Aw, we're in Canada, ey!
Trip Start Aug 27, 2010
106Trip End Ongoing
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We collected our hire car and were on our way into the stunning mountains. They've had a particularly severe winter over here (hasn’t everyone? Well, apart from us that is who haven’t seen any sign of winter since February 2010) so there was still plenty of snow on all of the mountains. And I tell you what...I was bloomin' freezing! One hoodie just wasn't enough!
We started off in Banff which is an immaculate mountain town, big for skiing in the winter and also popular with hikers and Japanese tourists in the summer. We spent a day doing a couple of small hikes near to the town and got our first glimpse of some Canadian wildlife - a Caribou, which isn’t to be mistaken with a Moose although neither Craig nor I could tell the difference.
We then headed five hours north to Jasper via Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Lake Agnes. Moraine Lake was beautiful and we were tempted to hire a boat for a couple of hours there but were pretty unused to the Canadian prices. So we saved our pennies and opted for the free walks instead :)
Lake Louise was absolutely stunning and we were blessed with gorgeous sunshine on that day. We decided to do the hike up to Lake Agnes to visit the highest teahouse in Canada and had the great pleasure of paying ten bucks for the smallest bowl of soup you’ve ever seen. But the tea was gooooood and the views were fantastic :) I also managed to bump into a couple from Sutton Coldfield at the top of the trail...small world, ey? (Ey, being the typical Canadian greeting which we were just loving doing impressions of!) The scenery was absolutely gorgeous for the whole hike and it was good to get out and get some exercise.
After Lake Louise, we headed to spend a couple of nights in Jasper, or rather, in Hinton, which is an hour outside of Jasper as all of the accommodation in Jasper was either full or way too expensive! In Hinton we soon learnt that there are indeed parts of Canada that aren’t straight out of a Swiss Fairy tale. It’s a less than charming little town consisting of one main road dotted with MacDonalds, Denny’s, Subway and Jack in the Box. It also seems to be where most of the long haul truckers pitch up for the night so we certainly had a few characters floating around the hotel.
Jasper was gorgeous though and we took a drive out to Malign Lake which wasn’t quite as stunning as Louise and Moraine but beautiful none the less. The most exciting part of this trip though was that we encountered our first bear! It was just chilling at the side of the road as all the tourists crowded around to take pictures. It was quite something.
After this, we hit the road again and drove quite a way, on route to Whistler, stopping at a quaint coffee shop in the middle of nowhere where we got chatting to the locals who helped us plan our USA roadtrip.