Page 3 of Ljeread Travel Blog Posts

North America » United States » New York » New York » Manhattan June 17th 2018

Banff looked beautiful today in the sunshine as we left to go to Calgary Airport! Bruce drove some of our group (including us) to Calgary, and some were going on the Rocky Mountaineer, including Darcy, the tour guide. Bit of a wait at the airport as other people had earlier flights than us, then our flight was delayed. Landed at Newark airport after a 4 1/2 hour flight, airport transfer was not there (stuck in traffic), so went with a shuttle from the same company. Arrived at our hotel just after midnight, room not as small as we thought it might be, so all good.... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff June 16th 2018

The weather was not cooperating for the final day of our tour. Rain in Banff and surrounding areas, and even Bruce's magic wand had disappeared. We had a tour of the local area this morning, with a few options for the rest of the day. After a drive through the golf courses at the hotel, the first stop was Bow Falls, a bit different because usually there is a bit of a walk to whatever we are seeing, but there were the falls, right at the carpark. Next a stop at Surprise Corner, a bend in Tunnel Mountain road, where there are views across to our hotel. So all out for photos in the rain. The Hoodoos were next, rock formations, more rainy photos, but passed a herd of elk (females) grazing near the road. Because ... read more
Banff Springs Hotel from Surprise Corner
Elk grazing near the road

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff June 15th 2018

Groundhog day - up early, bags out, buffet breakfast, onto the bus, mountains, forest, waterfalls, lakes, sun, rain, clouds. Started the day back on the Icefields Parkway on our way from Jasper to Banff, and because we are on a bus tour, and that means seat rotations, every morning is "find where we are sitting today". Because we were on the "good" side of the road when we travelled to Jasper, we had to be on the other side today. First stop after we left Jasper this morning was Athabasca Falls. A little walk to the falls, viewing area fairly crowded, but very nice waterfall. We see lots of waterfalls, on sides of mountains, and near the road as we are driving, guess we stop at the special ones! Then a coffee stop at Sunwapta Lodge ... read more
Down from Athabasca Falls
Sunwapta Falls
Tangle Falls (next to the road)

North America » Canada » Alberta » Jasper National Park June 14th 2018

Did not have to have our bags out this morning, but still an early start, on the bus by 8am, after another lovely buffet breakfast. Our walk along the lake this morning was in sunshine so saw beautiful reflections in the lake. Headed straight for Maligne Lake (elevation 1670m), where we were booked on a cruise at 9am. (Lots of roadwork around Jasper, so we were a little late.) On the boat (which slowed down for any canoeists it passed) we travelled 14km to Spirit Island (a tied island, only cut off sometimes in Spring when there are heavy rains and melting snow). Maligne Lake is 22km long and almost surrounded by mountain peaks and glaciers - our boat tour guide told us all the names! It is called a fingerlling lake (long and narrow) and ... read more
Our Maligne Lake Cruise Boat at Spirit Island
Spirit Island
Malline Lake near Spirit Island

North America » Canada » Alberta » Jasper National Park June 13th 2018

Another early start today, but a stunning buffet breakfast at Chateau Lake Louise, so all good! Our drive today took us along the Icefields Parkway (one of the top rated scenic drives in the world) from Lake Louise to Jasper. The road passes Herbert Lake (I think that's what it was) where our bus driver (great guy, Bruce, could be an Aussie with his sense of humour), slowed the bus right down so we could get photos of the reflections in the lake. Then onto Bow lake for a rest stop and more photos. Apparently the bus that arrived 10 mins before us, saw bears on the way! Most of the snow we are seeing on the mountains on the way is from a snow storm they had on Monday (lucky we didn't get to the ... read more
Bow Lake
Bow Lake (again)
Our Ice Explorer

North America » Canada » Alberta » Lake Louise June 12th 2018

Up early this morning, to get bags out, have breakfast (a less than impressive buffet) and be on the bus by 8am. Tour started with a drive around Calgary, including a stop at the grounds where they have the Calgary Stampede (looked like an empty showground). Also drove under some of the 11 miles of covered walkways in Calgary, one level up from the street, joining the office buildings so you don't have to go outside in the winter. Then a coffee stop at Canada Olympic Park, just outside Calgary where the ski jumping for the Olympics was held (Eddie the Eagle jumped here!) A huge complex with at least 4 ice skating rinks, luge track, offices, cafe and gym. Driving first through the prairies, then the foothills of the Rockies, with beautiful scenery on the ... read more
Saddle Dome
Calgary (including the Calgary tower)
Our bus, in front of a mural at the Calgary Stampede grounds

North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary June 11th 2018

Checked out of the Blue Horizon Hotel this morning, has been a lovely stay - the room was quite spacious, cafe had great food and was reasonably priced, and it was very conveniently located. Flight to Calgary was short - 1 hr, nice views of Vancouver as we left (and of course the sun is shining), and over mountains (not sure which ones) along the way. Checked in to the Westin in downtown Calgary, (have gone upmarket, but downsized) then decided to go for a walk to Prince's Island Park, a short distance from the hotel. It is on an island in the Bow River, lots of trees, ducks and ducklings! Then we had to attend a welcome reception for our bus tour, drinks, pretzels and chips, and the 39 other people on the tour. It ... read more
Bow River in Calgary
Ducks & ducklings
Prince's Island Park

North America » Canada » British Columbia » Vancouver » YVR June 10th 2018

First on our agenda today (after another lovely breakfast downstairs), was the laundry! Walked to the coin laundry recommended by the hotel, and realised that just one block from where we are staying on Robson St, one of the main shopping streets in Vancouver, was a quiet, residential neighbourhood, with trees, apartment buildings, and even some houses. Managed to fumble our way through the washing machine and dryer nightmare, and were back at the hotel (with clean clothes) by early afternoon. Our plan then was to go to Flyover Canada, and then (hoping the clouds lifted a little bit) up the Vancouver Lookout Tower. Walked down to Canada Place (the tourist zone on the waterfront), saw 2 cruise ships in port, and bought our tickets for Flyover Canada. I thought this was a movie about Canada ... read more
Vancouver High Rise
Olympic Cauldron in Canada Place
Seaplane coming in to land

North America June 9th 2018

Yes, we went hiking (can hear the laughing from here!), but the real story of the day was the weather! An early start again today for our day tour to Whistler. We have been watching the weather forecast, and yesterday it changed from rain in Whistler to showers, an improvement at least, but not great if you are going up a mountain. And the forecast for Vancouver changed from showers to cloudy, so it looked like we would be following the rain. However, there were little patches of blue sky as we walked to our tour pick up spot, and we found the high rise office buildings, not the part of the city we are staying in. Then on to the bus heading through Stanley Park and over the Lions Gate Bridge, on our way to ... read more
Travelling along Howe Sound on the Sea to Sky Highway
Sea to Sky Gondola - looking up

The weather forecast was right unfortunately, rain in Vancouver today! Had a late start, slept in, still trying to deal with jet lag. Had a nice breakfast downstairs in the cafe, the rain wasn't too bad, so decided we would go to Granville Island, (which is a peninsula though, not an island), an area of Vancouver with a public market and lots of art and craft shops, cafes etc, and somewhat undercover. Everybody else obviously had the same idea. We checked out the public transport options, then jumped in a cab! Went first to the public market, lots of fresh produce stalls, lots of yummy looking food stalls, and also many craft stalls, and lots of people! Also looked at many art galleries, craft shops, and lots of souvenir shops that have been renamed galleries! Rain ... read more
Chocolate stall at the market
False Creek ferry heading for Granville Island

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