Visiting the natural beauties of Banff…
After going a bit overboard with extreme sports yesterday (pardon the pun!) we went for a few lower-risk tourist activities today. We visited The Columbia Icefield, before taking a quick stop on the way back at Lake Louise, Banff’s postcard destination.
The Columbia Icefield, which is situated partially in Banff National Park and also Jasper National Park, is the largest ice field in the Rocky Mountains of North America. We had to take the car there which took a good couple of hours as our hotel in Banff was over 180km away, but the long drive was so worth it! Specifically we travelled to the Athabasca Glacier, which is over 3.5 miles long, covering an area of over 2 square miles, and is between 90–300 metres thick:
With an average elevation of 3,000m (that’s 10,000ft) we were well and truly above the clouds!
On the way back to our hotel we passed Lake Louise, but by the time we arrived there was torrential rain. Although it was an amazing sight to see, we made the decision not to take any photographs and return tomorrow when (hopefully) the sky will be a little clearer.
It was between Lake Louise and Banff on our way back to the hotel that we discovered the cruise control button in Marion’s car. To those of you reading, this might not be a big deal, but to a couple of backpackers who own cars back home which are probably worth less than the contents of our current backpacks, it seriously was! With the risk of speeding well out of the way, and the opportunity to relax without having to consider the accelerator, driving was so much more enjoyable, especially when surrounded by The Rockies – the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen.
For supper we went to Tony Roma’s, mainly because it was directly opposite our hotel but also because the food looked awesome! I had a full rack of ribs, while Abbie had a half rack of ribs with shrimp skewers. It cost a little more than we anticipated but we’d been treating the weekend as a late birthday present for me so why on earth not?
With just one day left here before heading back to Kelowna we’ve still got a lot left to do. Tomorrow we have to incorporate at least 7hrs of driving into our day of tourism, which should be interesting to say the least. Other than visiting Lake Louise again we haven’t planned anything specific, but we’re spoiled for choice here and really plan on making our stay worth it!