We decided to stay at Banff and commute to our other destinations from there. As the world is still on high alert due to the pandemic, we knew that most of the value adding services of hotels like the gyms, pools, hot tubs and housekeeping will be unavailable for use, so we called our hotel options to see if their rates were reflective of some of the items we would be missing out of. And sure enough, a chain in Banff was giving a 25% discount on rates due to covid. If you a not usually one to ask, try and start exercising that habit, both with God and with man ;).
So we booked the Banff rocky mountain hotel, part of the Banff lodging company and scored a sweet deal. As I had been to Banff a few times, my Banff itinerary was meant to be relaxing after a long day of exploring other areas.
As I had never witnessed sunrise at Banff, I was planning that this trip would take that off my list. Suffice it to say, Sunrise and also sunset in Banff was out of my reach and still squarely in my to-do list. I snooze my alarm about 6 times before I get up on a work day, talkless of when on a mini trip.
Anyway, on our first night, after our lake Louise itinerary that yielded no pictures, we went to the city centre to grab dinner at the Indian curry house, where they had no goat biryani and I had to settle for lamb. It was tasty though. Restored 60% of my depleted energy.
Banff was surprisingly empty after encountering a lot of people at Lake Louise, so it was nice to walk around and relax after a long day.
The next morning, we grabbed some coffee and took off to Yoho national park which is located in the province of British Columbia but is only 45 minutes from Banff. Check out my post on spending the day at Yoho National park.
We had initially planned to take a leisurely walk around the bow lake and visit Johnston canyon but after not getting any payoff (pictures) of my lake Louise hike, I reevaluated my plans and decided to redo the hike and also visit Moraine Lake. That was a great decision because, at the end of the day, I had a little motivation for Johnston canyon but the road there was blocked off. Check out my post on spending the day at Lake Louise.
I would highly recommend seeing Moraine lake if you are in the Banff area and especially if at Lake Louise. Moraine lake is only about 20 minutes drive from Lake Louise.
On our way to Lake Louise, we had noted the long queue to get into the Moraine lake road, and the big flashing road sign signaling that Moraine lake was at capacity which led to cars being turned away. After our successful Lake Agnes hike (evidenced by pictures), we approached Moraine lake with apprehension. After coming all this way, driving from Edmonton, braving the thought and possibility of catching COVID.. only to be turned back at the tail end of our goal! No….
Enough of my drama.. we got there and we were turned back. But, I come from a country where you have to negotiate and ask. So I asked nicely if we could wait somewhere until a few cars came out. And would you know it, the nice guy said I should just do a loop around and when I get back to that point again, he would let me in. After cautioning him to memorize my face, we made the loop and we were let in. Yay.
My strength was almost gone, my stamina depleted, but I made it to the top of the rocks that yielded an unobstructed view of the lake and sprawling mountain views. Waters so blue, tips of the mountains dotted with snow and the air just a little fresher, I was grateful to experience that.
On leaving the lake, Johnston canyon road was blocked off and the drive to Edmonton with a quick stop at Calgary beckoned.
It had already been a great weekend. Me and my travel friend had such a good time and good travel chemistry that we started planning our road trip exploring British Columbia. Stay tuned 🙂