It is huge, fascinating and undefinable in its curiosity. It is here that Wayne Gretzky bulldozed goalkeepers, grizzly bears spread terror, marijuana has been legalized, and maple syrup is more precious than gold. If the country's territory was equally divided among citizens, as few as 3.5 inhabitants would end up living on as much as a square kilometer. They don't call it lonely. They call it peaceful. Lulled by three surrounding oceans, growing on British, French and Aboriginal roots, Canada is far from being a spitting image of its vociferous southern neighbour, with whom it shares the world's longest undefended border. Though heavily influenced by American mass media, the country strives for the preservation of its distinctly endemic character, and rather that a blend of cultures, it prefers to remain a mosaic.
Etymologically speaking, the name Canada derives from a Laurentian word meaning 'village' which no longer seems an appropriate connotation, given the country's top position regarding per capita income, economic growth and standard of living. Sky-scraping Toronto, French-speaking, romantic Montreal, landmark-packed Ottawa, or incredibly beautiful, mountainous Vancouver growing out of the ocean- they will not disappoint. However, there's much more to Canada than stunning, highly-developed metropolises, be it extensive prairies of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, fjord-studded Pacific coastline, the parallel mountain ranges of Yukon and western Alberta, or strictly protected, world-renowned National Parks. Virginia Falls in the Nahanni Reserve, being twice the height of Niagara, is simply a must-see.
And believe it or not, wherever you go in Canada, you are bound to meet open-minded, friendly people proud of their ample heritage but not at all vain or arrogant. So, all you restless travelers out there, grab your cameras, pull your mittens on and see all this for yourselves.