Jun 2, 2008

Day 3 - Jasper to Lake Louise

Stunning morning with clear sky to start Day 3 of our trip!

Teruko (my girlfriend, thanks Christina for pointing that out!) and I joined a tour to head to Lake Louise while doing sightseeing with Brewster. After driving past the stunning Mount Edith Cavell, our first stop was at Athabasca Falls. The fall had such a powerful water action going, and thanks to the weather we managed to see a beautiful rainbow.

Honestly, Icefields Parkway is such a stunning drive with panoramic view of the Canadian Rockies, glaciers, and beautiful rivers. I still cannot believe it took me 2.5 years to get here since moving to Canada.

As we started driving further south, we were immediately greeted by a bunch of Bighorn Sheep on the highway again.

What a beautiful place Columbia Icefield is! I really don't know how to best describe Columbia Icefield. It looks stunning, dynamic, powerful, and yet sensitive. The ice hanging on the cliff seemingly ready to cause an avalanche made a shiver ran up my spine. The water that came from melted glacier had an amazing colour to it. We drank it, which was very very cold but had a very refreshing taste to it. The guide at the Icefield Park told us that they are estimating that the glacier will melt completely in 200 years. Let's just hope that things will change for a positive.

We also stopped at the Waterfowl Lake as we continued driving south. The Waterfowl Lake is also beautiful with gorgeous green colour. By this point, more and more people were beginning to be curious about my camera/photography skills. Everywhere we stopped, they seemed curious to see what kind of photos I was taking. This is Japanese tourist for you! :-)

Then we had a major disappointment (well, according to Teruko it is just my disappointment). We didn't stop at the Peyto Lake, which was one of the places that I had been really looking forward to taking photos of. I heard somewhere that the road to the lake is still not open for big buses, and the story turned out to be true. I was gutted to have missed out, and still am. We could have joined a smaller tour that guaranteed to visit the lake, but we could not justify paying 2.5 times more than what we paid for our tour. This is probably the reason why we made some stops at sightseeing locations that the tour is not supposed to.

While I was feeling a bit down, we stopped at the Bow Lake, which also offers such a powerful view with a few mountains right above it. The lake was still 80% frozen.

After almost 8 hours journey, we finally arrived in Lake Louise. Despite the major disappointment with not going to Peyto Lake, it was a packed tour with full of excitement. Brian, our driver, was accommodating and very friendly too. Great ride that was!

As we checked into our hotel Deer Lodge, we immediately rushed to the shore of the Lake Louise. The lake was full of tourists, surprise, surprise, and we were indeed one of them. By the time we got to the lake, cloud started building up over the mountains, but we managed to take a few photos while the sun is still out. As we walked the path alongside the lake, it was interesting to see the colour of the lake changed and also tons of ice cubes that were built up by the shore was making noise and building up as pressurised by the ice covering the lake and water. The magic of physics, which I never quite understand.

It started raining (bugger!) and we were knackered by the end of our walk, so we decided to head back to the hotel for dinner and hot tub. We made a bit of mess of ourselves by making reservation for the "luxurious side" of the restaurant, which is double the price of the lounge for food, since we had assumed that the menu we saw on the wall was of the "proper" restaurant. Although we embarrassed ourselves by moving to the "economy side" of the food section, we recovered quite nicely by stuffing ourselves with a pretty good dinner.

This hotel has an outside hot tub, which is a great bonus as we had a fair amount of walk today. It really is like a hot spring or 'onsen' in Japan, except that you wear swim suit. Although you *must be* naked to have a bath at hot spring in Japan in general, we decided to be western by diving into the hot tub in a swim suit. It was soooooooooo relaxing, I tell you.

Another eventful, beautiful day in Alberta.


Eric G. said...

Sounds like one heck of a trip so far! I'm glad you were able to see the water at lake louis! SO much nicer than when Bri and I were there last month and it was still covered by snow...

Glad you guys are having fun.

Things are ok here... Had our first softball game yesterday. The other team didn't show so we won. I did hear 'Where is Mas' a number of times... ;-)

Keep sending those updates - they're nice to read. Say hi to Teruko for me.


Wotadiamondgeezer said...

Hey, Eric

Thanks for the message!

Alberta was stunning! Honestly, I cannot believe I had waited for 2.5 years to see it all since I moved to Canada.

Time went so so quickly, and both Teruko and I cannot believe that our trip is over. But what a fun we had! Honestly, this is arguably the most exciting trip I have ever done in my whole life... and the most expensive one too!

How's the softball team doing? Sounds like Ichiro's "cousin" should step up and make a return soon... :-)

Teruko also says hi to you!