Today’s journey on the coach would take us from Banff to Jasper, along one of the top 10 scenic roads in the world, the Icefield Parkway.
We left the hotel at 09:20 and waved goodbye to Banff, which had completely stole our hearts. Our first stop of the day was Peyto Lake- a glacial lake at the highest point of the Icefield Parkway.
Again, the glacial rock flour gives the lake a wonderful turquoise colour, and the viewpoint is higher than the lake, which means you’re looking down onto the lake with huge mountains as a backdrop.
It’s utterly breathtaking and Keith even goes as far as saying it’s his favourite one so far.
After this we continued along the Icefield Parkway, marvelling at the scenery and on the constant lookout for bears and eagles!
Having a driver makes it very relaxing.
We stopped for lunch before continuing on to the Athabasca Glacier for our next stop. The majority of the group had taken the opportunity to book onto the SnoCoach tour. The Sno Coach is a huge vehicle designed to drive onto the glacier. The tyres are Huge and cost €4000 each! It’s a bumpy but exciting ride down to the glacier but accompanied by entertaining and lively guides- offering plenty of interesting commentary to distract us that we are bumping along!
Once on the glacier we had around 30 minutes to walk on the glacier itself! Wow this was absolutely FANTASTIC! What an opportunity!
We got hundreds of pictures and despite it being busy, found an area to ourselves to take it all in. It was absolutely ASTOUNDING to think that underneath our feet was enough ice to cover the Eiffel Tower. Above our heads, the large ridges that towered above us would have been full of ice just 100 years ago. It really brings it home to us how our planet is getting warmer. It’s been suggested that in around 50 years this entire glacier will be gone which is staggering.
Our visit was tremendous and something which I’ll never forget.
Our next stop was the Athabasca Falls, which was a scenic spot to take some photos before heading into Jasper to find our hotel.
Today had been epic and to be honest I’d gotten quite tired! After a quick happy hour cocktail, I could have been convinced to stay local for dinner, but luckily, Keefy convinced me otherwise so we made the 15 minute walk into town.
Dinner was at the Inn Grill which was right by our hotel, The Chateau Jasper, and we opted for steak and ribs which were lovely.
We walked it off into town, and saw our train for tomorrow, the mighty Rocky Mountaineer. We were able to get a number of photos before having a beer at Jasper Brewing Company, at which point the wall of tiredness hit me so we made our way back.
A fabulous day!
Until next time