Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Pandora’s Box For Winnie The Pooh – Winnipeg,Canada!

A port in yesteryears, harboring an overt interest for traders and colonialists, also renowned as the Canadian “Gateway to the West”, the city of Winnipeg lays its claim to a vast historical and cultural heritage enriching its existence through the years of antiquity, down to the present day. As the nucleus of a settlement belonging to traders from France, the city has retained its French temperament since, and hosts a gamut of festivals and carnivals with French overtones. However, inhabitants today prefer to be identified as Canadians, and have forfeited their immigrant status. Situated at the point of convergence of two rivers, the Assiniboine and the Red River of the North, the location is subsequently called “The Fork”, which is also emblematic of the divergent climatic conditions experienced throughout the year round with a record of extreme temperatures in summer and winter alike, and of the assorted recreational opportunities it offers. Having witnessed a European invasion and yet possessing traces of aboriginal indigenous culture, Winnipeg furnishes an amalgamation of varied cultural strands.

Cultural Festivals

As the largest city of Manitoba (Canada), and justly called the “cultural cradle of Canada”, it hosts the Festival du Voyageur (Festival of the Traveler), a ten daylong celebration in the month of February, and is attended by 100,000 people annually. Also interesting is the Winnipeg Friendship Festival, with idiosyncratic cartoon characters. It was initially termed as “Winnie the Pooh” festival in honour of the bear Winnipeg, after having inspired a book and a movie. Commendable and worth attention are other important events such as Winnipeg French Theatre Festival held in July, featuring over 140 theatre companies and staging of a thousand plays, musicals, comedy and dance. Sad would be to miss The Folklorama which is officiated in August, a multicultural event encompassing an array of attractions ranging from food to theatrical performances.

Sports and Recreational Opportunities: 

The city has an avid engagement with and enthusiasm for sports. It hosts hockey tournaments and is the native land to a host of worldly renowned teams. The list of in-house teams comprises of the Canadian Football Team League (Winnipeg Blue Bombers), the National Hockey League Team (Winnipeg Jets), and the American Baseball League Team (Winnipeg Goldeyes). Winnipeg also marshalled a number of large-scale events namely the Canadian Country Music Awards, Juno Awards, Grey Cup and Tim Hortons Brier, which pay homage to the city’s outstanding abilities of coordination and management as a host.

 Climate and Weather

A continental climate characterized by four distinct seasons, imparts Winnipeg with conditions favourable to all and every kind of traveler. Average temperatures range between -12 degrees Celsius (+10.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter months to +26 degrees Celsius (+78.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in the summertime. Due to its northern location, Winnipeg has the highest amount of sunlight and the highest several days with clear skies amongst other Canadian cities. It witnesses about 51.4 centimetres (20.2 inches) of precipitation and snowfall each year.

The ideal time to visit is July – August, when the temperature is moderate, with just the right amount of sunshine and the correct chill in the air. 

 Hotels and Lodging

Winnipeg furnishes 6,200 hotel rooms, out of which 2,600 are located in downtown. Lodging options include a gamut of choices - everything from chain hotels to quaint bed and breakfasts to low-cost options like hostels and universities. However, for a delightful stay and comfortable travel experience, following hotels are recommended:
  1. Place Louis Reil Suite Hotel, 190 Smith Street 
  2.  Fort Gary Hotel, 222 Broadway
  3.  Hilton Suites Winnipeg Airport, 1800 Wellington Avenue
  4.  Radisson Hotel Winnipeg Downtown, 288 Portage Avenue
  5.  Delta Winniepeg, 350 St. Mary Avenue
  6.  Four Points Hotel South Winnipeg, 2935 Pembina Highway
  7.  The Fairmont Winnipeg, 2 Lombard Place
  8.  Humphry Inn and Suites Winnipeg, 260 Main Street
  9.  Inn at the Forks, 75 Forks Market Road
  10.  Comfort Inn Airport Winnipeg, 1770 Sargent Avenue
These are rated amongst the top 30 of the 57 hotels in Winnipeg, and are wont to ensure a delectable travelling interlude.

Major Attractions:

Winnipeg can boast of an entire panorama of exciting places to see and incredibly electrifying things to do. Offering a galore of site-seeing options, ranging from picturesque parks and urban forests, charming river promenades to pastoral picnics beneath the trees, the city becomes an ideal choice of holiday destination for people who love to do and explore. Once there, the itinerary should include the following:
  1.  Adrenaline Adventures, 600 Caron Road- An adventure park, aptly named, with thrilling rides and a recently-launched cable snowboarding park. A treat for kids, and a pleasure for adults, the park is functional in summer and winter.
  2.  Assiniboia Downs, 3975 Portage Avenue – For those with an itch for speed and a need for adventure, the horse racing tracks here offer a complete cathartic experience! With great entertainment and a lavish buffet, your day is sure to reach the highest levels of indulgence.
  3.  Burton Cummings Theater, 364 Smith Street- A theatre for performing arts, an adequately spaced hall meant for providing the ultimate comfort while you enjoy your favorite band play or the treasured theatre group act.
  4.  Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Perimeter Tours, The Forks- Ranked number one amongst the 55 major attractions in Winnipeg, the place is a revered historical site and is surrounded by shops with souvenirs on display, eateries and food stalls to give your taste buds the first stirrings of Canadian food. Live music and other regional band performances are a few embellishments to consider here.
  5.  Celebrations Dinner Theater, 1824 Pembina Highway- Live performances and delicacies go hand in glove here, enjoy your food and a theatrical performance simultaneously. Renders quite bland the run-down popcorn-movie combination.
  6. Apart from these, Winnipeg’s nightlife bespeaks of its metropolitan culture and urban underpinnings, the city is bustling with energy even in the wee hours of dawn, with people grooving to medleys and Dj-track songs, with a myriad of pubs and lounge bars promoting live bands and performances.
For a time of a lifetime, Winnipeg emerges as the new and upbeat choice of a vacation destination. With its warm culture, enthusiastic nerve for sports and leisure and its innate hospitality, the city offers the best travel experience ever. The range of options available for sight-seeing and the imperative things-to-do list makes it possible for the city to exhume an authentic Canadian zephyr.Be there!

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