A Return to Canada: Polar Bears, Moose, Wolves & Wine

So much has happened since we last spoke. I have been to Canada and not just that, I was in sub arctic Canada walking with polar bears. Before I left, I managed to acquire a black eye in a stumble (I am very clumsy, always have been, it takes a toll). The first I have had since I was about 6 years old and walloped my eye against the corner of a chair. Attempts at cover up rendered me looking more like Beetlejuice on a bad day. It makes life interesting. Everyone can see it but no one wants to ask. Silver lining? It is a conversation starter and a terrific excuse to wear your favourite sunglasses on a dark day. 

On this trip I went to a province that was new to me, Manitoba, for a bucket list trip. I was not seeking out a particular dish, cook or ingredient, this time I was going to see polar bears on a spectacular stretch of Hudson Bay in northern Canada. I am a little wildlife obsessed being a biologist originally (majoring in physiology but I studied zoology too). I have been to Borneo to see orangutans and proboscis monkeys, and more of my bucket list trips involve seeing grizzly bears, spirit bears, pandas, awesome Japanese monkeys, gorillas, bonobos, chimps, and where ever possible, in the wild. 

I digress. 

On this occasion I travelled to Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge and spent a few days that entirely surpassed my high expectations. After that, a return to Nova Scotia to visit some wineries and explore further there too. 

For now, some photos, with some proper features and information on everything that I did soon. 

Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge 

Just over an hour from Churchill in northern Manitoba in a tiny 8 seater plane. Our days consisted of safaris to see polar bears, moose, wolves, and whatever else we came across. Just after we arrived a little pregnant black bear wandered by. It was an amazing experience. The food was very good too. The lodge famously has 4 best selling cookbooks. Hearty and wholesome stuff to battle the cold outside. 


Churchill Sea Walls

An initiative kickstarted by Winnipeg artist Kal Barteski sees the walls of Churchill painted by a variety of artists. The intention is to communicate a wide array of messages designed to educate and inspire communities to protect our oceans. In Churchill there is a lot of polar bears, naturally and some very beautiful pieces. 


The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg

I have wanted to visit this museum since it opened but have never been nearby. To get to Churchill we had to fly to Winnipeg, and had a day there after our Nanuk trip. It is one of the most emotive and beautiful museums that I have ever visited. Thoughtful, considered, inclusive and educational in every facet, including the design. Built on treaty land the entire process was done in consultation with 7 tribal elders. A tour is essential here to get the most of the vast array of displays. Plan to have lunch there too, ERA Bistro serves very good local food. Thoughtful sourcing and good cooking makes for an excellent meal. I loved the peach and roast carrot cold soup. 


Return to Nova Scotia 

I returned to Nova Scotia for the end of my trip. Based in Halifax, I did a short tour of the Nova Scotia winelands and did a Tidal Bay tasting (Tidal Bay being the Nova Scotia appellation, designed to go with seafood). Nova Scotia has earned a world wide reputation for their wines, especially their sparkling wines and their whites, I have enjoyed seeing it grow in my travels there over the last 10 years. There are 22 wineries now, and the industry continues to grow. There was lots of seafood, lobster, and I did spy a pumpkin or two. I wanted to bring them all home. 

I travelled to Canada with Destination Canada, Travel Manitoba and Tourism Nova Scotia.




Written by Niamh
Cooking and travelling, and sharing it all with you.