A fleeting visit from some Queenslanders.

We were lucky enough to have a very fleeting visit from Sarah and Deryck from Australia in March. I know Sarah as the daughter of Kyme, who used to sing in a band with my Dad years ago in Australia. She seems to have followed me around the world from NZ to Australia then to England and now to Canada! Her boyfriend Deryck did a season in Whistler so returns to Canada often. (I hope we will follow suit)

They stayed in Whistler on their holidays and made the long journey (14 hours or so) over to Banff to see us. The weather was bad when they drove through, both BC and Alberta were getting pummelled with snow and at one point I wasn’t sure they were going to make it.

Sure enough, while at work on the night shift I received a call that they they were only an hour away! So once they arrived Fergus came to work to meet them, grab some dinner from Nesters and keep them company until I arrived home. 

The following day we got up early and headed to Lake Louise. With only one full day in Banff, Deryck was keen to see the ledgedary lake voted one of the most popular tourist spots in Canada and on the places to see in the Lonely Planet Guide on Canada.Once there we bundled down to the snow covered, frozen lake for a wander. Deryck, intent on taking thousands of photos (much like me) wanted to walk across the centre while Sarah, Fergus and I chose to walk on the sleigh path around the side of the lake to avoid the deep snow. 

Somehow we lost Deryck and the three of us ended up at the end of the lake watching climbers on the frozen waterfall while Deryck had apparently turned back and was at the Chateau waiting. Sarah and Deryck went for a second trip across the lake while Fergus and I waited at the Chateau and watched the ice skaters. It was a stunning day and not too cold either.Back in Banff we stopped quickly at the Norquay Lookout that looks over the Town of Banff and at Surprise Lookout that looks over the Bow falls to the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. (The Castle in the Rockies)Back in Banff and hungry we stopped into Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub for burgers and beers. I love Tommy’s, the burgers are big, the drinks cheap and there is always a good atmosphere in there.We then decided to get some wine to take home and headed down to the car which we had parked by the river and were lucky enough to see a couple of huge male Elk foraging for food. Got some great photos and we were really chuffed Sarah and Deryck got to see some of our local wildlife.Had a few wines and a great old catch up at home before heading to bed. Sarah and Deryck left at around 3am that morning.It was really nice to catch up with Sarah and to meet Deryck who is a lovely chap. 

See you in Australia guys! X

The arrival of friends and family

After being in Canmore only a matter of weeks it was time to host our first visitor.  Frankie, our friend from Bromley arrived at the beginning of September from New York and was our first guest. It was nice to still be off work and be able to show her around the area a bit. 

We went up to Norquay Gondola and after a wet and cold ride up and a hot chocolate in the restaurant at the top, the clouds cleared and we could see right up the valley and over the town of Banff. Got some great photos up the top.Fergus and I on top of Norquay Mountain

The weekend she arrived was also the annual Canmore Highland Games so we went down in the afternoon for a look around and some food and drinks. There were lots of stalls as well as a big beer tent and food vans. We watched some highland dancing, pipe bands and Irish dancing which was amazing! Had lots of drinks and listened to the various bands inside the tent. It was a great day and night. Frankie stayed with us two nights before moving on to the hostal on Canmore and then to Hi Hostal in Banff.Frankie, Sheryl and Fergus – Highland Games

On September 19th Kim, also from Bromley, returned to Canmore. She did a visa a few years ago and was here to do a second. I was working when she arrived so left her to explore the town on her own on her first day but later that same day my cousin Susan arrived from New Zealand! I told Kim Susan was arriving around 2pm and funily enough they arrived at my work at the same time! So I sent them off for lunch and a mosey around town before Susan returned to help me close the pet store.   

That evening we all met up for locals steak night at The Wood and a few drinks and a game of pool afterwards. Kim has now moved into a lovely flat in Canmore. 

The following two days Fergus and I had off work to play tour guide to Susan who was on a 5 week tour of Canada and the US. Unfortunately the weather on both days was rubbish and you could barely see the mountains through the cloud and on and off rain. 

The first day we went to Calgary airport to pick up my skis that I had sent over from London and then went up to Spray Lakes to do some wildlife spotting. Didn’t see a lot apart from some Chipmonks, rabbits and a deer. I guess the Bears had headed to higher ground to prepare for hibernation. Susan and I at Spray Lakes

The following day we were up early and headed up to Banff to look for Elk. We had been told they like to hang out at the Golf course so went for a drive around the course loop near bow river and we were not disappointed! We came across a male with a bunch of females and saw another 3 males trying to move in on the pack. They were making weird noises but we didn’t see any fights unfortunately.Elk at Banff Golf Course

Had a quick stop at Bow Falls before carrying on up to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake for a look.Susan and I at Bow Falls

Driving up the road to Moraine Lake was great, it had been snowing up there and small areas of snow lined the roadside. It was quite misty and we felt like we were miles away from anywhere, that is until we arrived at the lakeside lodge and saw loads of tourists milling about!

We climbed the small hill at the head of the lake and from the top, the view, even though we still couldn’t see the tops of the mountains, was amazing! The lake is a stunning blue/green colour and is surrounded by green forest and stunning snow capped peaks.Susan and I at Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake Panoramic

Had a look through the the gift shop at the Lodge before carrying on to Lake Louise. Again, it was crawling with tourists but it’s a very impressive place. The huge Fairmont Hotel stands at the head of the lake looking to the mountains and glacier in the distance. Again, we were unable to see the glacier or the tops of the mountins due to the low cloud.Lake Louise

Had some lunch in the small Lake Louise shopping area before heading back to Banff. Had a look around Banff town before dropping Susan off at her hostal and saying our goodbyes. The following day she got the tour but up to Jasper and we were happy to learn the weather had cleared so she was able to get great views for her trip. 

We are so lucky to have had so many visitors and new arrivals so early in our stay in the Rockies. It’s such a lovely part of the world to share with loved ones.

I hope it continues.