When our Saab 340 turboprop landed in Churchill, the captain switched off cabin lights, and the world around us turned pitch black.
Churchill is a remote town in northern Manitoba, on the west shore of Hudson Bay – the second-largest bay in the world.
It has about 800 residents – most of which aboriginal.
Hunting, trapping and fishing is still an important activity among the locals.
A giant grain elevator stood by the bay, serving as a reminder that until recently, Churchill was Canada’s only seaport on the Arctic Ocean.
There is an Eskimo Museum in town, with a good collection of over 850 Inuit carvings on display.
Outside, this vast and empty landscape bestows a desolated beauty.
I traveled here early November
in hopes of seeing polar bears in their natural habitat.
These majestic animals gather in this part of the Hudson Bay every autumn, waiting for the sea ice to form, so that they could go seal-hunting all winter long. (click here to find out if I actually saw any polar bears)
Note: There are no roads into Churchill. The only ways to get there is by train or airplane. Two small airlines offer daily flights from Winnipeg: First Air and Calm Air. A round trip ticket could easily cost more than $1000. Train travel takes 45 hours and costs half as much. If you are lucky you will encounter a Caribou migration or catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.
P.S. Canada is turning 150 this year. I am dedicating my first travel post of the year to our beautiful neighbor this great nation.