Published: January 25th 2011January 23rd 2011
23rd Jan 2011 Where:
Lake Louise, Banff National Park Highlights:
First Ice sculpture celebration & sleigh ride
It has been a while we had been outdoors. If it was not our laziness, it was the weather.
All it took was one mention that an Ice Carving competition
was happening in Lake Louise to get us moving. Grateful.
The festival happened for 3 days & we were watching the weather closely to decide when to go. But, really! What were we thinking. The place is in the middle of the Rockies. It creates its own weather, ALL the time.
Still, logistically Sunday proved to be better.
I was surprised that after not being outdoors for a good 3 months, we still had it in us to get up early & get going, in spite of our morning practices.
I am impressed.
We woke S a little ahead of schedule so she could sleep on the drive. And as if she read our minds, she promptly fell asleep in less than 30 minutes into the drive. And woke up only at Lake Louise.
The drive was different. A lot of traffic, thanks to the chinooks. A 3C
the middle of a Canadian winter is unheard of, but in Calgary.
But the most significant part was the less snow we saw. Maybe we are in the leeward side. Still, a lot less snow. It was very dry. I don't even know why we were surprised.
We had an early lunch inside the car without the heater on & we did not freeze over. That was something. We immediately knew there could not have been a better day to be here.
I should admit, though. Bathroom breaks were longer than usual, thanks to the snow gear. S fell is love with all the snow. Literally!
The Ice Sculpting did not fascinate her so much, but the snow did. So, after a while, we realized it & did not bother her.
We reserved for the 2.00pm sleigh ride & went inside the Chateau to check it out & so warm up. I know that it doesn't get any warmer than this at this time of year, but still we deserved a break. The little one had so much space to run around. But the magic show did not fascinate her. It is amazing that she gets fascinated by
simple & cheap things. It is not very difficult to entertain her. All she did was run around the big hall with other kids(who were bored with the magic show too) & she was ecstatic. She didn't even look for us.
At a little later than 2pm, our ride was on. S was ecstatic just sitting on this huge sleigh & looking back at the horses pulling the other sleigh. The whole ride took 45 minutes & goes to the end of the lake trail 2km away. We hiked the trail in Summer. But there were others who were hiking on skis this time of year.
At the turn around point, there was an icy falls that was blue now. From this end, the view of the Chateau & Mt.Sunshine was fantastic. We could not see the lake from here. We were "on" the lake actually. It completely freezes over & there was no indication of a lake at all. Just snow.
On our way back, S showed signs of tiredness & we obliged obediently. Little less than 20 minutes on the drive back, she crashed. And woke up 30 minutes to home. Isn't this a perfect vacation
The Ice Falls
at the end of the trail
The weather forecast called for flurries & it was snowing lightly(-3C to +2C). But it was windy. And at some point, it cleared all the way so we could see Victoria Glacier from this end of the lake.
"This place has character" was all that I managed to say to Ganesh. And I am sure he understood way more.
The ethnic variety among visitors to the Canadian Rockies has me awestruck! "English" English was all that sounded familiar.
People across the globe, you should come here & see the beauty. Not to demean whatever is there in your country. "It really is something" is all I can say to you.
~Au Revoir, travelbuffs
There are more photos below