Since my return from the Canada, many people around me tell me how much this trip made them dream. And it is the first time I see so much enthusiasm for a destination I'm talking on instagram. At the same time there is no mystery : the landscapes are breathtaking and there was something a bit magical that I am not ready to forget in this trip. I've traveled quite a bit these 5 in recent years, and if there is a trip I would recommend from the bottom of my heart that's the one <3
As I said in my previous article I was sent with Lisa cover the destination for Canadian tourism office. As we start to know yourself, We had done the whole program and chose what we wanted to see and do and they dropped us here down with the planes, Hotels and car booked. And once there we did absolutely what we wanted, with some recommendations in your Pocket. So, we were very free, with the necessary framework so that everything goes well. And in this article I mentioned only the places which I appreciated (We had no obligation to anyone for this reporting).
We landed at Calgary Airport after a long flight that transited through Amsterdam. Then a local bus (reserved in advance to the company Brewster) brought us up to the town of Banff which is somewhat the nerve center of the region.
The city is filled with hotels, It's a little bows 2000, but we were hotel really hot : the Buffalo Mountain Lodge. We had fireplaces in the rooms with all the gear to make fire and balconies with furniture made of tree branches where there were squirrels in the morning. It was really nice I A-DO-RE.
The first day we did a small hook by Lake Minnewanka because it could no longer wait to see all these pretty Lakes and it was top ! We saw our first curious squirrel.
Then we went to do a helicopter tour (avec Alpine Helicopter) to get close to the glaciers. This is the second time I rode in a helicopter (the first time was in Australia) and I was eager to repeat the experience. The view was amazing, it approached quite close to the glaciers, if you have a little budget (from 124$ per person) It's really to do, the view is crazy.
Then we went a bit in the city eat in a restaurant that had been advised (We ate exclusively at Block Kitchen & Bar and Wildflour Bakery <3 as bas) then we ended the day at the Cellar & Basin National Historic site (which part was unfortunately closed, If you want to visit, arrive before 16: 00) where we did small walks as Canadians do know, on small paths of wood with full info on the fauna and the local flora.
Autour ride of the Cellar & Basin National Historic site
The night we took advantage of the night of the shooting stars to try to catch a picture above the Lake Vermilion (which is also to see day, This Lake is a true mirror for mountain). It has failed to catch the stars, and we had a little scare to be like this in the dark with cars passing idle (OK the documentary of the day before on the Canadian serial killers was not a good idea :D).
The next day, We attacked by paddle surf (the Banff Canoe Club) on a small lake with views completely crazy on the mountains. A huge train super vintage came to invite in the setting. It was highly cool, quiet, and a wonderful way to start the day, I recommend 3000 times.
Then we went to see the view in the Banff Gondola cable car (that takes you up the mountain), We've seen our first Chipmunks (small chubby squirrels) who asked for chips (but it's kind 20.000$ fine, so no) and who were too choupinounets (but disappointed that it tends bits of leaves to attract to us).
It is then returned to the Lake Vermilion to see day and identify places to try again to take a photo shooting stars (Yes we had not said our last word). This is where we saw an our who walked quietly in the corner. Everyone was on the bridge, loans to photograph while he waddled calmly on the side of the road. Do not panic, bikes honked to not surprise him, everything looked NORMAL type. It was super cool to see a bear like that walking around.
The evening we photographed and watched the stars on a background of mountains for hours on a small pontoon of the vermilion Lake with coverage we had at our hotel. C & rsquo; was magical <3
On the road
The next day we started on our way to Lake Louise (still a green sublime Lake of water). The roads in the Canada are highly easy, There is nobody and can't go wrong is super simple and clear. And I'm a real freak out from the road, can you finger in the nose.
Arrived at Lake Louise we had a ride on horseback to climb the mountain. I had not done for a long time and I was looking forward to go back finally, especially to see as beautiful landscapes. This hike is also completely feasible to feet, It's just more long and tiring. It has skirted the sublime Lake, then climbed the mountain to a small hut which is absolutely delicious cakes (seriously) and I spent some time playing with the greedy squirrels of the corner.
The next day it lifted at dawn to go to Moraine Lake. We wanted to photograph it with the pretty light in the morning, and, He had to be there before 9 to avoid to be blocked by the traffic (the period was highly tourist they totally block the roads from a certain time). We arrived around 7:30 and there was already a little world, and even the bride and groom come to get the portrait in costume and dress bustier by (12).
