By: Cindy Brunner, Travel Consultant
On the first day of our Canadas Rockies with Trafalgar tour, we arrived at the Calgary Westin and checked into a beautiful room with a view of downtown Calgary. The concierge recommended JOEY Eau Claire for dinner, within walking distance of the hotel, and it was FABULOUS!
We had an early bag pull and headed to Lake Louise – Jasper National Park. It was a gorgeous drive through the Icefields Parkway, nestled between snowcapped mountain peaks, glaciers and roaring crystal blue waterfalls. We even saw a bear! It was an overcast day with a few snow flurries upon our arrival at Lake Louise, but the sun parted just in time for our group photo and a quick stroll through the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel for a bite to eat.
Next, we were off to Jasper for a 2 night stay at the Crimson Jasper Hotel! Upon our arrival in Jasper, our rooms were warm, clean and ready for us to relax in! The hotel was nice, clean and had a very friendly staff! We had dinner on our own at Cassios Italian Restaurant within walking distance, and finished off with a nightcap at the hotel.
We got to sleep in, enjoy a nice buffet breakfast, and then departed for Maligne Lake! The drive through the Rockies was absolutely stunning, and our wonderful tour guide, Corey, played some Neil Young on the way! Not many can say they drive through the Rockies in such style! Weather was a little cloudy again, but wherever we stopped, we brought sunshine with us!
Once we arrived at Maligne Lake, we enjoyed lunch fit for a king at the Maligne Lake Chalet, followed by a boat cruise on Maligne Lake out to Spirit Island, more photo ops, and yes….even more breathtaking views! Once back in Jasper, we took a quick Uber ride to Evil Dave’s for yet another delicious meal!
We had another early bag pull, and were off to the Columbia Icefield Visitor Center to travel on the Ice Explorer to the surface of the Athabasca Glacier, with our final destination being Banff Park Lodge!
We spent the day at the Columbia IceField Visitor center, dining and shopping and hanging out on a glacier! The long day made so much more enjoyable by our travel director Corey and bus driver Todd! Upon our arrival in Banff, we quickly received our room keys, our luggage delivered to our door, and after a chance to freshen up, we headed out to meet a real Royal Canadian Mountie and enjoy a dinner.
Today, we started mid-morning with a stop at the local Irish Pub to warm us up, then we enjoyed lunch at a great little place called the Grizzly House (can you say Fondue?) Afterwards, we loaded up and went for a ride on the Banff Gondola! From the Gondola ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain, the views were endless and when we got to the top of the mountain, we were able sit down and enjoy a nice cup of peppermint schnapps hot chocolate! Dinner on our own at Melissa’s Missteak, and a nightcap with our friendly Tour Director Corey and Bus Driver Todd. Day. Made!
The Weather was not great for anyone wanting to head out to Yoho National Park and Moraine Lake. The best bus driver even (Todd) didn’t take any chances and the tour was cancelled.
Instead, we took a 3 mile hike, in the snow, to have lunch at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. We enjoyed a Canadian Maple Whiskey shot to warm us up while we waited for what is probably the best cheeseburger ever! We braved it and made the 3 mile walk in the snow back to our hotel, just in time to load up for the Be My Guest Farewell dinner at the Guinn Family Ranch! We learned to line dance Canadian style, and took a sleigh ride through the snow and got to meet some buffalo, buffalos? Anyway…Another great day, food fit for a king at the ranch, and so many photos ops and OH, did I mention 15-30 cm of snow is predicted overnight? WOWZA! The entire day was exhilarating! I’m tired!
We had a very interesting last full day. We woke up to record snow for October 2nd. The most snowfall they’ve had in October in 60 years, almost white out conditions. We spent the majority of the day on the bus, a total of 7 hours to go 79 miles from Banff back to Calgary! It was a little unnerving for us Texas gals, but thanks to our skilled bus driver Todd, and some tunes played by our Tour Director Corey, it wasn’t as bad as it sounds! We safely arrived back at the Calgary Westin Hotel, with a free upgrade on our room, a nice relaxing meal at the Hotel Restaurant, and off to bed early!
I recommend this Canadas Rockies with Trafalgar trip, this time of year …it’s a bucket list must!!
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