Another year has nearly ended, and a year has passed since I last had the privilege and pleasure of being in this incredible place; welcome to Alberta, Canada.
Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada
Never in my life have I seen lakes as blue as the lakes in Alberta. Lake Louise stunned and enraptured me in her beauty. Perfectly situated on the water’s edge, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Justice to this place is simply not possible by mere photographs—it must be experienced.
If you possibly can, I would recommend staying a night or two at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, simply so you can experience the incredible views only possible from this hotel.
There is a beautiful walking path around the perimeter of the lake that provides for excellent perspectives on the mountains, hotel, and the many moods of the waters. If you take the path further than I did (which begins in front of Chateau Lake Louise), you can make your way to the Lake Agnes Tea House. A little further yet, the Plain of Six Glaciers Tea House.
Being perfectly honest, I was freezing though most of these photos as I was a bit less prepared than I ought to have been, forgetting both gloves and earmuffs, not to mention, my UGGs need waterproofing, so I was soaked through down to my socks. If not for this, I’d have loved to have hiked the summit, as I can scarcely imagine how incredible the sights from above must be.
I look forward to making my way back to Lake Louise in the summertime.
Banff, Alberta, Canada
Banff is a magical place. It’s a quintessential alpine village, and everything you’d hope for it to be. One of the most striking sights in Banff aside from the incredible mountains that surround, is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, which is a veritable castle (even being referred to as such). One of the most memorable experiences I had in Banff was dining at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel’s Waldhaus restaurant; a Bavarian delight, where I enjoyed a traditional fondue la Suisse and a delightful white wine from the Alsace region. Dessert was out of the question, as portions in Alberta (though when you ask, they will tell you to expect something ‘only large enough for one person’) are enormous. My supposed one-person ‘appetizer’ sized fondue was easily suitable for two or so people for an entrée. As an appetizer, easily four, to be without risk of spoiling one’s appetite.
The Banff hot springs were closed for maintenance while I was in staying (October 17th-24th), which had been on my list of things to do, so ultimately, I wound up heading west to British Columbia’s Radium Hot Springs to get in my hot spring fix.
One of the other many beautiful and rewarding stops you can easily make while in Banff, is Bow Falls. I was lucky enough to have been there on a day it was overcast and rainy, so as a result, the crowds of tourists had thinned out, and I was left with beautiful unobscured views. There is a beautiful walking path that takes you up along the upper falls, and provides an impressive view of the Banff Springs castle peeking out from behind the trees, situated between the mountain peaks.
Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada
A trip to British Columbia, one of the highlights of my week in Canada, was something that happened entirely because (by what turned out to be good fortune) the hot springs in Banff were closed, as also was Miette Hot Springs for seasonal maintenance. This was my first time in British Columbia, and I was truly moved and in awe of the incredible mountains, stunning forests, wildlife, and rivers. As you have probably guessed, I was not particularly well dressed for the occasion, so again, I was freezing, but… anything for those photos!
Canmore, Alberta, Canada
Last but not least, Canmore. The place where I have been lucky enough to stay twice now, since my family’s purchase of a condo in Rundle Cliffs. I have fallen in love with this place, and so many of the places in it.
Firstly, Comminutea Cafe.
I would have eaten at Communitea every single day had it been permitted me. I highly recommend the hot matcha latte with steamed soy. It’s heavenly. The gluten-free chipotle chicken quesadilla is fantastic, and my go-to varies between their Pad Thai or Asian Fusion Dragon Bowl.
Don’t hesitate to try one of their delicious baked goods, either. They almost always have gluten-free options if you are gluten-intolerant/coeliac like myself.
Mountain Mercato is a specialty food market, and one of my very favorite places in Canmore. But then again, I’m a foodie, and I love pouring over their selection of specialty foods from Europe and other parts of the world. This is also my source for finding kombucha on tap (courtesy of True Buch Kombucha). Their Ginger and Grape Soda flavors are wonderful and refreshing. This is not to overshadow their large selection of imported cheeses, or excellent coffee and brunch menu.
Another recommendation off the top of my head that I could not speak more highly of, was The Spice Hut. I have a huge weakness for curry, and while out walking around 9 P.M., the smell was intoxicating. Their chai is some of the best I’ve ever had, and I appreciated seeing the Sikhs seated throughout the restaurant, which reassured me of its authenticity. The chicken korma is to die for, and the garlic naan melts away in your mouth. I wish I could recommend more than these, but it was so good the first time, I haven’t been able to convince myself into ordering anything besides!
The saddest day all autumn for me was certainly the day I departed Canada to head for home.
Each time I’ve crossed the border, I’ve only continued to fall more and more in love with our beautiful northern neighbor. Canada has stolen my heart, and I don’t ever want to gain it back.
Until this summer, beautiful Alberta.