Sunset was a bit of a washout last night. What seems like a beautiful evening to most people is totally rubbish when you want colour in the sky…..no clouds. I stood out there in -11C temperatures waiting….waiting…freezing…waiting. Nothing. Pah! Ended up having an early night to catch up on some sleep.
Today we ventured out in the car and as we went down the hill towards the main road a rather large bear crossed in front of us. Of course being the photographer, I had no camera to hand so grabbed a few with my iPhone. Not perfect but hey. This was easily the biggest bear we’ve seen in the wild.
We checked beforehand with the concierge and found that several places we otherwise would have liked to stop at were shut for the season…of course. We drove over the border into BC and into Yoho National Park heading towards Emerald Lake…definitely open. Emerald Lake was open…but the lovely tearoom/cafe was definitely not. We also encountered tickboxers. We first came across this species in New Zealand. They move around the countryside in coaches, stopping at places of interest, disembark and literally swarm around taking photos before running back to the coach having ‘ticked that box’. I’m assuming that the Chinese tickboxers had trouble reading english signs as they ignored ‘closed’ signs, jumping over barriers and standing having their photos taken next to a sign saying ‘DO NOT STAND HERE. DANGER’, not to mention walking across the bridge on the wrong side and causing a small coach to come to standstill while they took selfies. Once they appeared where I was, I retreated quietly and took some photos elsewhere. On the way back, they were also leaving and desperately trying to find a loo as they were being called back to the coach. Sadly for them several of the toilets were closed for the season leaving a single loo. One lady decided that wasn’t good enough so had a pee behind it instead. Charming.
We stopped at another location and guess who pulled up right behind us? Arghhhh. This time I loitered and waited until they’d gone before taking photos, except this one. The herd had thinned out by this point but it captures the scene.
Anyway, I got some nice shots and then we headed back for lazy lunch.
Yesterday, Amanda and I had lunch in the Hotel. I had a club sandwich and Amanda had a chorizo burger. Mine was delicious, hers was cold. Amanda sent it back and although I’d finished mine by the time her new one had arrived, it seemed to be pretty nice. However, because of the inconvenience the food was removed from the bill and all we were charged for was the drinks.
Today, I had a salad with a salmon fillet and Amanda had a chicken Caesar salad. Hers looked awesome but mine was sans salmon. Many apologies later and within 5 mins a salmon fillet appeared. Also someone came over and apologised once again about problems happening twice in a row. Desserts and coffee was on then. Nice. When the bill arrived, once again we weren’t charged for the food, just the wine. If anyone asks about good service, this is the standard to which we base everything on 🙂
Wanna see some pics?
Tomorrow we hit the road and head towards Jasper. Lake Louise has been wonderful.
Phew that was a long day. The flight was good and we collected the car at the airport. The issue was that my original plan was to stay in Calgary for the first night but The Boss insisted that she’d rather drive to Lake Louise straight away. After a few miles she was wishing she’d stuck to the original (we shall call this ‘better’ from now on) plan. It was just over 2 hours but seemed a lot longer on unfamiliar roads after a long flight, and even longer when someone needs a ‘comfort break’ <cough>. Regardless, we got here around 10pm, dropped the car off at valet parking and went straight to the room and slept.
Jetlag being what it is, meant I woke around midnight, 2am, 4am and finally I gave up around 5:30am and made coffee. The went to the 24hr deli for more coffee.
Today is a day of relaxing and recharging batteries (ours, camera and wheelchair). Amanda is off for a swim and I’m checking the photos I took this morning (see below)
This is such a gorgeous location and hopefully I’ll be out to catch the sunset tonight. That depends on a couple of things
- If I have a beer or three later
- If the weather plays ball
- If I’m awake
Tomorrow we’ll hit the road and explore some, but there’s enough to keep us occupied today right here.
This is Fairmont hotel number 7 for us and, apart from the Savoy (which is just managed by Fairmont), it’s my favourite so far.
Dropped the kids off at the babysitter’s last night…..ok we took the cats to the cattery but you get the point. The house felt really weird later with no cats in and I didn’t like it. Not normal. How do people with no cats live like that? Crazy people.
Finally got round to packing around 7:30pm (Amanda did hers earlier in the day) and I swear I get later every time. Next time I’ll be packing the morning we depart. A few more things to sort and then, in a couple of hours, we can hit the road to the airport.
- My camera bag weighs almost as much as my actual luggage
- I have more USB/charging cables than socks
- The weather is getting even colder at our destinations so had to rethink on-the-fly my choices of footwear/jumpers. The plus point is there is snow on the mountains so hopefully some pretty pictures 🙂
Next post will probably be in Canada
I received an email about our forthcoming visit to Jasper from the hotel. It read….
Thank you for making a reservation for our River Valley Package at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. This Jasper Beer & Barley Summit is a 3 day retreat bringing together legends of the brewing & distilling industry, today’s breweries & distillers, home brewers and passionate beer enthusiasts
This all sounds rather super except I didn’t book the River Valley Package, although I do quite like beer and stuff that’s been distilled. I was in two minds whether to contact them to correct the obvious error. I mean if I leave it, do I get free beer and whisky and stuff? Will I have to grow my beard a bit and wear a scruffy jumper and sandals, or is that just British CAMRA people? To be perfectly clear, I usually do wear these items even when not drinking beer. In the end, I emailed them and reminded them that we’re booked on a ‘Midweek Vacation Package‘ instead but might slip my sandals in just in case.
The weather is looking interesting for our visit too. Might have to add some thermals to the suitcase
-15C after dark might stop me from trying to take some night time shots.
Unpacked and repacked my camera gear again. Just sayin’.
It’s a bit of a long-standing joke that I like to get to the airport early when we go on holiday. I don’t relax until I’ve checked bags, got the requisite orange tag on the wheelchair and got through security. A good friend has already asked if I’m at the airport already….twice, and one of those was several weeks ago. I’m not that bad. For me, the holiday starts at the airport and I don’t mean a pint of Guinness at 7am (I think you should wait until at least 8am).
In the last few days, I’ve
- checked the time of the valet parking drop-off
- checked the time of the flight
- checked the weather forecast for our destination
- checked the hotel reservations
- contacted the concierge of each hotel informing them that although Amanda will be rolling up to the hotel in a wheelchair, it isn’t a complete miracle when she stands up and informs them that we do not need a specially adapted room.
- checked the weather forecast for each destination
- checked the time of the flight
- looked a room upgrade at Lake Louise, choked when I saw how much it is, then thought screw it, and booked it.
- checked out webcams showing the weather of our destination
- checked the dates of the hotel reservations to make sure we don;t have one day where we have no hotel
- checked the time of the flights in case they changed
- checked the weather forecast of Calgary when we land
- checked the car rental to make sure I didn’t add any extras we don;t need or forget stuff that we do need.
- checked we still know where the Parks Pass is
- checked the time of the flight…you never know
- packed, unpacked and repacked my camera gear twice (so far)
We’re almost ready. FYI it’s expected to be anywhere from 19C to 4C in Calgary when we land so we’re packing shorts and thermals.