1.) Introduction








The romance of the open road has always been a favourite theme of novelists and poets, songwriters and film-makers; there is something intensely exciting about setting out on a journey. I will present you the new experiences, interesting encounters and the amazing variety of the natural world around us; I will show you fascinating sights, whether the journey is from Bangkok to Singapore through tropical Malaysia or through the awe-inspiring vastness of the Canadian wilderness on the Trans-Canada Highway:

"Road movies" and country songs celebrate the cult of travel; on the road we feel somehow separate from the everyday life around us as we speed by, the landscape is a source of enjoyment but is it static unlike the traveller who can move on to discover new delights.

Great highways of the world have included the straight paved roads built by the Romans in the heyday of their empire, the shifting desert sands traversed by traders in silk and spices, and the perilous rocky tracks along which thousands rushed in the quest for gold. Multi-laned expressways like those of America or Singapore have come to symbolise efficiency and modernity - the car has replaced the camel, but the urge to trade, to make contact and to experience different ways of life from our own, is universal. Sometimes a road can take us on a journey through time , as when we walk on the very stones that Roman soldiers trod as they marched along the Appian Way.

Highways tell stories of heroic endurance, of the determination of pioneers like John McDouall Stuart to open up continents despite the hardships they confronted. The story of Route 66 evokes the hopes and trials of people leaving their homes in search of a better life for their families. Sometimes, however the call of the road ahead is irresistible just for its own sake; in the words of the pilgrims on the Golden to Samarkand.


For glamour you won't better it, for Modern Art lovers it will be a joy and of course there are the spectacular and varied views. This is surely one of the most beautiful journeys in the world, although you won't be enjoying it alone. Since the middle of the 19th century this small section of France's coastline has attracted both society's elite and most of the great artists of the time: their glittering legacy has endowed this stretch of coast with a mystique and allure that still endures today.

The route begins in France's second city and most important port: Marseille. It hasn't the glamour of resorts further along the coast, but it's a lively, cosmopolitan city nevertheless and there are plenty of reasons to spend some time exploring.

Unsurprisingly, its heart is in the Vieux Port, but its hallmark has for a long time been the Canabière, the most famous of the city's main streets, where sailors and Sultans once rubbed shoulders.

Running the length of Marseille's coastline is the Corniche Président J F Kennedy and if you look out to sea from here you'll get a good view of the Chateau d'If, built on one of the Frioul islands and made famous by Alexandre Dumas' tale The count of Monte-Christo.

After Marseille, it is more or less impossible to follow the coast by road (except for a drive to the end of the Cap Croisette and back) until Cassis, a small, lively and attractive fishing port which caught the eye of artists.

From Cassis to la Ciotat the road will take you on around Cap Canaille on the Corniche des Crêtes and past the highest cliffs in France, rising from the sea to 360 metres.

The road from la Ciotat to Toulon runs through the pleasant resorts of les Lecques, Bandol and Sanary-sur-Mer and then cuts across the Cap Sicié to Toulon, France's leading naval base.  All along this stretch of coast you will see the vineyards which produce the full-bodied Bandol wines.

Hyères, which lies about 11miles (18km) to the east of Toulon, is the oldest resort on the Côte' d'Azur and its grand villas are a legacy of the time when it was patronised by royalty and the cream of society. Today it is chiefly known for the palm trees and pot plants which it exports all over the world.

Old Hyères is a splendid medieval walled town clinging to the slopes of Castéou Hill, and to the south are the lagoon and salt marshes of the Giens Penisula.


St.Tropez, a resort which in recent years has been at the centre of controversy: its most famous resident Brigitte Bardot denounced the influx of tourists which descend on it each year. In former times, it was always just another quiet fishing village. In any case, it was Bardot who causes Port-Grimaud, an imitation Provencal fishing village built in the 1960s as an upmarket holiday complex - if you are lucky you might rub shoulders with a film star or two, but only the seriously wealthy can afford the houses here.

