This entry will mostly be all about the photos. On Friday, we set out to drive the Icefields Parkway, which has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the most beautiful drives in the world. In addition to many scenic pull-offs, we also did two mini-hikes to Peyto Lake (a very icy, snowy path) and Mistayo Canyon. We had to cancel our larger hike to Parker’s Ridge that we planned to do after lunch because the weather turned rainy and miserable. We ate a lunch packed by the hotel at the Glacier Visitor Centre, then did the Glacier Skywalk excursion from there. The Skywalk was pretty cool, though the name is a bit of a misnomer, as there isn’t actually a glacier below you. After that, we walked up to the edge of the Athabasca Glacier, even though it was rainy, dreary, and cold. The drive home was just as wonderful, and in a way it was really cool to see the sunnier skies on the way there and the misty cloudy skies on the way back.
We took the bus into town and had dinner at a pretty good Korean restaurant, then followed that up with drinks in the hotel lounge.
On Saturday, our last day in Banff, we drove back to Lake Louise and hiked up to the Lake Agnes tea house. I was proud of us for making the 3.8 km hike up a fairly steady incline in one hour. All of those Insanity workouts really paid off for me! Meanwhile, Domingos’s breathing didn’t even noticeably change. I could probably work out for five hours a day and I would still never be as fit as my husband! The tea house is really cool, and well worth the hike. It’s cash only, but they accept American dollars as well as Canadian, and we had a nice pot of tea and biscuits at the top of the climb. Gorgeous views, as if I need to even say that! We spent the afternoon relaxing back at the hotel and starting to pack up a little, then walked up the road to take the Banff gondola up to the top of the mountain, where we enjoyed the panoramic views and then had a fairly decent prime rib dinner at the Summit Restaurant, followed by (of course) drinks back at the hotel lounge.
On Sunday, we worked out in the morning, finished packing, and then checked out of the lovely Rimrock Resort. We had that Sri Lankan dish again for lunch on our way out of town, then continued with our drive back to Calgary. We decided to return our rental car early, and were shocked to find the power out at the Calgary airport! We were still able to return the car, but it was really weird and eerie to walk through an airport with no power (apparently the back-up generators had failed as well). It came back on as we were waiting for the hotel shuttle, so luckily it was only out for a little under an hour and everything was fine by our flight the next morning. We stayed at a very nice hotel, Acclaim Hotel, and ordered pizza for dinner in the room while we watched the Pats redeem themselves against the Bengals.
Overall, an absolutely fabulous, wonderful trip that was so much fun! We will definitely visit Banff again someday.