I returned recently from a vacation that a times left me speechless, in disbelief that I was standing where I was, and honestly made me feel like a speck on this earth. I was lucky enough to visit Banff National Park, which I now consider to be one of the most beautiful places in the world and where I got to see Mother Nature at her finest. I'm extra lucky too because I got to experience all of this beauty and magic with my best friend and boyfriend, Dave.
These are some pictures I took on our drive up to Banff the first day trip we took, minus the first one of Dave, I took that while we walked around Calgary, but it's such a good picture I wanted to include it. ;) Anyway, when you're driving the long straight highway of Route 1 West the mountains just pop up out of nowhere and get bigger and bigger the closer you get. I was glued to the window like a little kid, I must have taken 100 pictures of the mountains out of the car window that day, I was so excited.
Our first day trip was dedicated to seeing the majestic Lake Louise and hiking the Plain of Six Glaciers Trail. It was a chilly and wet morning when we got to the lake but we were both so excited to just be standing on the edge of this lake that it could have been snowing and I don't think we would have noticed. Lake Louise gets its signature turquoise, emerald color because it's a glacier fed lake which means the rock flour combines with the melting glacier water and BAM, you get this natural beauty. Pictures will never do it justice, it's so beautiful in person I was stunned at first, it really does look like it does in the pictures! After we got some photos and fought our way through the hoards of tourists and families lining up to take photos, we started walking the edge of the river to get to the head of our trail!
The Plain of Six Glaciers Trail was not the easiest feat for two novice hikers, but we were determined and we pushed ourselves and made it to the Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse at the end of the trail. The hike was around 7 miles with 1,179 feet of elevation gain and we experienced throughout the hike: rain, really slippery trails, streams running over rocks, uneven rocky ground, steep cliffs with metal "ropes" to hold on to, cute chipmunks that ate goldfish out of our hands, a lush forest, an open glacier canyon, tons of other hikers, some trail pups, and some of the most gorgeous landscapes I have ever seen. We made it to the end of our trail and drank some hot chai teas before we embarked on the journey back down the trail. We found out the employees at the teahouse work 5 days straight and stay in cabins next door until they also venture back down the trail to civilization, crazy! The walk back down was much easier on our legs and we made it down in half the time, we walked around to the front of Lake Louise again and shot a couple more photos before we piled into our Fiat and headed back to our AirBnb to relax and put on warm clothes! Stay tuned for Part II featuring pictures from The Vermilion Lakes and Moraine Lake.