Nearby St. Raphael also has ancient origins, it was a holiday resort even in Roman times. After a period in the doldrums, thanks to the Saracens who plundered the coast in the 8th century, more at the end of the last century. Here is the beginning of one of the most beautiful and least built-up sections of the route, the Corniche de l'Esterel. A marvellous view can be enjoyed from the Pic du Cap Roux, which stands between Anthéor and le Trayas, a resort built on the highest point of the Corniche.


Towards the end of the Corniche d'Or is the small resort of Théoule-sur-Mer - an important harbour in the 17th century - and after this la Napoule. There is no denying where you are, for across the bay is glittering, glittery Cannes. La Croisette, Cannes' renowned seafront became lined with luxury hotels and smart shops. It is still at the heart of the city and you will find the locals strolling here among the tourists.

Each year Hollywood descends on Cannes for the International Film Festival and the eyes and cameras of the world turn to the city. An aptly named suburb, la Californie, it the site of the Super-Cannes observatory, where one of the finest views on the entire Côte d'Azur can be enjoyed.

Between Cannes and Antibes the road skirts the Cap d'Antibes, a peninsula which separates the Golfe juan and the Baie des Anges.. At its highest point is one of the most powerful lighthouses on the coast. Picasso, who was staying in Antibes, was allowed to use part of the chateau as a studio and he donated the work he completed there to the museum.

From Antibes the road takes you on towards nice, the so called Queen of the side conurbation.


Despite the hordes of tourists, Nice still manages to sparkle and the jewel in her crown is undoubtedly the palm-lined Promenade des Anglais, with its views across the bay on one hand  and sophisticated "Belle Epoch" architecture on the other.

At Nice you have to make a choice between the three Corniche roads which run to Menton: the lowest road runs through Villefranche-sur-Mer, which stands at the entrance to dazzling Cap-Ferrat. The coast road runs through its seaside extension and on to Monaco and Mente-Carlo. Grace Kelly turned every girl's dream into reality by marrying a prince and living in a fairytale castle surrounded by rich and beautiful people. It was Grace Kelly and Cary Grant who immortalised the coastal roads of the Riviera in Hitchcock's film to Catch a Thief.


The three Corniche roads converge just before Menton, the last resort on the French Riviera before the border with Italy. until the middle of the last century the town belonged to the principality of Monaco, but was sold to France in 1860.

Menton doesn't sparkle in the way that Nice and Cannes or Monaco do, neither has it the notoriety of St-Tropez, but its genteel air captures something of the atmosphere of the Riviera: a fine and beautiful corner of the world, discovered but not yet spoiled.

Practical Informations:

If you attempt this journey in the summer months beware of traffic jams: many French people head south in August and unless you have booked well in advance it may be difficult to get accommodation. June or September are often the best times for a hassle-free visit in virtually guaranteed sunshine.


There's only one better trip in South Africa than a quick half-day drive along the Garden Route: a slow leisurely one. The relatively brief 142 mile (227km) journey between Mossel Bay and Storms River packs in mountains, rivers, gorges, bays, forests, bays and some of the best sandy beaches in the world. The best way to enjoy the area is to wander off the main road and explore the coastal towns and national parks, or to head for the hills.

At the foot of Africa lies the lush forested belt of the Garden Route - one of the world's most beautiful journeys. On one side it is bounded by a series of mountain ranges; on the other, the Indian Ocean comes crashing in. For most people the route is a section of the longer journey between the harbour cities of Cape Town.

Heading east from Cape Town the N2 follows the route (taken by European settlers as they expanded into South Africa).

The highway takes you past a series of long-established towns with elegant Cape Dutch buildings, wide streets and some churches. The highway then veers inland trough Swellendam, Heidelberg and Albertinia until, 242 miles (388km) later, it again meets the ocean at Mossel Bay - the starting point for the Garden Route.

The summer holiday months (December and January) bring many South Africans to the dozens of unspoilt coastal resorts along the Garden Route. They come for the blend of mountains, forests, lakes and lagoons, but most of all for the sandy beaches that rival any in the world.

