We decided that a hostel charging $8 + tax for an omelette was ludicrous, so we drove down the road and we found a pastry shop. I pretty much ate croissants the whole stay.
From there we travelled to Lake Louise, we paid a fortune for a three day pass and drove around the car parks for half hour cursing the RVs for taking up four spaces.
After parking up, we made our way to the lake. Heaving with tourists but astonishing nonetheless. The water really is that turquoise as on the photos, shrouded by a large mountain range, still snow capped, fog circling their summits.
We began our trek up the Six Glaciers range, where, at the top, over 6km walk, there is a tea house. No problem. We take in the views of barren, to pine, waterfalls and snow, as we chat away putting the world to rights.
We were told this was the easiest walk… well, hours passed, and we’re starting to see mirages of tea houses. We start to lose our rag at this point, the weather goes from very cold to roasting, so the fleece keeps getting taken off, putting back on. I honestly don’t think I’ve worked so hard when walking!
We eventually got there, and if I had the energy I’d have jumped for joy. The tea house is a wood log cabin on stilts, with no electricity and few amenities. The menu was limited because they had so few mod. cons. The menu was full of preservatives and stuff they can make from scratch.My choice was the peanut butter and jam sandwich (it makes me happy that Canadians still call jam ‘jam’, as opposed to Americans who call jam ‘jelly’). It was a pleasant surprise actually – I was expecting it to be horrible.
I shan’t go in to too much detail here, but after such a long walk we needed to use the loo… dear oh dear. The toilet was one of these long drops, reminiscent of the opening scene of Slumdog Millionaire. A stench and sight that will live with me for a long time.
Our journey down took far less time. We made sure to walk across that last bit of snow we saw on the way up, too.
Afterwards, we drove to Banff town which is a good 40 minutes out. On the way we discovered two moose munching away on the road side. The town is picturesque, perfect. Very touristy but not in a Blackpool sort of fashion. It’s town centre is a strip of shops and restaurants built of stone and wood clad, nestled in a mountain range. One of the highlights of the whole trip was the cowboy clothing shop, which served its charming purpose for tourists but also seemed to be a genuine Western riders’ shop, full of genuine cowboy boots (Ariat etc), hats, those sparkly barn dance dresses. Even ABS storage cases for said cowboy hats. Spurs, chaps. Brilliant.
After our platter full of wings and the like, we headed home. We took the 1A route home at dusk, hoping to see some bears… it’s like the road cutting through the Chase, but on acid. No bears today.