Situated in a large valley and entirely surrounded by the towering Rocky Mountains, Banff’s beauty is completely unrivalled by any town or village we have visited so far in Canada. The mesmerizing backdrop of the Rocky Mountains coupled with the beauty that lies within the alpine village itself makes for a utterly magical place and we certainly fell in love with Banff. From the bridge at the end of Banff Avenue, we had gorgeous views of the bridge’s lanterns and stone work, the bustling downtown village and a partially frozen and snow-covered river all enveloped within the most spectacular mountain range. It was just gorgeous and by far my favourite vantage point in Banff.
We were kindly blessed with fantastic weather during our week in Banff. Considering how cold it can get, we felt really lucky to have maximum daily highs of negative single digit numbers.
Three glorious days were spent at Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resorts where we had soaring views of the countless Rocky Mountains all around us. Unfortunately, I’m really sad to report that Ty’s camera was stolen on the bus returning to Banff from Lake Louise (RIP camera) so I don’t have the breathtaking vistas to share with you. Those images will exist only in our memories.
Christmas Day was upon us before we knew it and while we both missed our families terribly that day, we had a very special Christmas together, enjoying the Christmas fare and alpine traditions and making our first white Christmas one we will never forget. We had a beautiful buffet lunch at a restaurant in the village and they had the most amazing dessert table on offer!
These photographs were taken on my iPhone so I’m sorry if the quality is poor. I felt it would be a little imposing taking my DSLR camera with me to the restaurant and unfortunately we didn’t have Ty’s compact camera anymore thanks to the bus thief!
While the sun was shining on Christmas Day, the Rocky Mountains cast quite a shadow over Banff and a howling, icy wind was roaring through the valley so it was quite a chilly, albeit short, walk home after lunch but we rugged up!
On Boxing Day, we headed to the stunning Lake Louise and indulged in the wintery Christmas tradition of ice skating on the frozen, sparkling glacial waters of the lake. A light snow was falling as we arrived and the short walk from the car park to the lake provided a glimpse of the magnificent Fairmont Chateau and grounds.
It was more beautiful than imaginable and as we skated around the natural ice rink, I kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Ice skating on the world’s most beautifully scenic rink while a light dusting of snow fall was truly unforgettable. And it definitely didn’t matter than I could barely manage much more than an awkward shuffle on the ice while Tyrone skated rings around me (literally) because it was magical and it was paradise.
Our time in Banff has passed really quickly and today, as the sun was rising, we said goodbye to the Canadian Rockies. We will next meet again in the USA and we eagerly await our next encounter with nature’s most impressive beauties. The scenery changed quite rapidly after leaving the mountainous landscape as we start our trek east across the Canadian prairies.
The sun rising over the last of the Canadian Rocky Mountains
The landscape quickly changed into the mostly flat grasslands of the Prairies
Our last visions of the Rockies faded in our rear view mirror, just as a most magnificent sunrise bathed the icy mountain peaks in gorgeous colors of blush pinks, fiery oranges and baby blues as first morning’s light streamed through the clouds. It was absolute perfection.
From Regina, Saskchatewan, with love xo