Friday, 20 September 2013

Road Trip to the Canadian West Coast - Banff, Jasper and Vancouver, 2013 (Honeymoon Part 1)

After the wedding, we went on a road trip with my parents and my eldest brother Sam to the Canadian West Coast.  We flew over to Calgary and then did a road trip from Calgary to Banff to Jasper and then onwards to Vancouver.  It has been a long time since I've gone on a trip with my dad and big bro, so it was very nice to have spent some bonding time with them.

We spent one night in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.  They put us up in the Honeymoon Suite all the way up at the very top of the hotel.  We had to climb an extra set of stairs to get to our room and inside our room, there were more stairs!







This time we saw lots of wild animals, a lot more than last time when we visited.




Since we were in Alberta, I thought it would be a good idea to have a nice steak dinner, so we went to Saltlik which was a reasonably priced restaurant.  Overall, the steaks were good, but I thought they were a bit on the salty side.




The next morning we had a quick breakfast at Wild Flour Bakery in Banff before heading off to Lake Louise.

When we got to the Fairmont Chateaux Lake Louise, we took their Labrador Retriever Marcus for a walk near the lake.  Marcus didn't really want to go for a walk with us...
We also didn't realize that Lake Louise would still be frozen in May!




It was starting to snow a little bit so we decided to head back indoors for a nice afternoon tea with Moet & Chandon.  My favourite meal of the day!

Then it was time to head out for more sightseeing.  We headed to Emerald Lake and the Natural Bridge which formed over the Kicking Horse River Valley.  It was quite a sight.  We couldn't head to Moraine Lake because it was still closed.








Before returning back to the hotel, we headed over to this restaurant called Truffle Pigs in a tiny little town called Field.  The food was pretty good considering it was in such a remote place.



The next day, we set out early in the morning for Jasper.  There were so many sights to see along the Icefields Parkway.  First, we stopped off at Bow Lake to take in the scenery and feel the ice cold water.



Then, we passed by the Weeping Wall along the Icefields Parkway.

Everyone got excited once we started seeing animals.  Look at all the people stopping to take a picture of the mountain goat.

The Bridal Veil Falls was quite dainty and lovely.

After a bit more driving, we arrived at the Athabasca Glacier.  It was so windy and cold even at the foot of the glacier!  We didn't take the tour up to the glacier, but look how huge the wheels of the bus are!


I was more excited when we came across a whole group of mountain goats crossing the road.  This time we were really close to the animals.

Next, we reached the Athabasca Falls, which had a nice walkway between large walls of rock that I thought were extremely pretty.  I even stacked my own rock structure!







Another stream of excitement came when we saw a grizzly bear and a black bear along the side of the highway!  You can't really see the black bear because he had gone too far into the woods.


With the scenic route and all the attractions along the way, it seemed like it took no time to get to Jasper at all.  We took a final stop at Maligne Canyon before heading to the cottage.  Here we saw some more deers.




We spent the night at Patricia Lake Bungalows in Jasper.  We were all very impressed with our stay and would recommend this lodging to anyone visiting Jasper.  We stayed in the cabin called the Pyramid which had more than enough room for the five of us.




Patricia Lake was nice a quiet.  Great for swimming or kayaking in the summer.

For dinner, we went to a pizzeria called Famoso, which is a chain in the West Coast that serves Neapolitan style pizza, but I see that they have opened some locations in Ontario too.  Their pizza, salad and dessert were quite tasty!




After dinner, we strolled around town before heading back to the cabin.




The next day involved a whole lot of driving to get from Jasper all the way to Vancouver.  We left early in the morning and it took around 7 to 8 hours to get to downtown Vancouver.  We had been to Vancouver quite a few times now, so there's not much more to blog about.  My big bro hadn't been to Vancouver in a long time, so we took him to the Capilano suspension bridge.  They have a new attraction called the cliff walk which is similar to the Grand Canyon Skywalk, but of course not as scary.


All in all, this was a wonderful trip and we got to spend a lot of time with our family.  That concludes part 1 of our honeymoon.

Saltlik Steakhouse on Urbanspoon Wild Flour Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon Fairview Dining Room on Urbanspoon The Truffle Pigs on Urbanspoon Famoso Neopolitan Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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