[dropcap]A[/dropcap]lberta, Canada, is honestly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life, and that’s saying a lot. The rice paddies and beaches of Bali, the palaces of Russia, and the Sooks of Marrakech all come close, but Alberta takes the cake. Every day brought a brand new stunning view, lovely people, and cracking instagram shots.
So, to make you super jealous, I thought I’d share ten of my favourite photos from my travels around Alberta. I’ll write a few bits and pieces about each one, but mostly I’m going to let the photos speak for themselves.
First up is the photo above. This was taken as the sun was setting at Moraine Lake. Most of the tourists had left, the mozzies were out in force (lol) but everything was breathtaking. Look at that crystal blue water, and the way the light streaks through the valley. Amazing.
Second is the view from the top of the Banff Gondola and walkway. We took a trip up the mountain on our first full day in Canada and what a welcome it was! These two photos are probably my two favourite of the whole trip. I look great, the mountains look great, and they remind me of what an amazing place Alberta is. I’d recommend the Gondola ride to anyone.
Next is another mountain gondola ride, this time from Lake Louise Ski Resort. This time the view is from the restaurant at the top. From here we went on a two hour guided hike through the mountain, being shown the wildlife and history of the area along the way. We also walked up the steepest slope I’ve ever seen. In winter the trails all become ski slopes so you can imagine what it’s like walking up them! Relaxing in the restaurant after was a highlight of the whole trip for me. Incredible views, over 2000m above sea level, and a wonderful burger. Treat yo self.
Another favourite photo is the shot below. When staying in Lake Louise, one of the favourite things to do is make the hike up to Lake Agnes and visit the tea-room at the top. We decided to do it slightly differently. I’ve been riding ever since I was little, obviously always English-style. Hacking up to the top, western-style, as an absolute treat, and unnervingly relaxed. Western riding is so loose. No collection, long stirrups, long reigns. So bizarre, especially when climbing down steep mountain sides. Still, it was a fabulous three-hour ride and I adored every second.
Above are two photos from the Columbia Icefield. The Columbia Icefield is a huge glacier (the Athabasca glacier) that stretches down towards the road, and can be accessed by specially designed tours that take you up and over, leaving you to explore for half an hour or so. The glacier, and others like it, are what give the surrounding lakes their crystal blue colour. They crush the rock beneath them into glacier flour, which then seeps into the rivers and lakes. It’s beautiful, and a dream for my geologist sister.
The most perfect example of the glacier blue lakes is below, Lake Maligne. Lake Maligne is probably the most famous of the lakes in the Canadian Rockies. You’ve probably seen similar photos all over pinterest and instagram before. It’s stunning, and this particular snap was taken from an area only accessible by water – so boat, kayak, canoe, etc. The island in front is known as Spirit Island and is really important in First Nation mythology. The whole place is just breathtaking.
Just look at that! The Beaver Tail of dreams in Banff. Half cinnamon sugar (for me) and half oreo and cream cheese frosting (for my sister). It was absolute heaven. We sat and ate it by the river in Banff, looking out over the blue water, and it was just lovely. A great treat to cure the jetlag from flying in from London. 10/10 would recommend to anyone. Anyone.
Finally, a simple shot of me standing on front of Lake Louise. Our hotel was right on the front, and we could nip down to the waterfront at any time. This was on our last night there, having just had dinner and drinks in the bar overlooking the lake. It’s a stunning lake, with a path running along one side, canoeing and kayaking all day, and and incredible glacier in the background. Breathtaking.