24.6.10

Ridin' the Rocky Mountaineer

Greetings from yet another hotel in Canada. We're no longer in British Columbia, the Rocky Mountaineer having brought us through two stunning days worth of jawdropping scenery into Alberta and the gorgeous town of Banff.
Today's hotel, The Caribou Lodge and Spa has trendy green walls and a fake caribou head in the bathroom very useful for...wait, let me show you quickly.
 So this is us on the train. We were given these little pins to wear- a red maple leaf to distinguish us from the posh gold leaf passengers in the double decker coaches at the back. We later heard that our food was wayyy better than the gold leaf's....go us!


We had a little rain on the first day but it didn't spoil it much. I struggled a bit to get the right settings on the camera...and the views obviously weren't as stunning as they could have been but the atmosphere was amazing. Down below rivers raged and boiled ferociously and it's incredible to think that hundreds of years ago intrepid map makers were trying to explore this land in little canoes. Our guide in our cabin had so many stories to tell about these pioneers of early British Columbia which made it made it all the more real. Day one on the train was the day of the canyons. As we climbed higher and higher the terrain started to look more and more like parts of the Karoo.
Day two is known as the lakes part of the journey...and oh, my.....how beautiful it was!
The Shuswap Lake is so big it took us about an hour and a half to wind our way around one side of it and all along the banks we could see holiday homes, campsites and house boats...all empty and quiet,  just waiting for the summer holidays to begin. It was magical.

As we wound our way along spiral tunnels (trully amazing engineering) everyone kept a beady eye open for bears..or anything that had legs, basically. Someone would shout out BEAR ON THE LEFT! And all would scramble. We did see bears...twice! And a caribou who just happened to be munching on some greens where the train had to stop for 10 minutes. Just as the caribou meandered off an otter swam past. Woohoo!
The Rockies are surpringly marshy and the pools of water are this incredible milky blue colour...something to do with the minerals from the glaciers. Will have to try and get some photos at some stage.
So we've spent the day in Banff, a gorgeous little town nestled at the top of the Rockies....it's filled with hotels (all in that ski resort stone lodge style), slacker ski-bum types on their skateboards and fit-looking mommies towing baby's prams behind their bikes. I could live here too.
Tomorrow we're heading for Lake Louise. It's another stay at a Fairmont Hotel but this time I'll be using my Presidents Club membership to get me some free internet. Hah!
Pretty fancy looking hotel, huh?
Until then, cheers everyone.

3 comments:

Meredith said...

Hi, I'm home! Your photos are beautiful, what a journey!

Litchi said...

Hey Meri :) It's been amazing!

Lol said...

bra on the antlers.... classic!