The Moraine lake <3
The small hotel near Moraine Lake is adorable (one of the nicest we have seen) and it serves a super breakfast (We've been a bit privileged, because usually it only serves the guests of the hotel). I recommend it (We slept not because it was full, but it was really lovely). The hotel rents canoes for a ride on the Lake and it's really to do, the view is amazing (the water is at hand (4)).
Then we took the road to Jasper. 3h drive by a few stops to the edges of mythical lakes in the region (that the Peyto Lake in the shape of the Wolf's head). Some places are crowded with tourists (the Glacier Skywalk for example, We did but I do not recommend you really is a little eiffel tower).
The Peyto Lake in the shape of the Wolf's head
Arrived in Jasper were in a truly luxurious hotel at the edge of the sublime Lake Beauvert, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. It has not shunned our pleasure and we made a small splash in the pool heated by the Lake. The hotel has a very good Italian Trattoria Orso restaurant where you can eat to enjoy the sunset.
Lake Beauvert, so beautiful !
Jasper we did a motorcycle ride on the major roads on the outskirts of the city. I was vraaaaiiiment not the proud in my sidecar so that Lisa well liked the wind in her hair at the back of the Harley. The view was crazy so I took it upon myself, and then our driver was super adorable so if it you want it of pretty funny to do.
It was a little day sensations since it continued with rafting. I had already done when I was a teenager (a friend of my father led the Olympic team) and I had kept an amazing memory, I was eager to repeat the experience on Canadian rivers with the view. We did a tour of an hour and a half with a super centre (and his guns monitors) We're home wet but happy ! Once again, If you're not afraid go for it, It is very safe and it really leaves unforgettable memories.
Eat in Jasper : the Trattoria Orso at the Fairmont Hotel, Patricia street Deli for the sandwich, Coco's Café (We went 2-3 times) for the toast to the lawyer and the chai latte, and small vegetarian food super good.
Via Jasper > Vancouver
The last day was a pretty special experience and certainly one that I would recommend the most : the night of Jasper to Vancouver train.
The train crosses the Rockies and sleep in small booths Polly Pocket, or well bunk beds (voilà different prices). I remember amazing view from the train while listening to music on my bed, It was like a movie.
We took meals in a pretty highly wagon (franchemet I had the impression of eating in a retro brewery), dinner and breakfast. Vraiment, with the turn of canoeing on Lake Moraine, one of my best moments of this trip.
Berth Via Rail trains
Then we had a last day to spend in Vancouver. We were in a small boutique hotel atmosphere Melrose place really caricatures cool, they lent even bikes for a ride into town.
We were quite tired, so we did not crazy (while I had really wanted to go see these hanging gardens) It is therefore returned to the addresses we had most loved last time : Miku, Dirty Apron, The cross decoration & design.
Then return to France via Amsterdam !
A few tips
– August is clearly not the ideal time to go in the Canadian Rockies. It's a place very taken and tourism (We saw buses filled with Chinese tumble down to the edges of the Lakes), If you can avoid the peak periods (but we with our respective jobs we had too much choice).
– Attentions to the tourist periods where some sites are very difficult to access because of the influx (After awhile they squarely cut the road to some Lakes). The ideal is to close some sites, stay in hotels near the Lakes will always give you priority.
– It's pretty cool in the Rockies, especially when we get up at 6: 00 to go and see the lakes in the morning (kind (10) sometimes), glaciers requires. But the summer day, with the Sun temperatures rise not bad. We had the stuff to change case or always ready in the car.
– Bears : you will certainly see if you're up early in some corners. We've seen two in a week : strolling by the roadside to eat, Sometimes they cross them. They are not really dangerous, There just not invading their space and keep his distance. You can also buy a "bear spray" to Cayenne Pepper which are sufficient to repel them if you find yourself face to face with a grizzly. They do not really attack people, Beware especially of mothers with their young, If you see a bear run !
– Canadians are very much in fashion ' help yourself Ginette "so be aware to take charge and do not always count on them to help you. It is good to know. Besides that they are super nice, cools and francs the collier (I really like).
– Gratuities : the States United, When a server takes care of you and serve you (If you do not take your meals at a counter so) to leave between 15 and 25% Tip (unless it sucked you can leave just 1$ to show your displeasure. Always leave a tip.
– For the plane we traveled on KLM Royal Dutch Airline but the required transit in Amsterdam was a bit long. Less comfortable but direct and cheaper there is Air Transat, which has very low prices for Canada in general and has one of the cheapest flights to Calgary (but does not offer flights often so to monitor).
– The car : essential in the area if you want to be free. Otherwise there are a lot of companies who are shuttles and organize tours : Brewster was used sometimes. And for the towers there is not bad for each city.