Day Eleven – More stunning scenes than you can poke a Mountie at…

Apologies for the tardiness in blog posts. We are all pretty knackered by the end of the day and laziness creeps in. So now we are playing catch-up.

Day 11 of our Canada trip saw us saying goodbye to Jasper and hello to the beautiful Lake Louise, Banff and Canmore.

We decided against waiting around in Jasper to ride the Jasper SkyTram to the summit as it opened at 10am and we figured it would put us too far behind for the rest of the day. So we packed up the car, checked out of our Jasper hotel and made our way back down the Icefields Parkway towards Banff. The weather was slightly kinder today – still overcast, but with more breaks in the weather, revealing stunning blue skies. What a difference this makes to the colours of the mountains!! It was like seeing them again for the first time, so we took advantage of some of the pull-over areas along the highway to take some happy snaps.

Ange was driving today and got quite emotional at all the stunning scenery (who wouldn’t, right?). Beautiful snow-capped peaks framing literally every corner in the road. And just when you thought you had seen it all, Mother Nature turned it on again with the next corner. No words …

We decided to re-create our jump shots at the Athabasca Glacier, much to the bewilderment of other tourists stopping to take in the scenery.

There had been fresh snow overnight and it was a LOT colder than the day before. In fact, it was sleeting tiny pellets of ice when we got there – cue the full winter gear!

After freezing our bits off it was back into the car. We only got 1-2 kilometres down the road before having to stop for yet more glorious scenery.

We later pulled in at Bow Summit, one of the highest points along the Parkway. Plenty of ice and snow, which meant the top carpark was closed to traffic. That meant a walk up the icy (and slippery) road to the top car park, then a walk down a small track (also super icy) to the viewing point.

And wow, what a view!!

The blue water of Peyto Lake is just stunning and stands out so starkly from the snow-covered mountains and trees that surround it. After pausing to admire the natural beauty of this place, we made our way back down the hill, to find Jenn (who decided against the walk up the hill) had made a snowman. Heaps for fun for a gal seeing snow for the first time this trip!

Next stop was Lake Louise! Yet another stunningly beautiful place to admire, with the lake stretching from the foot of the Fairmont Chateau to a glacier, and still fairly busy given it is the off-season (between Summer and the Winter ski season). We walked most of the way up the Lakeshore walk before calling it a day due to the fading light.

From Lake Louise, it’s only around 45 minutes to Banff.

Kristyn needed to find a Mountie-themed gift and surprisingly, there is a 24-hour Canadian souvenir shop in Banff (because who knows when you will have a 2am souvenir emergency, right?). Others in our team also used this as an excuse to stock up on Canada-themed merchandise, before deciding to go to a nearby Mexican place for dinner.

After dinner, we trundled the 20 minutes down the road to our hotel in Canmore and pulled up stumps for the evening.

Tomorrow is our much-anticipated helicopter flight over the Rockies, high tea at Lake Louise and onward to Kamloops. Our holiday is fast coming to an end!!

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