So off we went on our mini "getaway". The flight was short - just 2 and 1/2 hours...not bad...and we were in Calgary. There we rented our car and took off for Lake Louise just 2 hours away. As we drove along the very clean and well maintained highway, we kept passing through tunnels with trees and vegetation on top of them. We later learned that they had been built for the animals to have safe passage across the busy roadway. The highway was also fenced along each side to keep the animals from trying to cross where they would be killed in the traffic. I admire the Canadians for protecting both the animals and the people traveling as we were driving on the major Trans Canadian Highway which stretches from coast to coast.
Once in Lake Louise, it was a winter wonderland of snow covered mountains and light snow flurries. Our room looked out over the lake and it was a gorgeous view. The hotel was magnificent and the only major structure on the lake. It was so relaxing...we just read, enjoyed the best french onion soup that I have ever had and attended a delightful talk by a local guide about the history of the area and the grand hotel. We also hiked from one end of the lake to the other in the crisp fresh mountain air. Lake Louise is said to be the highest small town in Canada and it is the site of one of Canada's largest ski areas.
After our peaceful two days and nights in Lake Louise, we went back toward Calgary to stop at Banff and spend another two days. Banff was lovely and not really crowded so deer ambled down the streets as people stopped to let them go by. We rode the gondola to the top of one of the highest peaks to get a bird's eye view of the valley and had lunch at the top. But we both agreed that our favorite thing in Banff was hiking along the Bow River with it's roaring waterfall and cascades.
My son has a favorite saying which is "Living the Dream" and it seemed to fit our trip so, when he found a plaque with that on it, he bought it. After a second day of walking and a little shopping, we drove on to Canmore, a quaint little town where we visited the ammonite factory which mines and produces ammolite gems and jewelry. The colorful ammolite gemstones come from fossilized shells of ammonite sea creatures from 70 million years ago. The brilliant gem grade ammolite is mined exclusively in southeastern Alberta and it is now one of the world's rarest gems. Since I am into gemstones, I bought a few small pieces.
After that experience, we drove on to Calgary for our last night where we had dinner at the top of the Calgary Tower (more about that in another blog). As we walked the downtown area and visited the park along the river, we stopped to think back about our little "getaway". It was just what we had needed... A lovely way to "Live the Dream".