Published: June 14th 2012June 14th 2012
Dear all, A warm "hello" from Vancouver where we are today enjoying our last day of our Canadian adventure. Our time in Canada has been wonderful, perhaps more so dueto lack of mobile connectivity and wifi! However, we have now managed to drag ourselves back to civilisation and find a signal as we wanted to say a big thank you to you all for making our day such a special one. We both had such a wonderful day which was made even better by sharing it with you all. We are both so glad that we had the opportunity to catch up with so many of you, which aside from getting married, will be the memory we will take away with us- seeing so many of the people we care so much about having such a good time celebrating our marriage. Thank you also so much for your wonderful generosity and kindness of your gifts. Darran & I will take great delight in coming home to many of them, and certainly shall be enjoying some over the course of the next few weeks. We look forward to thanking each of you individually on our return. So, with no intention of making you guys jealous as you're sat in work, here's a brief snapshot of what we've been getting up to this past week... We arrived in 'inside out' Calgary which is a city designed to protect you from the elements...foolishly we took to the streets late on Monday evening
when we arrived and wondered why there was very little sign of life. A follow-up explore the next day revealed an indoor maze of connected high-rise streets which house the entire city, in a series of malls. A bizarre, but ultimately necessary design as temperatures plummet to -45C in the winter. Calgary 'done', we picked up a car on Tuesday and began our Rockies leg. Darran soon forgot about being in a minor pout with me (I vetoed the ridiculously massive Dodge Ram 4x4 Pickup Truck at the rental place) as the awesomeness of our journey down Highway 1 became apparent. Despite being a little overcast the magnificence of the Rocky Mountains was not lost on us and we were delighted to arrive at our log cabin set in the woods on the side of Storm Mountain - a great recommendation thanks to Amy & Ali for that! Being some 2,000 meters above sea level was a little interesting as our bad weather fairy appeared to follow us from Kent and brought with it snow blizzards (and apparently the worst rain to hit the area this year, complete with a tornado we were told!) which we woke up to for the next few days. Luckily, us city folk managed to work out how to light a proper log fire (with paper and matches!) which completed our mountain idyll. We waited out the storms and before we knew it, the clouds and snow lifted and we were awarded with the most spectacular scenery either of us have ever seen. It can probably only be expressed by the fact that we were both rendered speechless as we attempted to soak in the amazing expanse of the views around us. Without wanting to waste a moment of good weather, we attacked our 'bucket list', and made it up 2 mountains (1 on foot and the other by Gondola), trekked along Johnson Canyon to take in some spectacular waterfalls, took a cruise on Lake Minnewanka which is the largest lake in Banff National Park and the most incredible turquoise colour, took an awesome helicopter flight over the eastern edge of the Rockies, where Legends of the Fall was filmed (thank you to Dave, Tess, and Jack for that experience of a lifetime) and took in the great area of Banff itself. We tore ourselves away from our lovely cabin in the woods for one of the most scenic drives in the world - Banff to Jasper along the Icefield Parkway. As well as ticking off 3 close encounter bear sightings along the way (confirmed Grizzly, Brown and Black bears!), we also stopped to take in Lake Louise, Lake Moraine and to walk along the awesome glacier of Columbia Icefield. A truly magnificent experience, although having made it up to the Icefield the last leg of the journey became slightly more interesting as another snow storm hit and we had to eek our way up the mountain passes to reach the safety of Jasper. Although dampened by the weather, we both really enjoyed our short stay in Jasper, which was a lovely little place with a great atmosphere, where all the locals' yards had canoes, fishing kit and ski gear, and where apparently no one locks their doors. As it was clear the weather was in to stay, we decided to cut our losses, and move on but not before bookmarking Jasper as a place to come back to. We decided to hit the road once more and get to Vancouver that evening...a mere 1,000km trip! It was made pleasant by great views and of course, great company! We've had great fun exploring Vancouver itself, which is a really cool individual city with great respect for its amazing surrounds. We've also enjoyed exploring Vancouver Island and Whistler, two fabulous day trips - the latter part of a phenomenal train ride on the 'Rocky Mountaineer' along the 'Sea to Sky Highway'. We were lucky enough to have wonderful weather for these days and certainly made the most of them.
We're enjoying our last day in Vanc and then we head stateside...more to come soon!
The Jenkins' xx