12 November 2010

Canadian Rockies

Finally we made it out of the Calgary city limits and what better place to head than the Canadian Rocky Mountains featuring world renowned national parks like Banff and Jasper. Indeed, it was the probably the last chance this year to see the mountains without having to plow through snow - for November the weather was rather warm. Here's a few photos from our outing.

On the Trans-Canada Highway heading towards the mountains. From Calgary it is a bit more than an hours drive to Canmore at the foot of the Rockies and another hour will get you to Lake Louise (Banff town is sort of in between). Anais Thima slept about half of the way, and talked about the last episodes of "Dora" during the other half.

The highway follows the Bow river valley and at Banff it takes a sharp left turn to avoid this sheer wall of a mountain named Cascade Mountain.

As you go further in to the wilderness there's lots of wildlife. All those animals might want to cross the road and to facilitate this the road features a lot of wildlife bridges like this one.

Arriving at Lake Louise we were greeted by a bunch of these fluffy birds called Clark's Nutcrackers. Grey, white, and black seem to be the fashion colours among birds here.

And then the obligatory family picture at the marvelous lake. Hmmm, Anais Thima is quite a cheeky little thing.

And then the panorama picture of Lake Louise. It may be hard to see, but this place is simply unreal. From the turquoise colour of the lake, the massive mountain wall, to the blue ice of the glacier. Unfortunately, we came on a day with a bit of cloud cover so we missed the blue sky - must return next summer.

We hiked a couple of kilometers along the lake-side and took some pictures.

And some more.

Untill we reached the other end of the lake. At that point the path became more steep and icy, thus we decided to turn around and head back.

At the end of Lake Louise where we started our hike this massive resort hotel looms over the waters. The original hotel is more than 100 years old and the tall middle section was built as early as 1925 - no wonder, as this sort of structure would probably never be allowed to be built today.

Its cold up in the mountains.

Anais casting a glance over the turquoise blue water. By this time she was a bit cranky despite being carried the whole way back and forth along the lake.

Time to head back. To make the return a bit different we took the scenic Bow Valley Parkway, which offers some more close up views than the highway.

The most impressive mountain on the way is Castle Mountain... it should be obvious why it got this name.

Anais was persuaded to have her picture taken =:)