Friday, March 11, 2016

Magical winter wonderland in Banff National Park, Calgary, Canada

It's March. Most people have already forgotten about winter. Since I was in Canada last month, I thought a post about my trip to a magical winter wonderland would be fitting for a travel/boating blog.
a frozen Lake Louis

Ice Sculpture on Lake Louise
So what kind of a snowbird would go to Canada in the midst of winter? Only for something or someone very special. Like a niece's wedding on Valentine's Day. It was the first such joyous celebration in my immediate family; I couldn't possibly miss it. So we prepared for the worst, weather-wise, packing lots of warm clothing. Thanks to El Nino, most of those clothing stayed in the suitcase. The wedding was in Edmonton. Snow flurried on our drive there, creating a beautiful landscape. Every glance of the trees in the distance resembled an Ansel Adam's masterpiece. We had beautiful weather for the wedding and throughout our stay in the area, in the low 30s and mid 40s (summer weather for the Canadians!) We're also thankful that our dollar was worth a lot more this time around, U$1 to C$1.38, the highest we've ever seen.
Congratulations Jonathan and Stephanie!
After several days of meeting and reconnecting with families and friends, we ventured off to the magical winter wonderland of Banff National Park. The drive to Banff took a little more than an hour from Calgary.
Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
View from the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
View from ski lift at Mt Norquay, where my brothers skied
Downtown Banff
While we didn't participate in the winter activities like skiing, snow boarding and the like, we took in the magnificent alpine scenery and basked in the warmth of Banff Upper Hot Springs. I'm glad we got the opportunity to see Banff in the winter. If you're curious to see what Banff looks like in the summer or fall, read my previously published article here.

Where's your favorite winter destination?

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