O Canada

5 Aug

I always feel a breath of fresh air when I come to Canada and this trip is that and so much more.  We are in Banff National Park.  It was Canada’s first national park and wow is it gorgeous.  Lots of photos in this post and it will kind of be a “best of” of what we’ve seen so far, which is only 2 days.

So let’s get started.  It takes a bit of doing to get here.  Up at 4:30am for a 6:30 flight to Montreal, connect to Calgary on a tight connection, get the rental car and make the 2.5 hour drive.  We arrive at Lake Louise at 3:30pm Mountain Time.  First we must learn the name game…  Banff is the national park and is also the town.  Lake Louise is a lake and also a town.  Things can get confusing.

First, the lake.  It is gorgeous, with turquoise water, ringed by huge mountains and yes, glaciers.


I don’t think any photos do it justice but suffice it to say that most people drive up, take a photo and leave.  Ridiculous.  The first thing we did was to hike the Plains of the Six Glaciers trail.


We walked to the end of the lake, about 2 km (we are in metric land), and then up up up. About halfway to the glacier Marci was in the mountains, in the snow, and in her glory.  After going up about 4 km we reached the prize…the Six Glaciers Tea House…it’s a thing, ok?

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After tea and chocolate cake we went back down down down to the shoreline of Lake Louise.


After lunch on Day 1 it was time to take a drive to find the Takakkaw Falls.  Just a short hike in and we came upon this beauty.  I happen to love waterfalls.


By 5 we had 2 hikes in and we were tired.  So it was time for cocktails, and around here sunset is at 9:30 so a lovely late dinner and we retired.

Today it was up early to visit Emerald Lake.


How about that?!  But even better, we grabbed a canoe and went exploring in to the nooks and crannies of the turquoise shoreline.


A lovely and relaxing hour on the lake and we were back on the trail for another hike.  You might think my wife is trying to kill me, and I wasn’t entirely sure until she tried to push me off the edge into a massive whirlpool long the Kicking Horse River.


Fortunately I held on, pulled myself back onto the trail and made it to a tasty lunch of Alberta beef burgers at TrufflePigs restaurant.  This afternoon another hike, this time to the Wupta Falls.


Another beautiful spot.  If you get the feeling that there are lots of mountains, glaciers, aquamarine lakes and rivers, and that the place is just gorgeous, you’d be right.

Our last full day is tomorrow and we will drive north for more beauty.  Wednesday to Vancouver and I’ll post again then.


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