Along the Garden Route, Dutch, French and later English settlers established woodcutting settlements, ports, trading stations and mining towns

Mossel Bay and the Outeniqua Mountains mark the beginning of the Garden Route. In the Khoi language Quteniqua means "a man laden with honey", because the Garden Route was truly a land of milk and honey.


Shark lovers and fans of the movie can come face to face with white sharks - at Mossel Bay. This so called "close encounter of the death defying kind" involves a trip out to sea, where a bloody hunk of meat is attached to a float.

Leaving Mossel Bay, the N2 bypasses a number of small and pleasant coastal resorts - Hartenbos, Little Brak River, Great Brak River, Gelntana and Herolds Bay - all of which come to life for a couple of holiday months a year.

Thirty five miles (45km) later is George, which bills itself as the capital of the Garden Route. The novelist Anthony Trollope was moved to describe it as "the prettiest village on the face of the earth". For travellers, one of the best things about the town is the sheer number of ways you can leave it. Flying is perhaps the least romantic, but most of the other options are along gorgeous routes.

A steam train aimed at tourists, the Outeniqua Choo-Tjoi runs east to Knysna and crosses some memorable countryside. At certain points the tracks span wide lagoons, perched on columns in the water. The tree-and-a-quarter-hour journey takes in views of beaches, lakes and forests.


Knysna's extensive lagoon used to serve as an ideal harbour. In the 1940s uncontrolled wood cutting was stopped and Knysna, relaxed comfortably into its current role as a thriving holiday resort.

Like the elephants, the Knysna forest too has been saved from destruction. The wanton felling that wiped out nearly a third of the Garden Route forests has now been replaced by conservationist policies ensuring they will remain the largest indigenous forests in the sub-continent. There are over 60 species of hardwood here, and none is harder than the ironwood.

Twenty miles (32km) on is Plettenberg Bay, known to the locals as "Plet". Some people call it the South African Riviera. The town is unquestionably southern Africa's premier luxury resort. Large amounts of Johannesburg wealth have turned up in Plet, an extensive development of second houses, multi star hotels, shops, restaurants and discos. Plettenberg Bay is perhaps the best place along the southern coast for whales . The mountain-encircled bay provides the undisturbed peace they need to court and calve.

Spring (September to November in the southern hemisphere) is the best time to see the whales, but May to July are also good months. There are a number of lookouts at Plettenberg Bay. Settle down with a drink at the Beacon Island Hotel, where picture windows overlook the water. On the opposite of the bays the Keurboomstrand. Just beyond the K.strand the N2 touches the edge of the Tsitsikamma National park. The coast is at some points rocky and wild, and at others fringed with sandy beaches. The rich plant life includes ferns, orchids, proteas and lilies. There live 200 bird species, antelopes, badgers, baboons and monkeys, leopards and other exciting animals.

Just 6 miles (10km) beyond is the garden Route's edge - a spectacular gorge carved into the landscape by the Storms River. The best way to mark the end of southern Africa's most beautiful journey is from the restaurant of the Tzitzikama Total Village. A wooden deck juts out towards the chasm, providing dizzying views into its depths and of the 190 metres bridge that carries the N2.


·       The Garden Route is popular and finding accommodation may be a problem during the peak season (November to March)

·       Scheduled flights connect Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban with George, making it an ideal base. Hire cars are available at Mossel Bay, George and Plettenberg Bay

·       Complete packages, including flights from Britain, can be arranged through Southern Africa Travel

·       If you just want a Garden Route mini-package then contact SARtravel - alternatively, Abercrombie and Kent, both in London


Snaking along the California coast between two of North America's most famous cities, California State Highway 1 passes through some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the world. It starts 150 miles (240km) north of San Francisco and ends in the myriad small cities which form the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Highway 1's 550 miles (885km) offer the visitor an outstanding variety of things to do and see. For those seeking spectacular scenery, it travels past wild and lonely coasts, silent green forests, purple-blue mountains and parched scrubland. For tourists which are interested in wildlife, sealions and the spumes of whales can often be seen from Highway 1, while short stops and detours are often richly rewarded with bright carpets of flowers and glimpses of exotic birds.

