Monday, September 5, 2016

Over-the-top-beauty or...

Banff National Park

First project after a slow start was to see Lake Louise – a must on anyone’s trip through the Canadian Rockies and one of the main reasons for our prolonging the Alaskan Cruise to take in Banff and Jasper in Canada before flying to our respective homes.

Weather was closed in and rainy as we arrived – totally unprepared of course. I happened to mention ponchos, which reminded my brother that he had a couple of throw-away ones in his pocket so well-armed against the weather with two one-use plastic ponchos and one umbrella for the three of us – off we went.

The weather steadily improved so I just had to hike to the end of the lake (1.1 km) where I took a few pictures including one of a very pesky squirrel and picked up a few more rocks.

Upon our return we needed lunch: In the Fairmont Château there was a lovely restaurant with views and an adequate menu so we reserved a table (half hour wait). Meanwhile we also checked the deli and it wasn’t anything so in the end, being hungrier than the waiting time, we went down to the Saloon. Good choice as we got Portobello mushroom burgers with sweet potato fries – and all loved our meal. No need for the view as we had hiked it.

Declined desert but waited for the Occitane store to re-open. Once in, I discovered that they contribute to the well-being of women in Burkina Faso (who provide the shea nuts for shea butter, only picking those that have fallen on the ground). Took photos of the explanations in the hope that I can find out more especially about the French man who started it as my older son’s Master’s project was in Burkina Faso and I currently am godmother to two girls studying there through a lovely Swiss association: Kaicedra.
From the top of Lake Louise looking back towards the Fairmont Chateau Hotel

End of Lake Louise

Lake Louise as seen from the Fairmont Chateau
The Fairmont Chateau
Returning in the direction of our hotel we first went to Johnston Canyon (and hiked to the Lower Falls) then pulled out overlooking the Vermillion Lakes, a riparian wetlands, and an area that has been returned to its natural state and one of my favorite mountains - Rundle a very sharp slate one that I loved– and yet another cheeky squirrel.
Johnston Canyon

Vermillion Lakes - Banff, Canada's first national park - 1885

Vermillion Lakes

Mount Rundle - a classic thrust fault mountains

Believe it or not we even needed dinner and upon our return to Banff we ate at the Balkan (Greek) and had a fabulous meal.

A long, but over-the-top beautiful day jam-packed with scenery, mountains, rivers, lakes and pesky squirrels.