05.08.2012 - 08.08.2012 30 °C
G'Day everyone from Canmore (Just outside Banff in the Canadian Rockies)
Since our last blog on Sat, we have been very busy looking around Vancouver and then on the train to Jasper for 24 hours (no Wi Fi here) and finally driven to Canmore where I am sending this, so back to Vancouver.............
Sun 5th August 2012 day 23
The day dawned again sunny and clear and after a nice Sunday lie in and after brekky it was a short walk to downtown Vancouver where the annual Pride Day march was to commence at 12 noon. Pride day is our equivalent of our Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, our host at the B and B suggested we watch the march from Robson St so down we went. Very unusual as it started at noon, and to say we saw some very interesting people and sights would be an understatement indeed !!!!!!!!!!!!
After an hour or so and the tempeture rising to above 30 deg, we walked 30 mins to Stanley Park, the huge urban park surrounded by the harbour and ocean, and jumped on the trolly bus for a tour around the park. After an hour, we headed back to our digs to collect our bages and head to the station for our overnight journey to Jasper on "The Canadian". We decided to check our bags in early and head up the road to the "London Pub" for a few well earned refreshments and dinner as this was not provided on the train, as we had a 8-30pm departure.
Boarding time finally arrived, and it was into unchartered waters as we did not know what to expect regarding sleeping arrangements etc, we were quickly settled in by our hostess Emily and then by Natalie our bar and drinks attendant. Not much rocking required tonight..........
Mon 6th August 2012 day 24
An early start for brekky after a very good sleep on the train and arrived at Kamloops. After a 4 hour delay in Kamloops (problems with the water supply in the first 3 carriages) we headed off towards Jasper and the famed Canadian Rockies.
After lunch, we finally started our journey through the mountains, and we sat mesmerised in the glass roof dome carriage all afternoon, passing alongside raging rivers (they have had heaps of rain in the last few weeks) waterfalls and snow/ice topped craggy peaks.
We were due into Jasper at 4pm but after our delay we arrived 8pm after nearly 24 hours on the train, and walked to our digs, then down to the pub for dinner and drinks at 9-30pm to be greeted by barman Alec, a bloke from the Gold Coast, we chatted to him for a while and he said that it can get to minus 45 during winter in Jasper - cant believe it can so cold.......................
Tues 7th Aug 2012 day 25
Another beautiful day, clear and sunny, and after brekky, Trevor and I walked back to the station to collect our rental car.
After consulting with our hosts we set out to tour the local district, seeing such sights as Athabasca Falls, Edith Cavell glacier, Maligne Canyon, (the road to Maligne lake was closed due to massive mud slides) and then onto Jasper Lodge Country Golf Club, wher Pierre checked out the pro shop and had his photo taken on the first tee, and of course bought a shirt as well. Also wandered through the resort and and then into the shops and walked around, booked ouselves in for dinner, dropped the car home and walked back later. Anne and I had the best steaks and afterwards walked home at 10-15pm in the broad daylight (amazing).
Wed 8th Aug 2012 day 26
Leaving Jasper at 8-30 we commenced our journey south towards Banff on the fabled Icefields Parkway. I have seen it written that this is the best and most beautiful drive in the world, and after today I have to agree.
I cant find the words to describe it, but here are a few - mountains peaks covered by ice and snow, glaciers, raging rivers, waterfalls charging through narrow canyons, blue lakes, Douglas Fir trees everywhere, rocky mountain outcrops, - the camera again in meltdown mode, and all of this before reaching Lake Louise and Banff. A most stunning day indeed. We reached Lake Louise around 3ish in the arvo and as it was very busy we decided to continue to our digs in Canmore some 70 k's south and return first thing tomorrow.
After checking in to the Stella Alpina B and B we are finally back onto the internet...................
We have 3 nights here, tomorrow Lake Louise and Fri checking out Banff etc. Our hosts have also suggested a few local drives in the local area, which takes us past Engadine Lodge..........might have to have a few photos here..
Still having the best time, Trevor, Anne , Leonie and me are in excellent health, have not had a thing go wrong and now in the living room in our digs................the only thing depessing is that the trip is fast coming to an end...............till next time.
Love Pierre and Leonie
Canmore 5-30pm 8th Aug