Day trip to Banff and Lake Louise

After a week of crazy admin and running around trying to get everything sorted for our new lives in Calgary, we decided to take some family time out and take a drive to Banff and Lake Louise.

Lake Louise is about a two-hour drive from Calgary off the Trans-Canada highway, and we left early in the morning to avoid the crowds and enjoy a leisurely trip. We left in beautiful early morning sunshine with the Rockies looming in the distance, but as we entered the foothills of the mountains it was amazing to see how the weather quickly changed, and we ended up driving through a light snow storm, which was quite exciting for all of us. As they say in Alberta, “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes”, and this is so true – its amazing how unpredictable it is and how it can change in hours, even minutes.

When we entered Banff National Park, we decided to buy an annual pass, which gives us access to all the national parks in the region, so we’re very keen to go exploring over the next few months.

The route to Banff is so pretty, and all I can say is, “WOW!”, Lake Louise certainly did not disappoint. It was prettier than I could ever have imagined, and the photos we took don’t even do it justice. After the dry, brown flat lands surrounding Calgary, the beautiful scenery of the snow-capped Rockies was a welcome site.

Never in my life time did I imagine that I’d be standing on the shores of such a stunning lake. It truly was a dream come true and a moment I will remember forever. The colours of turquoise, contrasted against the brown, grey and white of the mountains is mesmerising. We were fortunate to get there early enough to avoid the crowds and could enjoy the scenery and take pics without having to shove our way to the front. From what we hear, it can become very crowded there in the season, and we soon realised we had made a wise decision when we saw all the cars rolling in there when we left.

After a stroll on the shores of Lake Louise we made our way to Banff. It’s such a charming little town and I loved the Alpine feel of it, with the little wooden cabins surrounded by snow-capped peaks. The town itself is really expensive, as can be expected of any tourist town, but we enjoyed strolling down the streets and exploring the shops. We had a chuckle when we had a bite to eat in Tim Hortons and heard the couple behind us speaking Afrikaans – and ended up having a great chat with them.

If you’re new to Calgary, do yourself a favour and get out to Banff and the lakes as soon as you can. Be a tourist, take some time out and enjoy what there is to see before you get too bogged down with the daily grind of life and work and school runs. We have been so busy, but we have also realised that we will never again get this time back, and this opportunity to spend quality time together as a family has been so special.

We can’t wait to get back to Banff and the Rockies soon. And next on the list of places we want to see in the area is Lake Moraine, which is apparently even more beautiful than Lake Louise.

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