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For our friends around the world:

By Diana Alandete

Summer in Canada is a wonderful season!  It reminds me of my country of origin Colombia, where it is always an eternal summer, the trees are always covered with green leaves and beautiful flowers of vibrant colors all over place and the weather always warm.  This season is great for outdoor activities that are practiced in the summer in Canada, and there are plenty of beautiful places to visit to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, and at the same time re-connect with nature, and recharge our batteries.

I personally love going to Northern Ontario, where there are many lakes and lots of nature.  It is very relaxing for me to see the lakes, enjoy the beautiful landscapes, practice canoeing, walking on trails, seeing the wild life, experiencing the sounds of nature, and camping at various sites.

In the third week of August, I went on a two-day trip with some of my friends, and one of my cousins, who recently arrived from Colombia to live in Toronto.  What better way to welcome her than taking her to visit one of the most well-known touristic places around?

Blue Mountain, Collingwood, and Wasaga Beach, are all located very close to each other, north of Toronto and Mississauga.  Blue Mountain, Collingwood and Wasaga Beach, are located on the shores of Georgian Bay, approximately 170 kilometers north of Toronto, Ontario, which takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes by car. However, if you stop several times on the way to take a rest, then it will take longer.

Many people travel to these beautiful places to rest and relax from the stress of living in the city and to take a necessary break from work or studies.

I have been on Blue Mountain many times before including during the winter time, and the view and the experience, is completely different from the one you see and experience in the summer.  The Blue Mountain gets completely covered with snow, and it is one of the most famous places to ski in the winter in Ontario.  Chalets and buildings have different structures in Blue Mountain than in Wasaga or Collingwood.

The roofs of the houses are built in the shape of a pyramid, in such a way that the snow slides downward, and does not accumulate on the roofs.

There are several roads to get to Blue Mountain from Toronto.  The best route to enjoy the beauty of the landscapes and nature, and avoid traffic, is Not to take the Highways.  We went via the Airport Road route which is very scenic, and it is a beautiful trip to enjoy the landscapes of the road, the farms of the area with crops and farm houses, which are amazing to see.

Something that I find astonishing this time of the year, is the collection of dry bails of hay, which are made of grass, legumes and herbs that have been cut, dried, rolled and stored, to be used as food for the farm animals during the winter season, when grazing is not feasible due to the weather.  Please find attached some photos of the impresive collection of the round bails of hay,  which I took on the Airport Road route.

The only thing that I found challenging about this Airport Road route, is that if you need to take a rest, there is nowhere to go except for a single stop along the way.  You would have to be creative if you have to go to the bathroom, and inspite of this little inconvenience, it is worth taking this road for its very hilly, curvy roads and fascinating landscapes.

One thing I found very picturesque are the small stores in the Village.  There are more than 50 stores in Blue Mountain Village; Art Galleries, exquisite Chocolatiers, branded clothing stores, boutiques, sports items and clothing, and a variety of restaurants for all tastes, all attractively decorated and full of vibrant colorful flowers everywhere.  The Villa is always full of visitors who come from all over the world.

We were able to appreciate the majestic Blue Mountain Resort, and the view of the mountains.  There are numerous festivals, live music, and summer entertainment, which are scheduled in the big open plaza located in the center of the main Village.

We had lots of fun walking through the village, and listening to a live band playing.  On our walk through the Blue Mountain Village, we had lunch at one of the Villa’s restaurants, which had a beautiful view of a lagoon called “Mill Pond.”   I enjoyed very much seeing people using pedal boats, resting and enjoying the gorgeous view, as per the video that I recorded.

We also climbed to the top of the mountains, where there was an extraordinary view of the Escarpment, and enormous Georgian Bay.  We stopped there for a while, enjoying the beautiful view, rested a little, and took some photographs of so much beauty, to bring that beautiful memory home with us.

Although we took everything with us to go camping, and stay overnight in a camping ground, we decided better to stay at a motel in Collingwood.  One of our friends had a flu, and did not feel it would be a good idea for her to sleep at ground level in a tent, and said that maybe she would get worse if she got cold at night.  She did not have energy and did not want to take time to install tents.  I previously have had the opportunity to enjoy camping on several occasions, and had a great time!  I’m very fascinated by camping!  I feel more connected to nature that way, and I find it a lot of fun!

There are many other places that I have visited in the summer, and on most weekends, I organize trips to different places with family and friends.  I visit other places that I love in the summer time; Algonquin Park, Huntsville, and the entire Muskoka area, which is always an exciting, exquisite and relaxing experience that I will tell you in detail in another article.

There are many activities that can be done in Blue Mountain, such as hiking trails, biking, canoeing, kayaking, pedal boats, and other very interesting attractions for all tastes, ages, and for the whole family.

One thing I liked visiting, when we were coming back on the Airport Road route, was a farm where they were selling delicious local fruits and vegetables, including fresh peaches, apples, large barrels of tomatoes, sweet corn, freshly baked apple pies, and many other sweet delicacies.

If you want to know more about the different attractions, activities and find lodging in this fascinating spot of Blue Mountains, visit the website below for more information.  https://www.bluemountain.ca/