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Canada: Banff, Jasper, Montreal, Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls (Visit 2), Niagara-on-the-Lake, Niagara on the Lake (Visit 2), Quebec City, Toronto, Toronto (Visit 2), Vancouver, Victoria
Jasper, Canada: Simply beautiful
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Few kilometers from the parking lot, we would leave the Trans-Canada Highway (1A) and turn onto Icefields Parkway (93). A little about these roads is quite in place.
The Trans-Canada Highway is a transcontinental highway system that travels through all ten provinces of Canada from the Pacific Ocean on the west to the Atlantic on the east. The main route spans 7,821 km across the country, one of the longest routes of its type in the world.
Unlike any other, the stretch of road from Lake Louise to Jasper known as the Icefields Parkway is dotted with more than 100 ancient glaciers, cascading waterfalls, dramatic rock spires, and emerald lakes set in sweeping valleys of thick pine and larch forests. Rated as one of the top drives in the world by Conde Nast Traveller, the Icefield Parkway is a 232 km stretch of double-lane highway winding along the Continental Divide through soaring rocky mountain peaks, icefields and vast sweeping valleys. And the abundance of wildlife in Jasper National Park and Banff National Park will have the traveler peering around every turn.
One could easily spend a few days just exploring the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. But sadly we had only the afternoon on hand. We did make a few picture stops the highlights being the Bow Lake with a glacier as the backdrop and the sighting of 2 bears. One day, I am sure going to come back and spend at least a week exploring the two national parks - Banff and Jasper.
For the next 2 nights we were booked at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Situated in Alberta's magnificent Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the iconic Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge resort invites you to experience the Great Canadian Lodge, surrounded by nature and abundant wildlife.
The lodge is a 700 acre year-round luxury mountain resort which wraps around the shores of the pristine lake "Lac Beauvert" and Canada's #1 Golf Resort Course. The Jasper resort's charming village of cedar chalets and Luxury Signature Cabins, all connected by picturesque paths, offer guests unique access to explore the natural environment of the hotel in Jasper National Park.
We were at their door at around 5:30. The evening light was inviting; wasting no time to dress-up, we decided to walk around the sprawling hotel property and the Lake Beauvert. It was real windy that evening and the chill factor kept us from exploring more. Dinner was at the hotel's restaurant.
As predicted, it was raining in the morning. It made sense to stay back in the room and pray to the weather Gods to be kind to travelers like us who have limited time to spend in such wonderful place. The Gods took a few hours to respond. By the time the rain stopped, it was lunch time. After a quick bite at the restaurant, we drove to Pyramid Lake and Patricia Lake that were only a few kms. away. It was over cast that enveloped the sun.
Finally, at 4 the sun was out. That changed the landscape completely. We drove to Lake Edith and Lake Annette. Sorry, I am not a poet so I will leave it to the pictures to describe the views.
Time well spent on the two lakes, we next drove to Jasper town. A pretty little set-up which is indeed the commercial centre of Jasper National Park. The streets are dotted with shops, restaurants and parks. Though I avoided the temptation of enjoying an ice-cream a few days ago at Niagara on the Lake, I couldn't resist out here. Of course, my doctor wouldn't know.
Licking on our cones, we walked the town and reached our car that was purposely parked at the far end. By 6 we were at the hotel. The next two hours we strolled around the property’s lake. It wasn't windy, rather it was still. The water resembled a huge mirror. That was that.
The next morning we would drive to Edmonton airport to catch our flight to Vancouver.
Jasper Image Gallery Photo viewer
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