State 1 begins about 150 miles (240km) north of Sand Francisco, at Leggett, crossing the scenic south fork of the River Eel, and heading west to the coast. It zigzags south, following the rims of the deep gulches that slice into the land from the sea. The San Andrea Fault runs very close to the road between Point Arena and San Francisco. Near Bodge Head, a spur of land that juts out into the Pacific, Highway 1 reaches its highest altitude - about 600 feet (182m) - affording magnificent views across spray - shrouded headlands and mountains crowned with clouds.


State 1 is absorbed by US 101 to form the Golden Gate Freeway, which runs down to the famous bridge. Deep red, and rising 750 feet (227m), the majestic twin towers of the Golden Gate Bridge are one of America's most famous landmarks. From all directions the freeway affords splendid views, for San Francisco is as memorable basking in bright sunlight as it is cloaked in the fog that so often hangs low over the city. S.F. 's population is a melting pot of many ethnic groups - Africans, Europeans, Latin Americans and Asians and many ethnic characters such as the famous Chinatown.

Highway 1 splits again from US 101, and proceeds south, travelling through pleasant residential areas such as Richmond, Sunset, and Ingleside, before turning west to hug the coast once more.

Still clinging to the coast, the route rolls further southward, to the famous Monterey Bay area. This is a much sought after area in which to live with its warm-climate architecture and tree-lined streets. Attracting millions of visitors per year is the ultra-modern Monterey Bay Aquarium opened in 1984.  The Aquarium houses tanks 30 feet (9m) deep, with walls of transparent acrylic environments. One display even houses a shoal of small sharks and visitors can watch them being fed by divers.

Continuing south, Highway 1 curves around Monterey Bay towards Carmel by the Sea. The settlement of Carmel dates back to the 17770s.

The road continues ever southwards, now passing the great rock at point Sur, and travelling down the stretch of coastline known as Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.  Here, looking out across the shifting blue-grey surface of the Pacific Ocean you might see vertical spouts of water, blown by migrating whales that move up and down the coast.


The fantasy house was built by the rich newspaper magnate , Willian Randolph Hearst. Hearst Castle is definitely worth a visit, and is one of California's most famous tourist attractions. A number of different tours can be taken, which explore different parts of the house and estate. Buses collect visitors from the huge car park and take them up to the castle on the hill which its sprawl of associated buildings, swimming pools, intimate bowers and rolling ranch land.

Back on Highway 1, the road leaves the coast at the towering rock in Morro Bay. The road becomes double-laned until it touches the coast again briefly at Pismo Beach.  Thereafter  it winds through the attractive valleys around Lompoc, before joining US 101 again to run down the side of the Santa Ynez Mountains between Gaviota and Ventura. The small islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz can be seen hazily across the Santa Barbara Channel.


State 1 separates from US 101 at El Rio, and travels along the coast to the vast city of Los Angeles. With a population of over 3,5 million people, LA is America's second largest city after New York. However, LA City is only one city of many that form a continuously built up area that stretches for more than 60 miles (96km) along the coast from Malibu in the north to San Clemente in the south.

Los Angeles teems with life. It is the centre of the movie business, and many film stars live in the smart, bright mansions scattered in the wealthy areas of the megalopolis, like Brentwood and Bellaire.

At Los Angeles, Highway 1 comes to an end, having wound its way along some of the most varied and spectacular, scenery in America. It passes golden beaches fringed with scallop-shaped waves and rocky peninsulas battered by heaving surf.

There can be few roads in the world that encompass such a variety of natural and man-made attractions.


The California State Highway covers a distance of about 550 miles (880km). A section of interstate 5 also runs north from Los Angeles and being a more direct route, takes much of the traffic away from Highway 1, which is single-laned in parts.

