Thursday, 2 August – Off to an early start after breakfast to drive to Moraine Lake situated in the beautiful Valley of the Ten Peaks. Stunning scenery.
Then continued on to Lake Louise which I was really looking forward to. The unbelievably turquoise lake and its surrounding backdrop of mountains is, without doubt, the main attraction for many people and it was quite crowded there
We had plenty of time to walk part of the way around the lake and admire the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise – a beautiful building with an interesting history and lovely gardens. Very impressive.
Lake Louise is of course, the iconic place to visit but I don’t think Moraine Lake should be overlooked. In terms of beautiful lakes, it was up there and less touristy.
We also learnt about rock flour (we misunderstood and immediately thought of rock flowers!) Rock flour refers to the silt created when rocks are grinding from the movement of a glacier. The rock flour is very light and stays suspended in the water for a long time. The sunlight that reflects off this rock flour gives the lakes their stunning turquoise colour.
For the rest of the day we were free to explore Banff on our own, and then we all met up to hop on our coach to be taken to the Banff Trail Riders ranch, for a ride in a covered wagon drawn by two horses to enjoy a cookout.
It was about a 40-minute ride along a narrow dirt road through a pretty forest alongside the river. The horses were very keen to up the pace and had to be slowed down a few times. When we arrived at our destination we were greeted with drinks and lasso and horse shoe throwing lessons while we waited for our meal. Also, some very large mosquitoes – which made us feel right at home!
On the way, the driver checked out how we would like our steaks cooked and phoned through our orders – such attention to detail! The home cooked beans were fantastic – will be searching out some recipes when I go home. Salad was followed by baked potatoes to accompany our perfectly cooked steaks and beans, then individual cheesecakes for dessert – who doesn’t love a barbecue?
Even though it was late when we made our return trip back to the coach, the weather was warm and still daylight! I’m loving these long days.