Breathtaking and amazing. As I gazed at the majestic Canadian Rockies and giant glaciers at the Columbia Icefields, I kept thinking of the lyrics to one of the songs we frequently sing in church “Creation sings the Father’s song.” Whenever I get swept up by theories of evolution and science, and then look at the wonder of nature and stand in awe at the marvelous sights such as the ones in Banff, I remember the verse in the bible “Be still and know that I am God.”
For a city gal who grew up in the tropical country and who purposely picked to go abroad to college and grad schools in warmer climates (Melbourne, Australia; Santa Barbara; San Diego), Banff in the spring was definitely a completely different experience. I had traveled quite extensively in the last decade and only visited places with frigid winters in summer (e.g., Montreal, which, in the summer, was a blast). So this short stint for us in Canada provided an excuse to travel around in the colder seasons and gave me a chance to experience cold. 🙂
Benji took his 4th and 5th flights at 5 months of age, and I must say air travel with an infant is no problem for us now (tho this was also a short flight only slightly over an hour, compared to what we dealed with before and what is to come in about a month….!!!!). It also really helped that my folks went with us and therefore having an extra THREE pairs of hands made this journey a breeze.
It was not easy figuring out which photos to post here; the naturally scenic backdrop guaranteed good shots even for an amateur photographer like me and so I have hundreds of them from our short five day trip. But here are my favorites:
The gorgeous Lake Louise was popularized by old Hollywood films such as “Endless Love” starring John Barrymore. Apparently still a popular vacation destination for Hollywood stars (no celebrity sighting when we visited, tho!). One of the info boards mentioned that average temperature in January is -14C and in June, 16C. !!! No wonder the lake was still very much frozen in the middle of spring.
What a rare nice shot of us that is not a self-shot. Thanks, dad (or mom or aunt! Couldn’t remember who took this photo).
We were lucky to catch this train passing through during one of our stopovers along the extremely scenic Trans-Canadia Highway (Highway 1). My dad timed the train passing and apparently it took a whole 8 minutes to completely pass us. Incredibly long and astonishing how a train with just two engines can pull that much cargo along.
Definitely the highlight of our trip. We got to see the Athabasca Glacier and the Saskatchewan River Crossing from the top. It was an amazing experience. We also saw from afar a group of hikers mountaineering. Wow.
We rode the Gondola up to Sulphur Mountain. Being completely useless with heights, I totally freaked out on the 8 min ride up. Benji was loving it, tho, his big inquisitive eyes could not stop darting around the soak in the scenery. His mom, meanwhile, had hers closed 7 out of the 8 minutes. Anyway, this was the view when we got off the ride. There was a nice easy boardwalk path up to the summit where a now defunct weather station sits. A man called Sanson used to hike up this mountain in the early 1900s to the weather station to record the temperature once every fortnight regardless of the weather conditions. It took him 9 hours and he hiked up and down about a thousand times. INCREDIBLE. He lived til about 85 years old.
Didn’t get to snowboard this time — AGAIN!! 😦 Oh, well. We didn’t get to do much hiking around either since a lot of the parks were closed because there was still too much snow. But Bry and I have decided to pencil in Banff for one of our future summer vacations to hike and bike around and see Banff in a different color. With an older Benji and any other kid(s) we might have.