20 Romantic Experiences: Go One Better than a Teddy Bear

 

It’s hard to imagine a world without teddy bears, but in fact the history of the toys only goes back as far as the early 1900s. At the time, President Theodore Roosevelt had become associated with the animals after a hunting incident in which he refused to shoot a captured American black bear, and soon afterwards a toymaker from New York created a stuffed bear he labelled ‘Teddy’s Bear’. Across the pond, a German company had designed a similar toy, and soon the craze for the bears took off as both a children’s toy and eventually a collector’s item for adults. When and how they became popular as a love token is unknown, but each year, thousands are given away as Valentine’s gifts.

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But who wants a soft toy replica, when you can encounter the real thing? Bear watching (the highlight of a trip to our luxury eco lodge in British Columbia, the Great Bear Lodge) is an experience that is as thrilling as it is awe-inspiring, being in close proximity to the powerful jaws and terrible claws and watching in wonderment (from a respectful distance, of course) as they get put to use fishing for salmon. With tours led by wildlife biologists and an enviable location at the heart of the Great Bear Rain Forest, it’s no wonder that National Geographic lauded them as one of the best adventure travel companies on earth.

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The fully self-contained floating lodge (accessible by seaplane only) accommodates just sixteen guests at a time, ensuring maximum peace and privacy during your stay. The luxury eco lodge in Canada is wind and solar powered, with spacious natural wood decks and a wilderness gourmet menu. Bear watching follows the lodge’s policy of minimal impact and invasion, carried out through effective (if somewhat unconventional) viewing options like the lodge’s yellow schoolbus, which transports guests to custom hides, or boat trips to watch the animals when they congregate on the shore. Watching from the boat, the silence stretching all around you, as each bear demonstrates its unique fishing style and the river flows past cool and clear, is the kind of memory you’ll want to put away and keep, then take out and turn over and over through the years. Much like a well-loved teddy, you might say.

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