Canada and Alaska Tour 2012 Part 1
Boarding our direct flight with Air New Zealand bound for Vancouver I knew that myself and the tour group I was escorting were in for an unforgettable time as we embarked on Canada and Alaska for 3 weeks.
Arriving into Vancouver we transferred to our hotel in the heart of Vancouver city where we had an overnight stay and then were off the next day to see what Canada had to offer.
After a city tour we were on the road to Whistler, a gorgeous ski resort town 2 hours out of Vancouver. After a few sightseeing stops (Shannon Falls were amazing and the photos do not do it justice) we arrived at the Delta Village Suites that was right in the heart of Whistler. What a gorgeous place that is fabulous in either summer or winter. While some shopped others did the Peak 2 Peak gondola ride and managed to spot some black bears. By the end of our group dinner however the size of these bears are grown dramatically funnily enough.
Sadly leaving Whistler we make our way to Lac Le Jeune Resort which is nestled between Merritt and Kamloops and is a popular fishing spot for Rainbow Trout fishing. Enjoying a dinner of local produce, it felt like we were back in New Zealand. With not much to do it was very relaxing and tranquil.
Back on the road we leave behind Lac Le Jeune and head towards Jasper which everyone is excited about. On the way we make a stop at Mount Robson which is the largest point of the vast Canadian Rockies. This was very humbling being amongst this mountain range that is just so vast. Arriving at Chateau Jasper we headed off to explore the town and enjoy some local cuisine. I have to say I had the best steak I have ever had at Evil Dave’s Grill. This restaurant was fabulous and I highly recommend to anyone passing through Jasper.
As much as we loved staying in Jasper, with our next stop being Lake Louise I had no problem getting everyone on the bus. Stopping at the Athabasca Falls, this was beautiful. The force of the water was mesmerizing. Next we were onto the Columbia Icefields which is one of the largest bodies of ice below the Arctic Circle. This was breath taking. Making our way into the ice field in an ice explorer, although we were unable to venture too far what we did see was amazing. The guides are all experienced and really knowledgable. With stops at Peyto Lake, Bow Lake and Crowfoot Glacier we finally arrived at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. This is somewhere I had always dreamed of staying and was completely blown away by how regal it is. I could have stayed for a week.
Sadly saying goodbye to Lake Louise we took the short trip to Banff for a much needed 2 night stop. Banff Gondola what our first tourist attraction which offers a 360 degree view of Banff. Although my legs were a bit shaky after the gondola ride it was definitely well worth doing. Staying at Mount Royal Hotel which is right in the heart of Banff I was in my element with chocolate and fudge shops as well as plenty of retails chains such as Roots and North Face. Needless to say that the Banff economy did well from our World Travellers group over those 2 days.