Lake Hopping in Banff

Could a national park be more lucky? After Banff National Park already got the largest part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, it’s also home for three of the world’s most beautiful lakes: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Lake Agnes, all of them located super close together. And it’s hard to believe that Canada’s oldest national park (established in 1885) was more or less created by accident.  In one of my last posts I was telling you about my trip with the Rocky Mountaineer and that the railway was built in order to connect Canada’s East to Canada’s West.  So in the middle of the construction work they started to run out of money. The idea was to create a tourist destination in the middle of the Rockies to be able to go on. That’s how Banff started to grow. The Canadians had no idea about winter tourism though or mountain tourism in general. So they invited a couple of Swiss who showed them how to prepare skiing and hiking trails, use the thermal waters for spas, build luxury hotels and drop bread into a cheese fondue. And even now, more than 100 years after, you can still feel this Swiss influence exploring Banff National Park. Where you should stay at least for two days!P1130573P1150463Banff (a little town within Banff National Park with 75000 inh.) is a good starting point for your tours. You can also get a couple of nice souvenirs in the local shops such as maple syrup or bear paws, made out of chocolate with cashews on them. For all the unlucky ones among us who didn’t get to see a real grizzly bear.P1150475P1150490P1130578P1150496P1150493P1150531P1130672We woke up in Banff on the early morning to find out that it was unexpectedly snowing the whole night. It was so slippery that our car (still with summer tires) didn’t manage to pass to the hiking trails. And if you don’t get through with a car… you take a helicopter! P1130696P1130849Our pilot described the situation like this: “When life gives you lemons, don’t make a stupid lemonade. Put some champagne on them!” And he was right, seeing the Rocky Mountains from above was definitely champagne, not a lemonade! P1130741P1130768P1130899Don’t fly and take selfies! I might be the worst copilot ever. P1130792P1130842P1130831P1130838P1130853P1130897P1130920P1130905P1140072P1140112P1140089Just driving through the park is already a thing! You are literally rolling into beautiful landscapes all the time and there are a couple of maple donut pit stops on the way. P1140205P1140175First lake we stopped by was Moraine Lake. Standing in front of it feels like attending some kind of a fashion show. People just don’t stop taking pictures. It must be the most photographed lake in the world. There are also a couple of bear warning signs telling you to always walk in groups and speak loudly. Well, nothing easier than that! As there are no restaurants around, bring your own picknick.P1140242P1140227P1140262P1140189P1140250P1140266P1140051P1140409P1140577Fairmont Banff Springs was the first luxury hotel built in the Rockies (it used to be wooden back then). Staying there felt like being in a castle. I constantly got lost finding myself in mysterious halls.P1140510P1140446P1140529On the next day we had time to explore two lakes: Lake Louise and Lake Agnes.P1140643P1140657P1140697P1140774You have to hike about one hour from Lake Louise to get to Lake Agnes. Not many people do so. I loved it because of the beautiful reflections and the stillness you just had to share with a couple of animals…P1140822P1140814P1140874P1140867P1140885P1140914Lake Louise is famous for it’s emerald colour of the water. It comes from rock flour carried into the lake by melt-water from the glaciers. The colour is constantly changing depending on light and season.P1140931P1140977P1150023P1150076Rent a canoe to explore the lake from differrent perspectives and have a lunch at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise after. Or just stay there overnight to enjoy the Lake Louis view from your balcony. P1150090P1150110P1150273P1150105P1150309P1150300P1150152P1150219P1150379P1150600P1150568P1150624P1150642On the last morning the snow totally melt away and it felt like spring again. The Fairmont Banff Springs has opened it’s beautiful terrace and I was a bit sad we couldn’t stay longer. Bloody Mary always helps though…P1150637

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