Southern California is on the San Andreas fault and is subject to earthquakes. This occasionally affects traffic. The best information about road conditions can be obtained from any AAA office, which will also provide free maps to members.


The idea of the Romantische Straße was first conceived in 1950 to guide the tourist through many romantic little villages and towns of historical interest in the south of Germany. The road links the Bavarian Alps with the River Main, visiting places which were important in medieval times. (A wealth of castles and churches, mainly in the baroque style, can be seen along the way.)

The Romantische Straße begins at Füssen in the northern foothills of the Alps. The area was first inhabited by the Celts; they were followed by the Romans, who built an important road across the Alps to link Rome with the frontier of their empire on the Danube Today the stretch between Füssen and Augsburg follows the basic direction of the Via Claudia, the original Roman Road.

The two main attractions near Füssen are the castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. Standing right above the village of Schwangau, and reached by a steep walkway, Hohenschwangau was built in the 12th century and remodelled by Crown Prince Maximilian of Bavaria. There are fine view from the castle terraces, especially of the much photographed castle of Neuschwanstein. King Ludwig II. had the magnificent castle of Neuschwanstein built towards the end of the last century. A designer was worked on for over 17 years but was still not completed when Ludwig died!

The route now leads northwards, bypassing the small Bannwald See. A pleasant drive through attractive woodland leads towards Steingaden and then to Wies. There is a church situated it's called "Wieskirche"

From Wies is a short journey back to Kohlofen, where you turn right . Paaing several reservoirs of the Lech River, after 20 miles (32km) you reach the historically important town of Landsberg am Lech. A beautifully decorated gate, the "Bayerntor", forms the entry into the town. The tower gate was once part of the defence system of Landsberg. From the top you have an extensive view over the whole town. The main square, which is also the market place, is adorned by the graceful Marian Brunnen Fountain.

Leaving Landsberg for Augsburg, the road is flanked on one side by a plain, called the Lechfeld, and on the other side by the River Lech itself.


Its one of the oldest and most distinguished towns in Bavarian Swabia. Augsburg was founded by the Roman Emperor Augustus as a military camp about 15BC.

Augsburg has some remarkable buildings, starting with the Stadtpalast (town palace); although destroyed during the last war, it was rebuilt after the war. Donauwörth is the next town on the road.  Soon after Donauwörth the route turns left to Hamburg, and you will soon see its castle standing on a crag high above the road. The splendid setting of the castle attracts many painters, photographers and historians, and the lovely Wörnitz River winding around the town completes an idyllic scene. The road now takes you further along the romantic trail to the town of Nördlingen, where the original medieval town walls are still complete. You can walk all he way along the ramparts in a circle around the town, past five gates and 11 towers. The complete walk is about 2 miles (3km) long. Nordlingen is also the centre of a natural phenomenon, the Ries crater, Scientists set the rime of its formations at about 15 million years ago, when a meteorite struck the area.

the next point of call is the town of Dinkels Bühl, where you are joined again by the Wörnitz River. The Old town starts at the market place, which is dominated by the Deutsche Haus, one of the most impressive examples of half-timbered buildings. It now hosts a hotel and restaurant and is flanked by other old buildings, all characterised by the typical high gabled roof.

You will most likely leave the town through the Rothenburger Gate and continue through Feuchtwangen, a small attractive market town with large medieval burgher's houses on either side of its main square. few towns in Germany have been able to preserve their history and appearance so well as Rothenburg ob der Tauber. There are the famous Ratstrinkstube, which houses the clock and reminds citizens and visitors. The Rathaus stands next door to the famous tavern and shows a combination of the original Gothic and later Renaissance styles. The view from the top of the tower is especially fine, taking in the attractive buildings of the town centre and also the gentle valley of the Tauber River beyond.

