Friday Favorites will return next week, this week, work and personal life have been really busy and I've not had a minute to spare. So this was post was supposed to be up on Wednesday but here we are. Oh well.
I've already mentioned this, but I saw a photo of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise when I was 17 or 18 years old and immediately had to know where it was and decided I MUST go there some day. I thought it was so pretty and the water was an unreal shade of aqua that I needed to see in person. I am kind of ashamed that it took me about 18 years to get there, it was absolutely worth the wait and I'll go back. In fact I'm already thinking that Banff needs to be an annual half marathon. There are many places in the world that I've seen or have been to and thought they were gorgeous, but this might be my favorite now. Sorry, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, you've been dethroned from the top spot, but I still do love you.
I left my very late Friday lunch in Banff and drove straight to Lake Louise, which is 58 km northwest of the town of Banff. Lake Louise is both a town and the name of the lake that is featured in this post. And to be clear, the lake is what I'm referring to as beautiful. The town was very cute but not the reason for this trip. It was a very easy drive to the lake and I think I got there at a very good time of day - about 5:30 on a Friday. I've heard that it is necessary to get there very early or go later because the parking lots fill up.
I got a spot immediately and walked through the parking lot and was actually surprised that the lake was so close to the lot. I walked past the archway sign and through some trees and stopped almost dead in my tracks because the lake was right there and BEAUTIFUL. Sorry that these photos do not do it justice. Photo editing is something I'd like to get better at, but it is just not something I have time for right now. Also, a photo just doesn't capture the beauty. Finally, it was sunny for the first 5 minutes I was there and then the clouds started rolling in, evidence to follow.
I snapped a lot of photos with my Sony camera at Lake Louise and that was it for this trip. I was having such a good time and didn't want to be fussing with my camera while spending time with my friend that I never thought to take it out. And while I was climbing Mt. Norquay, I was afraid of losing or breaking it on the Via Ferrata. So this was the only day I used this camera. Shrug. It will come with me to Chile/Argentina and most likely, Kilimanjaro/Zanzibar/Nairobi.
I spent some time walking around the lake, admiring the scenery, and snapping photos. I had a kind stranger take a few of me with my camera and they turned out well but I was squinty, tired, awake since 5 am, and makeup free, so that explains my expression. The original plan for this little excursion was to drive to Moraine Lake (which I've heard is even more beautiful) after Louise. However, I left the lake because I heard thunder and the clouds had rolled in, I started to turn towards Moraine Lake and read a sign that said the road was steep and gravel paved and with the rain and my Chrysler 300 rental car (I don't drive that much) I decided it was best for me to head to my Airbnb back in Canmore, which was about 20 km past Banff so I had a little bit of a drive. I was also a little bit later than I said I would be for my arrival so I was concerned about being rude and arriving late. I was happy with the time I spent at Louise in total about an hour. :)
The last bit of story I will leave you with is that on the way to Louise, there are several spots on the highway (Trans-Canada Hwy 1) where people sometimes stop and park to look at the sights or wildlife. I did this once that day too when I passed the Banff exit and had to turn around, I used the opportunity to just park the car, get out, and look at the beautiful mountains. Anyway, I was on my way to Lake Louise and people started pulling over and stopping and slowing down and thank goodness I was paying attention because the drivers were not exactly being safe about it. It was kind of madness. One car pretty much slowed to a stop in the right lane before pulling off of the road and I had to swerve to miss him and as I glanced to the left, I saw that there was a family of bears up on the hill behind a huge fence and that was what everyone was stopping to look at. It was a nice moment but a scary one because people were running across the highway to see the bears as well as stopping in front of cars. So my lesson here is drive safely and pay attention.
I have a lot more to write about this trip. It was tranformative in a different way than Iceland was for me - you can go back and read about Iceland though, because this post is already too long. And on to the scenery...