Saturday, March 24, 2018

This post has been long time coming! In my 'Tour of Alberta Vol.1' I promised pictures of snowy mountain tops and I am here to deliver that promise! So sit back, grab a cuppa and come along as we explore the Rockies!
Back in December our friend came from Finland to visit us and we of course took her to the mountains! We stayed in Calgary for one night and the morning we headed to the Rockies. Going to the Rockies is like going to a Summer cabin in Finland. It doesn't matter what life situation you are in. There is just this peace that surrounds you when you get there. As if the mountains would say 'It will be ok'. Might sounds weird.. but it's true! I know a lot of Albertans wouldn't agree at least if we talk about Banff in the same sentence. That is because the town of Banff is so touristy and busy that it isn't like you are there just by yourself with the mountains. It might look like that, but we are just clever when taking the pictures and cropping the tourists ;) But I still think that if someone comes to see me and I have the choice of showing them Banff or Jasper, I would pick the first one. And that's exactly what we did in December!
I love how you can see the mountains far away and you just can't help but start taking photos! That's what I did when Stephen first took me there. That's what I still do! And that's what my friend did. It's hard to understand that you will actually see these huge 'rocks' wayyyyy closer. But they just are so intriguing and amazing and what's that word...majestic that as soon as you see them, you want to capture their beauty.

Town of Banff is in the National Park, so you can't actually just buy property and live there, unless you work there. Not that we would, because we are not millionaires (newsflash) but it would be cool! The town of Canmore that is the town before Banff in the other had has grown a lot int he past decades and become the next 'Banff'. It is more affordable and you can buy property there, but again, not cheap.

We ended up checking in our hotel and heading for lunch as soon as we got to Banff. After lunch we decided to go and see the Bow Falls and walked up to see the Hotel Fairmont. Because we sure weren't staying there ;) Funny story: I had thought that it wold be nice to get some hot chocolate from their cafe and little did we know when we got to the top they were giving out hot chocolate and you could roast marshmallows. We also saw Santa and got a picture with him! I know this all was meant for the hotel guests buuuuuuuuut. We just might have gone with the flow ;) We ended up touring around the hotel and warming up since it was pretty cold outside before heading back to our hotel.

The next day we had a busy day. Since we had a 11 month old with us we had woken up early so we were ready to hit the road before the sunrise. We drove to Lake Louise and enjoyed seeing the sunrise and the sun shining over the mountains just as we got to the lake. If you have ever seen a photo of a lake that looks perfect and blue it has most likely been Lake Louise or Moraine Lake. Unfortunately we weren't able to go to Moraine Lake since the roads are closed at winter.

People were on the ice walking and taking pictures and some people even skating! We did everything else except for the skating part. It was a great time to come because the lighting was perfect and we could still find parking! There is a beautiful hotel (Fairmont once again :D) just next to the lake so we ended up going there and having our second breakfast. 
After getting some food we continued to Silverton Falls. Or we tried. The trail was so icy that we didn't dare to go since my friend's foot still wasn't 100% and I had our son on my back. Oh and we were pretty sure we saw cougar prints which didn't want us to go any further either! Instead we went ended up going to Johnston Canyon! 
Johnston canyon is literally a canyon and there is board walk that hugs the mountain. If you don't like heights, it can be scary, but worth it ;) At the end of the walk the prize is a waterfall! Again, I do want to point out that you are not alone! You literally wait for your turn to go inside this cave to get a closer look at the waterfall, take your picture and give your spot to someone else! In the summer it's just pure crazyness with all the tourists!

Monday was our last day in town, so we decided to take the gondola up Sulphur Mountain! I had never done it in winter, but it was so worth it! (Though it was freezing once again!) Sun was out and we had a beautiful blue clear sky! There is a boardwalk you can walk from a mountain top to another. And at the end of the walk there is a little hut that was the weather station back in the day! The views  from the top are incredible!

It was great to be able to show these amazing spots to our friend. As Albertans, we often take the Rockies for granted, but for a lot of people it's a once in a lifetime experience! It was an awesome trip and felt like the cherry on top of the cake- kinda trip. My friend loved it!

Have you ever been to the mountains? If so, where? If not, where would you like to go?

Psssst! I only decided to write this post in English since it became longer than I had anticipated and was worried that I would never be able to translate it before another 4 weeks has gone past. SO, my question for you is (for you Finns): Do you mind reading in English? Writing each blog post in two languages takes a lot of time so I am really considering to narrowing it to just one.. And since I also have quite a few readers from Canada and elsewhere, English seems like the right language to choose. Please let me know your thoughts :)

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