Driving further along the Tauber trail brings you to the small town of Weikersheim, with the Schloß Weikersheim, originally a moated castle first mentioned in 1152. Continuing with the journey, after a few bends the road reaches  Bad Mergentheim, having left the state of Bavaria for a brief incursion into neighbouring Baden-Würtemberg. On the main square in Bad Mergentheim, known as the Deutschordensplatz, stands the castle of the Order of the German Knights.

The next stop is Tauberbischofsheim, with its attractive castle situated on a hill. Beautiful half-timbered houses stands at different angles to each other, not in line as is usual with other castle buildings. The mighty keep, the Türmersturm, is a massive round tower on one side of the castle yard, and its foundations date back to the 13th century.

From Tauberbischofsheim you return to the part of Bavaria known as Franconia, and its main centre, the town of Würzburg. Würzburg invites a longer stay, especially for those interested in history and architecture. In 1156 Friedrich I. Barbarossa married Beatrice of Burgundy in Würzburg and later increasing wealth brought famous artists to the town. Bombing raids at the end of World War II destroyed most of the town, but much of it has been painstakingly rebuilt.

The Marienkirche stands on a hill on the other side of the River Main.  Its Würzburg's main landmark. Near the church stands the Rathaus, which has functioned since 1316. There is also a former Carmelite convent; a delightful end to your journey along the Romantische Straße.


The central office for the Romantische Straße is at Dinkelsbühl, Marktplatz. This office also supplies a useful list of hotels, pensions and local inns at places en route, with prices in local currency (DM)

The Romantische Straße is about 220 miles (352km) long. The whole journey by private car should take about one week, depending on how many stopping places are selected. The best time to travel is in early spring or late September . Weekends and the summer season are busy and should be avoided whenever possible.


Stretching 4800 miles (7680km) across the second largest country in the world, the Trans-Canada Highway links the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, from St. John's, Newfoundland, in the east to Vancouver, British Columbia, in the west. Along the route are picturesque fishing towns, flat plains stretching as far as the eye can see, huge silent forests, the shores of lakes so large they are like inland seas, and the white-capped summits of the Rocky Mountains.

From a grassy knoll overlooking the colourful fishing boats of the attractive port of St. John's in Newfoundland, an unassuming road winds west away from the coast and into the rugged interior of the island province. This is the beginning of the great Trans-Canada Highway, a road that roams approximately 4800 miles across the southern part of Canada, linking the Atlantic Coast in the east with the Pacific Coast in the west. From the hilly coastal regions of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, it arrows across the great prairies of  Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta to the towering Rocky Mountains in British Columbia. It is the longest national highway in the world.

The first main road in Canada was the King's Way which was completed in 1737, and covered the 200 miles (320km) between Quebec and Montreal, a journey that is now included in the Trans-Canada.

It was not until 1949 that the Canadian government passed the act for a road that ran from coast to cost, linking the major cities, and in 1950 work began on a project that was to cost $CAN 1,4 billion.


The stretch of water separating Newfoundland from Nova Scotia is called the Cabot Strait, commemorating John Cabot. Buffeted by the Atlantic rollers, it is often choked with loose ice during the winter months. Despite this, the ferry between Channel-Port aux Basques and Sydney on Cape Brenton Island in Nova Scotia is open all year, linking the Newfoundland section of the Trans-Canada with the mainland.

Sydney is Nova Scotia's largest industrial city, becoming a major steel centre in the early 1900s.. From Sydney, Highway 105 meanders south, through St. Ann's and on across the bridge that spans the Straint of Canso, a narrow strip of sea that separates Cape Breton Island from the rest of Nova Scotia. Seasonal European fishermen took advantage of the rich fishing grounds around the coasts of Nova Scotia from 1500.

Once across the bridge, the Trans-Canada becomes Highway 104, heading west towards New Glasgow. After New Glasgow, the road heads south-west past Salmon River, noted for its tidal bores.

Continuing west the road winds and curves through hilly country watered by lakes and rivers shimmering bright blue among the trees.

