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Sunday 4 August 2013

A day in the Canadian Rockies

Back to the Canada trip posts...

One of the highlights of our trip to Canada was our day in the mountains. We spent two days driving from Drumheller and Calgary to Vancouver and the vast majority of this trip (especially on the first day) seemed to be driving through the awe inspiring Canadian Rockies.

So exciting when those majestic mountains start to appear

I could get used to having this view out the windscreen 

Such a beautiful drive

On the first day of our drive we stopped by the picture perfect and tourist friendly town of Banff. We had a picnic lunch in a park from the farmer's market and soaked in the scenery (and a little sun) before heading to Banff Gondola and the peak of nearby Sulphur Mountain.

Beautiful scenery in Banff

The girls desperately wanted to go swimming in the lake

Perfect spot for a picnic

The gondola ride up the mountain was great. Little gondola carriages seating four people glide up and down the mountain on constant rotation. Ava was a little wary of the swaying as we ascended but still quite enjoyed it. Lola absolutely loved the gondola ride. In fact, the whole way up and down she would repeat "I love this" over and over!

Banff Gondola

Heading up the mountain in the gondola

Looking up

Lola loved the gondola ride

Getting close to the top

After a speedy eight minute trip the gondola had climbed 698metres taking us to the Summit Upper Terminal and an elevation of 2,281metres. That's pretty high! The views over Banff and the surrounding mountain ranges were spectacular as you can see in the photos.

The girls and I at the top

Stunning views

From the Summit Upper Terminal we embarked on the 1km long Banff Summit Walk along the summit ridge to the historic Sanson's Peak Meteorological Station. The walk is a pretty easy one along a decked walk way. The girls did really well and both walked pretty much the whole way there and back, although Lola did want to be carried for part of the way back. All that walking and stair climbing is tiring for those little legs!

Setting off on our walk

Stunning scenery

On top of the world

A little small to copy Ava's pose!

I see mountains, mountains and more mountains

Almost to the end of our walk

Hanging out at the top

It was a little windy at the top

Lola loves the mountains

Looking back at the starting point of our walk

Looking back down over Banff

Mountain family

They walked the whole way up

Chipmunk - they moved so fast it was hard to catch a shot

Family shot

Lola kept saying "Daddy is a girl" as he was carrying my handbag!

Cheesy poses

Lola looked this time

Watching the gondolas

It's a long way down

The background almost looks like a Pixie photo backdrop from my childhood!

Beautiful views on all sides

A little dancing at the top of the mountain

We followed the deck path all the way to the top of that peak

Back in the gondola again we headed back down the mountain taking in the beautiful views every second of the ride. Once again Lola repeated "I love this" over and over!

Watching the view as we descend down the mountain

Thousands and thousands of trees

That's a big drop!

Getting closer to the bottom

Back on the road there were more stunning views. What amazing scenery!

Glowing mountain

Simply awe inspiring

Towering over the highway

We stopped for a break beside this river below which was running white. The water really was an amazing, almost opaque white colour, similar to the rocky mountain in the background. It almost looked like milk! While we stretched our legs I was a little worried about the possibility of a bear stumbling upon us. The signs on the "bear proof" garbage bin at the rest stop didn't help! We didn't see any bears though - just a strange couple who arrived in their flame emblazoned car with a pair of large exotic parrots as travelling companions!

White river and white mountain

Watch out for bears

Such a pretty spot

Ava was desperate to dangle her feet in the water

The Canadian Rockies really are simply majestic. Such a beautiful part of the world and such a beautiful day.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of our Canada trip... Vancouver.

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