Tuesday, November 25, 2014

GCA VII: Two Lakes

Lake Louise Inn

Our first morning in Lake Louise was a primer for the weather to come. Just getting to the car required three layers of clothing. And our breath came out in puffs. Grabbed breakfast at the Visitors Centre, the only commercial centre in the village. At first we looked at the cold sandwiches in the supermarket but decided against that (like it wasn't cold enough outside) and went queuing at Laggan's, the bakery next door. Got ourselves some croissants and a sandwich and most importantly hot coffee. Felt really good going down. It's refreshing to note that in Canada, even small cafes provide gluten-free choices and are able to advise on food allergy issues. The first attraction of the day was Lake Moraine with its beautiful blue-green waters. Actually most of the lakes around there have the same hue due to the fact that they are glacier-fed. Really, really fine rock sediment (called rock flour) in the lake water cause only certain wavelengths to be reflected, hence the colour. We trekked around the lake (while some chose to canoe), taking a 3 km round trip. Outdoor activities in Canada can be quite pleasant provided it's not too cold or wet.

Lac Moraine

Rock Pile

Canoe in the Distance

Enjoying the Hue

Ten Peaks

Lone Photographer

Tried to get to Lake Louise (I was anticipating lake fatigue soon) after that, but the traffic was crazy and we failed to find parking. Since it was nearly noon, we decided to have lunch instead. Tried some eats at Trailhead Cafe. Shared a Canadian Club (which by the way was a wrap full of bacon) and some hot clam chowder. During lunch we did a little reshuffling of our plans. Instead of Lake Louise, we went for the Lake Louise Gondola. KH was raring to see bears. The station was at Lake Louise Ski Lodge. Not many people went up. Feeling adventurous, we chose the open gondola instead of the closed option. Basically it was a padded ski lift. Halfway up, the wind picked up and it started to drizzle. When the raindrops reached us, they turned to ice crystals. X_X. Brrrrr. Strangely, people were coming down all dressed up, in coats, bow ties and dresses. Weird. When we arrived at the top, we found out why-- a wedding. The bride was in her gown and hiking shoes, taking pictures amid the Fireweed. She seemed unfazed by the cold, while KH and I tried to find shelter from the wind and intermittent drizzle. The weather conditions were not conducive for us to hike, plus bear country required us to travel in groups of at least four for safety reasons. In the end, we opted for the Great Bear Trail, a guided tour about bears, though it DID NOT include bear sightings (KH was not at all happy LOL). Some interesting information about the Black Bears and Grizzlies. Basically they eat A LOT of berries, like 20,000 a day! And that makes up 90% of their diet. Didn't stay too long up there. The rain wasn't letting up, so we jumped into one of the closed gondolas down.

Lake Louise Ski Lodge

Open Gondola

Lake Louise Gondola

Mountain Bride


Mossy Trail

It was already late afternoon, so we tried Lake Louise again. As expected, the crowd had left. The colour of Lake Louise was exactly like Lake Moraine. On a whole, I think the latter is more scenic. Did the usual trek around the lake, following closely behind a bubble-butt PRC guy in A&F sweatpants. Panas!

Pouring In

Lake Louise Lee

Halfway through, we bumped into last week's dinner guests at Westin. The guy and his wife were staying at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise at MYR1,200 a night! Little wonder his wife didn't turn up for dinner that night. Did not go all the way. Turned back and visited the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise instead. An atas place. Left the hotel to look for food, but we were stuck in another massive jam. Reminded me of Cameron Highlands during high season.

Lakeview Luxury

Majestic Lake

Rays on Lake

So we made a U-turn and headed to Deer Lodge which we had just passed by earlier. Started with King Scallops that were divine! beer-battered cod was for me and the bison burger was KH's. Bison had a real strong smell compared to beef and had a tougher texture. Traffic was much better after dinner. Used up quite a lot of our fuel, so we stopped at the gas station near our hotel. We were presented with a choice of 87, 89 and 91. Never occurred to ask the car rental people about the fuel we should pump. LOL. Fuel prices were expensive, taxed at an average of 31%. Cost us CND1.32 per litre. Pheww...

King Scallop


TZ said...

The Moraine Lake and Lake Louise, both are nice lake. The Canadian $20 notes has the Moraine Lake at the back. ;-)

Hdaran said...


William said...

More lakes to come!


Jaded Jeremy said...

Brought a lot of cash or use credit card substantially?

William said...

What do you think? KH is a cash or card person?

Jaded Jeremy said...

I'm guessing that it would depend on whether he thought the exchange rate used by the credit card was "good" or not. If it was good, then it would be a mixture of cash and card. If it wasn't then, it would be more cash but pay large bill with card. So which it was?

Derek said...

Mixture of credit card and cash. We used cash first until almost ran out.

Morraine is also my favorite, followed by Peyto Lake