After Fredericton the capital of New Brunswick and a lively town with a blossoming art scene, the Trans-Canada heads north along the Canada-US border through the drier, flatter and more fertile lands farmed in the 1870s by settlers from France. French is still spoken in these border lands.


(The first attempts by the French to settle along the St. Lawrence River were not successful, and it was not until 1608 that Quebec City was founded by Samuel de Champlain. ) Modern Quebec is a city where the old has been carefully preserved among the new.

After Quebec City, Highway 20 leads the way south-west to Montreal, where it passes under St. Lawrence River via a tunnel. Montreal is unquestionably French, and buildings such as the city hall in Place Jacques Cartier are modelled very much on Parisian architecture. Old Montreal itself comprises cobbled streets and squares lined with elegant 19th-century buildings, with cafés that spill out onto the pavements in the summer, giving the city its Continental atmosphere. After an afternoon absorbing the lively atmosphere of Old Montreal, you can take an evening cruise up the mighty St. Lawrence seaway to watch the sun set over the broad waters.


Leaving Montreal behind, the Trans-Canada follows the Ottawa River before cutting south and then west towards Ottawa in the province of Ontario. This is Canada's capital city.

Next the route crosses Ottawa. Ottawa is essentially English, a city based on finance.

After Ottawa, the Trans Canada offers a choice of routes. The older route , now Highway 7, travels west towards Peterborough and Toronto, Canada's largest city. /Toronto is an Indian word meaning meeting place, and in many ways it is the centre of English Canada. As in Montreal, the harbour area has been developed as a recreational area.

The new route Highway 17, follows the Ottawa River north-west towards North Bay and  Cochran. Ontario is often called the lade province, and both the northern and southern Trans-Canada routes pass hundreds of silent silver lakes, fringed with trees.


The Trans-Canada becomes Highway 1, which continues to Kamloops in British Columbia.  The road crosses the Lake of the Woods, and slices through the south-east corner of the Whiteshell Provincial Park, a region of beautiful jewel-like lakes and wooded slopes that is a popular recreational area for the residents of Winnipeg and nearby towns.

The road cuts straight across the vast prairies, which stretch in all directions, an endless blanket of uniformly coloured fields.

After Sioux Valley, through which the Assiniboine River flows, Highway 1 turns north-west towards Elkhorn, where the Manitoba Automobile Museum is situated. Crossing the border into Saskatchewan, the traveller is presented with yet more prairie, once roamed by buffalo and the nomadic Indian tribes who hunted them.


Highway 1 moves north-west, eventually taking you through the centre of Calgary. An influx of settlers occurred after 1883 when the Canadian Pacific Railway was copleted, and Calgary grew up as a trading centre for surrounding farms and ranches.  Once the outskirts of Calgary have been left behind, Highway 1 begins to climb towards the snow-capped Rocky Mountains and some of Canada's most spectacular scenery. Adjoining Banff is Yoho National Park. Tourists can enjoy a region of cascading water, silent valleys and glittering lakes.

The road continues to descend, passing Revelstoke with its impressive dam and Kamloops, before turning to run directly south to Hope. After Hope the road runs west towards the Pacific coast and Vancouver. Vancouver is an expanding city that has developed around one of the world's finest natural deepwater harbours.  There are still two Indian Reservations in Vancouver, belonging to the Musqueam and Capilano.

But the Trans Canada ends not in Vancouver but in Victoria, at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It is necessary to make another ferry journey and drive the last few miles to Beacon Hill Park, where the mighty highway ends.


·       The Canadian AAA provide motoring information for those wishing to travel the Trans-Canada Highway. The road is in excellent condition, but is single-laned in parts. Snow-ploughs keep the road clear in winter, but there can still be problems, especially in the Rockies.

·       At 60 miles per hour, the Trans-Canada takes about 80 hours of driving. Since there are sections where there are no buildings (including fuel stations) for many miles any journey should be planned carefully

·       For a detailed account the National Geographic book Travelling the Trans-Canada: From Newfoundland to British Columbia by William Howarth is very informative

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