Jun 3, 2008

Day 4 - Lake Louise



Before the start of Day 4 of our trip, weather forecast really bothered us as it said it's going to be rainy all day. Fortunately for us, luck was on our side.

We joined a tour to see the Yoho National Park with Banff Top Tours specialised in entertaining tourists from Japan. They were the only operator who was doing what we wanted at this time.

As soon as we hit the road, rain started pouring in quite a bit. "Shit", I thought. Then our luck came as, as soon as we arrived at our first destination Moraine Lake, not only it stopped raining it started even showing sun from time to time. I have never been a mountaineer, but now I understand how volatile and unpredictable mountain weather is. As expected, Moraine Lake was still 40% covered with ice, and because the snow up on the ten peaks is not melting the lake wasn't full of water. Ms Asami, our tour guide, changed our plan as the weather was on the mend. Instead of going to a restaurant in town, we were given extra 30mins to do a bit of "picnic" at the lake. Nice work! The food at the lake cafe was a complete rip-off though - we paid 10 bucks for a tiny pizza and sandwich each.



Our next stop was Emerald Lake where we saw beautiful emerald water. While we saw a bit of rain on the way here again, we even saw a glimpse of sun too. Emerald Lake is quite a large lake, and we only managed to walk a fifth of its shore. But we thoroughly enjoyed this stunning lake and some pretty mountain flowers.


As we headed towards the Natural Bridge, we had a very enjoyable view of the mountain side with a train carrying all sorts of "stuff" running along the Kicking Horse River.

Natural Bridge had a different colour of water from the one we saw at all these lakes we had previously visited. It has this mild and soft colour that I cannot quite describe. Yet another beautiful view!


One of the good things about this tour was that we were given a plenty of time at each destination while we also had quite a flexibility with small van and a small group of people. Our guide even strolled into this tiny town Field with old railway station. I couldn't believe they even have an elementary school and a bed and breakfast! Ms Asami even also stopped at the old Lake Louise railway station, which is now serving as a restaurant. With Rocky Mountains behind it, it is such a stunning setup.

In all honesty, I was really glad that we used Banff Top Tours as we got great value for money. Thanks Ms Asami!


As Teruko and I got back to the hotel, we decided not to waste our time and headed to the Lake Louise. This time, for hiking. The Fairview Lookout trail was, although a short distance, reasonably steep. It was a bit of a challenge for Teruko, who is not overly athletic, and also myself, who has been a bit of a lazy bugger not doing any sort of decent exercise for quite a long time... We were more than adequately rewarded with an amazing view of the lake though! The lakes here in Alberta are interesting as the colour is different depending on where you are looking at them from. From the Fairview Lookout, the lake looked to have a bright light blue colour. It really was amazing.


With a bit of sore muscle in legs, we stumbled into the lounge restaurant in our hotel - this time no mistake in going to the "luxury side". We had this platter with full of local meat of different animals, some of which had some distinct taste to them. But it was quite tasty and was a bit of experience. With that as our starter, I enjoyed my buffalo steak with a bit of coffee cocktail.


Thanks to the unpredictability of the mountains, we had a bit of luck that allowed us to do sightseeing without being impacted by the weather.

Yet another stunning day of sightseeing!

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