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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

First Nation Travel in Canada: Discover Kamloops in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Have you ever heard about Kamloops in Western Canada? Those eager explorers among you may have heard of the “city at the confluence” as a central point of the VIA Rail train service passing between Vancouver and Jasper, a particularly beautiful track through the western Rocky Mountains. But Kamloops deserves more than just to be known as a “stop in transit”. Let me tell you why this is so, especially for those of you wanting to explore the local (native) cultural and foodie scene.

 

Kamloops, that’s many centuries of cultural traditions whose fascinating landscapes and history only wait to be discovered by you.

Kamloops and the Shuswap region are located on the territory of the Secwepemc Nation. In addition to learning more about the native people of this part of Canada, our visit here entails some of the newest breweries, restaurants and cafes in the heart of Kamloops. The word Kamloops is the English translation of the Shuswap word Tk’emlúps, which means “where the rivers meet”. The “city at the confluence” has been home to the Tk’emlupsemc, the “people of the confluence“, for many centuries.

First of all, I can recommend you to go and see Secwepemc Museum & Heritage Park, where the likes of you curious travellers can learn more about the lifestyle and culture of the Secwepemc Nation. Legends of the Secwepemc people, historical photos, artefacts and hiking trails through the Heritage Park on the banks of the South Thompson River: The archaeological remains of a 2000 year old winter village with an ethnobotanical garden and traditional Secwepemc plants are guaranteed to leave you spellbound!

Im rekonstruierten Wintergrubenhaus staunen wir nicht schlecht über die Fertigkeiten der einst hier ansässigen Stämme und Völker.

Traditional mounds of houses give witness to settlement many centuries, even millennia past.

 

Further outside the city and museum, near the Black Iron Restaurant at Tobiano Golf Resort, we learn more about native plants and their importance for the people living here.

A little further afield, near the Black Iron Restaurant at Tobiano Golf Resort, we learn more about native plants and their importance for the people living here …

 

... unser Guide Frank Antoine

… our guide Frank Antoine, of “Moccasin Trails”, takes us all the way to “Balancing Rock” …

… the very rock being a natural and cultural monument in the unique landscape around Kamloops. From here, you have undisturbed views of the famous “inverted tree line” of the region and the “stone carved Hoodoos“, bizarre rock formations of this semi-arid desert at the transition from higher mountain regions to drier lowlands. Balancing rocks in the Thompson Okanagan region serve local First Nations peoples as territorial boundaries, Frank tells us. Linked to the legend of the coyote, these natural markers each have their own history (check out more here through the website of Aboriginal British Columbia).

Die vielen "Naturdenkmale" in dieser eigentümlichen Landschaft, sowie ihre Legenden und Geschichten, faszinieren mich.

All those “natural monuments”, such as this particular tree here, clearly visible from afar, are what I love recalling from our visit that day.

 

Canoeing on the Thompson River: Frank Antoine, of “Moccasin Trails”, is our naturally-born storytelling hero.

Frank is a local storyteller, historian and naturalist. Soon enough, we find ourselves hanging on his lips. All his knowledge, ideas and skills are skilfully packed into his indigenous enterprise called “Moccasin Trails“, their website is really worth the extra look. Paddling gently down Thompson River, we enjoy footprints of the animal kingdom and take in the peaceful, natural surroundings. All while Frank tells us more about the myths and legends of his people, the Secwepemc First Nation.

Los geht's Frank ...

Off we go, listening to Frank during our canoe tour …

 

... machen ein traditionelles "Offering" (Gabe an den Fluss) für die sichere Überfahrt und Weiterreise ...

… making a traditional offering for safe passage and remembering our ancestors …

 

... und danken Frank für die spannende Tour mit seinem einzigartigen "Bear Canoe"!

… and enjoy the particularly unique “bear canoe” Frank has brought along!

 

Also his musical performance impresses us together with the legends and customs of the First Nations indigenous people of Canada told here.

His musical skills impress us just as much, continuing the legends and customs of the First Nations indigenous people of Canada.

 

Last but not least, here are some foodie tips for exploring the city of Kamloops for you.

Must-Eat: Breakfast at the (nomen est omen) Hello Toast: THE breakfast place of the locals! Hello Toast offers a comfortable environment to relax and enjoy; among all the local guests we really feel at home. Besides almost everything else, they also have vegan and vegetarian options. I choose the popular breakfast classic “Eggs Benedict”: Delicious.

 

The Noble Pig Brewhouse is a local favourite too – casual convenience food meets refined craftsmanship and delicious homemade beer (read more about why I was only allowed to taste the non-alcoholic beer here)! Be sure to try their fried pickles. Really strange I must say, but good!

Ich mag das "Noble Pig" von Anfang an: Selbst bei Einrichtungsdetails wie Lampen wird auf regionale Zugehörigkeit geachtet ...

I do like the “Noble Pig” and all there is: Have you seen the lamp hanging from the ceiling?! A wonderful detail in a restaurant.

 

... als Hauptspeise wähle ich eine der beliebtesten Speisen hier: Das Pulled Pork Sandwich ...

As for main course, a classic here: The Pulled Pork Sandwich …

 

... der junge Bierbrauer, welcher direkt hinter dem Lokalbereich arbeitet, unterhält uns zudem mit sämtlichen Biergeschichten rund um das "Noble Pig Brewhouse" ...

And this young brewmaster is there to answer all our questions about brewing locally, at the “Noble Pig Brewhouse” …

 

... auch das "Terra" Restaurant mit seiner Möglichkeit zur Verkostung der Weine aus British Columbia ...

If, like me, you are a #winelover, check out “Terra” restaurant with their options for organising a British Columbia wine tasting …

 

... bietet gerade zum Abendessen köstliche, regionale und saisonale Gerichte.

… delicious local dinner options here too.

 

The "Riverside Heritage Park" at the lower end of the city centre offers ways to relax: Here you can go for a walk and let your thoughts drift around the manifold experiences in Kamloops.

The “Riverside Heritage Park”, at the lower end of the city centre finally, offers many ways to relax: Go for a walk, let your thoughts drift and relive the many different experiences you can have in and around Kamloops.

 

Wunderschön hier, nicht wahr?

Beautiful, isn’t it?

 

Check out even more pictures about Kamloops in the Rocky Mountains here:

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by “Destination Canada” & “Tourism Kamloops” on this culture trip to Kamloops and around. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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