We woke up in a haze the next morning, and noticed that the weather was feeling the same too. It felt like Christmas had come a few months late, with a flurry of snow flying past the window and causing a white blur in front of us, masking the icy blue of the skating rinks that were such a prominent part of our view yesterday.
I don’t know about you, but getting out of bed in the morning is always made better by a few things:
- not having to go to work – check
- having an awesome view not far from your bed – check
- knowing you have a breakfast buffet just a few steps from your room – check
If you read my previous post on arriving at the Fairmont Chateau in Lake Louise, you’ll know we were treated to night as members of the Gold lounge, so we left the room in search of what was waiting for us. From fresh fruit to an omelette station to roast potatoes and crispy bacon, we were well and truly spoilt.
Feeling pretty fuelled for the day ahead after a number of visits to the lounge kitchen, it was time to do something I’d always wanted to do since as long as I can remember: ice skate on a frozen lake.
Having rented skates from the hotel, I had a little assistance from Jordan who showcased his expert Canadian skills and managed to hold me up whilst I took a wobbly descent onto the ice.
With some help and proof that I definitely don’t have the Canadian skills of most people around me, I soon got into the swing of things and it was so much fun. Trying to ignore the nearby warning signs of ‘thin ice’, we glided around on the rink much to the amusement of some passing tourists.
Some of us were better than others…
After successfully dodging pucks from the neighbouring hockey rink, we left our skates behind and headed back into the hotel for a coffee and to defrost.
Checking out of the hotel and feeling a little warmer, we headed out again to do one final hike before our long drive back to Vancouver. Aiming for a lookout point across the lake, I loved being outside in the snowy wonderland, even if I was wearing inappropriate shoes (yep, my British roots never seem to learn to contend with the snow).
Hopping onto a short trail, we started a fairly steep decline up towards the mountains in search a view, secretly praying inside not to come across an avalanche.
After about forty minutes of mostly uphill walking, a few slips, and some snow showers later, we reached the beautiful viewpoint that showed yards of snow across ice Lake Louise.
It honestly felt like we were in Narnia! It was so hard to imagine the lake as the turquoise waters it’s so well known for. It was also bizarre to think we were stood a good metre higher on snow than we would be in the same place during the summer months.
Walking back and saying a sad farewell to this beautiful hotel and lake was probably the most disappointed I felt to leave a hotel after 24 hours of pure pampering. We were wished a safe journey by the hotel staff, took a coffee for the journey, were handed our car keys, and got comfy in the car for a long drive back through the Rocky Mountains to Vancouver. Such a perfect break away!
Our only hiccup on the way back was the sight of mountain goats running across the road, and an extended break to allow a controlled avalanche to take place near Revelstoke – only in Canada, eh? Banff, we’ll be back!