Musical Balance sculpture, one of my favorites

The Chase sculpture

Fragile sculpture, incomplete

SculptureThe slide at Ice on Whyte

Sculpture being carved

Sculpture

Summer Echo sculpture

Ice on Whyte sculpture

Fish sculpture

My very favorite, the buddha

Buddha

Face sculpture

Full Sculpture

Bear

Mistress of the Permafrost sculpture

Mistress of the Permafrost sculpture

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Sunday Snapshot: My Backyard

I love my backyard. When I’m not traveling and the weather is warm, I like to sit out there by the pond, tanning in the sunshine and listening to the fountain spray water. Now, at the beginning of November, this is my view. White, everywhere. Pond entirely covered in snow up past my knees, all within a day or two of constant snow falling. Despite the cold, there’s no denying how beautiful it is when the trees have snow-covered branches. That’s a Canadian winter for you!

Do you have a photo you would like to share for Sunday Snapshot? Submit it to whirlwindtravel@hotmail.com to see it here the next week!