Following the festivities in Edmonton, we rented a car (a "Malibu") and drove down the highway into Canada's beautiful Rocky Mountains. We had some stunning weather along the way, this is a truly beautiful part of the world.
Our first day consisted of the drive from Edmonton to Jasper. Along the way we visited the Maligne Canyon and did a lovely walk alongside the canyon.
We ended the day at the town of Jasper, a small mountain community, and had a bite to eat for dinner... I tried the Bison Burger. The next day was probably the most spectacular of our trip through the Rockies. We started up with a drive to Mt Edith Cavell, just outside Jasper where we did a walk with some great views of the not one, but three glaciers on the mountain. Firstly, the spectular hanging Angel Glacier, then the Cavell Glacier and the Ghost Glacier. We really enjoyed the walk, even getting up close to glacial pond and hunks of ice lying on the edge.
Left: The Angel Glacier, Right: the magnificent Athabasca Falls
Right: The Snocoach which we took onto the Glacier.
The next day we travelled further south into the Banff National Park. Banff is probably a bit more touristy, and feels a little less remote than the Jasper National Park. This is where many of the big tourist sites are - Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Peyto Lake, and yet more mountains. The weather was not quite as nice this day, a little overcast, and I remember it as the day I first noticed how many mosquitos there were in the mountains...
Peyto Lake is one of those spectacular sites on the way to Banff. The lake is an extraordinary colour blue and set in amongst the trees and mountains makes it one of the most beautiful lakes I've seen. Must be why the mozzies like it too - I felt like I was on the menu while I was up at the lookout. We also got to see some pretty alpine flowers on the way up. The rest of the day was spent at the other big lakes - first Lake Louise and then Moraine Lake, both of which were pretty outstanding despite the less than perfect weather you can see in the photos. I particularly liked Moraine lake, and the famous 'Ten dollar note view' which was printed on the old Canadian $10 notes. We rounded out the afternoon with a visit Johnston Canyon, another impressive canyon with water rushing through at magnificent speed. That night we stayed at Canmore, a little further on the Banff.
Canmore was a great place to stay, and we had a really comfortable room there, with great breakfasts!! Canmore is about 20mins from Banff, and outside the national park. Near Sydney in the Blue Mountains National Park, there is a formation called the Three Sisters. Canmore has it's own version which towers over the town, as you can see above. It was also in Canmore that we first got into the Canadian trend that is Tim Hortons - donuts and all kinds of goodies.