It was my last day in Canada for this trip. I had been on the beautiful prairies, down rivers and up in the air. However, I had one day to get in and amongst the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I just had to get there and see, yes, one day is so not enough but I could treat it as a recce and wet the appetite to come back. And, Crikey! .. Yes I will be back. The things I saw and felt, in just a few hours, on one day, in just a small part of the area has given me a longing wish to head back and get out for days on foot.
Banff National Park was established in 1885 and was the first national park of Canada. An area I can confidently state as absolute beauty. Where should I start? Well many had told me about a couple of lakes beyond imagination, so off to the waters edges I headed.
First up… Moraine Lake. Any of you that have been there will know what I mean when I say you just have to go.. stand.. on.. that.. spot! It was early, thankfully had missed the mad rush for the crowds wanting to take the pic. Sitting there, the sun still hidden behind the mountains, the first rays hitting the trees opposite on the valley. A moment I felt very very lucky indeed.
Looking at the pics it is not hard to see why it is called The Valley of The Ten Peaks. Ten very prominent peaks lining the valley above the gorgeous blue waters of the lake created by glacial waters coming down.
What next? Well of course time for another magnificent lake. Lake Louise, and another fine sight. A lot more bustle going on around here due to the large and grand hotel. Walk around the edge, find a quiet spot.. and sit, relax. Emerald colours again strike the eyes as you look across the water. The rocks high above grinded by glaciers create a rock flour that comes down river and is held suspened in the water of the lakes. Light helps do the rest for the effect. There are hikes high and/or along for miles and miles here. Some restricted for sole hiking due to grizzly bears but having listened to experts and read advice I would more than happily set off with friends out into some amazing landscapes. Why even the squirrels love to photobomb lakeside shots here as many of you will remember.
The things to see/do grows much and vastly beyond lakesides. Why not take dinner in Lake Louise Railway Station? Yes an old railway station that was part of the Canadian Pacific Railway Line. The line that has helped shape Banff and the area into the popular, and rightly popular place we see today.
Or you can take a view of the area from way up and up.. The Lake Louise Gondola. Quite lazy for me to sit down up a mountain but wanted to squeeze these views in The ride up to the viewpoint is one of the most common ways people get to see grizzly bears in the wild. I was unfortunate not to see one, this is their turf, and wild creatures don’t appear on demand. Plus. The aim was to get up to the view, and a magnificent view. A final look over the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise nestled in the middle of the panoramic before me. Deep breaths and time to reflect.
I want to go back, I shall go back. Exploration of this place deserves to be done on many levels.
And for a calm, relaxing, homely overnight rest we had had the delights of Buffalo Mountain Lodge. Wood burning stone fireplace, king size beds and a patio with views like this…..