Saturday 15th August 2015 - Banff National Park

August 14, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Had a fairly good night waking several times but not really waking up until 6 am which was good. Went down to breakfast at 7 as we were being picked up at 8 for a full day excursion to Lake Louise.  D had an omelette with potatoes and toast and juice, J had porridge.

On the coach at 8, but unfortunately it was cold and very wet. There had been thunderstorms again from 5:00 am but this had stopped and was now followed by heavy rain. We drove along Bow Valley Parkway and stopped at Johnston Canyon where we got absolutely soaked.  We dried out a bit in the gift shop (as did everyone else) before re-boarding the coach and continuing along BVP.  We next stopped at Morant’s Curve which is where lots of the publicity photos for the Rocky Mountaineer are taken where we took a few photos – thankfully the rain had eased a bit.

Cold and Wet

 

We then arrived at the Lake Louise area but first drove up to Moraine Lake – named so because it the lake is plugged by a huge pile glacial moraine.  D and the rest of the party clambered up the moraine pile while J stayed at lake level.  The views and colours of the water were stunning from the top of the pile. J walked along the side of the lake and very quickly came to the point where trecking can only be done in groups of 4 because of the threat of bears! Still wet and cold – the temperature today was 8 degrees C.

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

We then went on to Lake Louise; Moya and David loved this but maybe because it was wet and cold, we preferred the other two lakes we say today. Lake Louise is very beautiful but is v touristy. Had lunch at the Deli Restaurant at Chateau Louise (another expensive Fairmont hotel), then a quick look around the shops before having a wander around the lake. The back on the coach, driving along the Trans-Canada Highway, through Banff-Yoho National Park and along the Great Divide.

Back on the coach, J a bit fed up by now as it is so cold and wet and such an outdoors holiday so far. Drive to the Railway spiral tunnels, built to stop runaway trains from crashing on the Big Hill. Built in a figure of 8 to reduce the gradient experienced by the trains. We will be travelling through the tunnel tomorrow on the Rocky Mountaineer.

We then went to Emerald Lake which was very still.

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake

Finally we stopped by an incredible whirlpool – and natural bridge created by the water.

Whirlpool

Whirlpool

Natural Arch

Natural Arch

Back to the hotel where we wrote up the daily journals and had showers before going out.  J bought a North Face fleece in case the cold weather continues. Had supper at an Italian / Swiss restaurant. Shared a salmon starter and then D had Elk Osso Bucco and J had veal ravioli, both very good. The elk melted in the mouth.

Back to the hotel to pack; the luggage will be collected at 6:15 tomorrow to go the Rocky Mountaineer and we will be collected at 7:20.  Breakfast on the RM! Can’t wait for this bit of the holiday.


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