I’d particularly been looking forward to getting to Banff National Park, it’s the ‘stunningly beautiful’ place Australians rave about ad nauseam upon their return home. And for good reason.
We arrived at Lake Louise in the late afternoon and battled ginormous buses groaning with tourists for a parking spot. We dodged errant selfie sticks, flailing in the air, as we jostled for a view of the famous lake beneath an angry grey sky.
Meanwhile armies of people in bright red canoes cut their way across the lake.
The crowds were kind of overwhelming, but in no way quelled the beauty of the lake. I’m not a smug ‘traveller’ who thinks herself a cut above the much maligned ‘tourist’ and I understand that places are busy because there is something spectacular about them. It probably doesn’t help that there’s a massive hotel, sorry, chateau on the shore. So the crowds I get, but we had a plan.
The next morning I literally jumped out of bed (which is no easy feat on an air mattress) at 6:45am and we were down by the lake by 7:15am with just a handful of other people. Bliss.
The moon was also out enjoying the early morning calm.
The pastel water is caused by silt or ‘rock flour’ from the glacier that feeds the lake and becomes suspended in the water. It’s so damn pretty.
We took a walk around the side of the lake, snapping stupid amounts of photos along the way.
We ducked inside the chateau to grab some coffees, it was pretty nice.
We drove over the Moraine Lake, the other nearby glacial lake, whose water was an even more spectacular blue. By this time parking the car was again a nightmare but we got lucky.
On our way out we noticed they had closed off the road because it was so busy, so we made it there just in time. My advice for anything in Banff National Park? Go early. And yes, it is worth it.