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Photography,  Travel

Rockies Premium Tour – Day 2

Continuing on from Day 1 of the #RockiesPremiumTour with Discover Canada Tours

1 October 2019
Being in the mountains is freezing – even when it’s not winter yet! – but oh man, did I fall in love with the Rockies. 😍 I would go back in a heartbeat if I could!

Revelstoke, BC to Banff, AB

Revelstoke, BC

Morning light on the mountains

I was sharing a room/suite with the awesome Maggie – a fellow Aussie, of course! 👋 – and we woke up to amazing views of sunrise hitting the mountaintops. 😍 What. A. View.

I didn’t want to miss the light so in only my PJs – not even any socks on my feet! – I grabbed the camera and traipsed out onto the balcony to take some photos. Of course, I only lasted a few minutes then I retreated back inside – I needed some feeling back in my toes. 😅 It was like 5°C outside or something!

Those beautiful views continued from the restaurant while we had breakfast! Seriously, Canada is THE place for breakfast and lunch views.

Just sayin’.

On the road to Golden, BC and Field, BC

Moooose!

After we left Revelstoke, we headed toward Golden, BC. Not sure which we were closer to but somewhere in between WE SAW A MOOSE!!! A juvenile, going by the size of the antlers. One of my wildlife highlights of my entire Canada trip.

We actually had to chuck a uey (on a full size tour bus, no less!) so we could pull up on the side of the road to get a better look. I was sitting up front in the bus, beside Matt (our guide/driver) so had a great view.

(I would, however, have killed for an extra 100mm on my lens. My zoom lens is 70-300mm. The photo here is zoomed all the way in to 300mm AND I’ve also cropped the image. So you can imagine how far away this dude was. How I wish I had the 100-400mm or 200-600mm lens in my kit… 😩 Next time…? 🙏)

Emerald Lake, Yoho National Park, BC

Emerald Lake 💚

We hit Emerald Lake for our lunch break and oh my GOD. The beauty of that place is just mind blowing. The colour of the water! The sheer beauty of the mountains! The reflections on the lake! 😍😍 Such a gorgeous spot. (I am absolutely going back to stay at the Emerald Lake Lodge sometime. Talk about best located accommodation!) To be honest, I think Emerald Lake was my favourite of the three lakes we did.

I took so many photos (seriously, I’m STILL going through editing them haha) that I never actually stopped for lunch! I basically inhaled my sandwich while I was walking back to the bus. Yeah. Oops? 😅 #photographerlife

You can even hire canoes and go paddling!

(Side note: I’m still editing photos from Emerald Lake because I took tonnes of single frame shots which I’m stitching together for (mega) panoramas. I am soooooo impressed with the quality of the images I take with my Sony Alpha 7RIII. While the $$$ outlay on the camera certainly hurt (still paying it off 🙈) the big sensor has made a MASSIVE difference to my landscape photography and what I can capture.)

After Emerald Lake, Matt asked us if we wanted to make a quick-ish stop somewhere that wasn’t on the itinerary. It meant we’d be pushing the rest of the afternoon to hit the places we wanted to visit but we were all up for an adventure!

Takakkaw Falls, Yoho National Park, BC

Takakkaw Falls – quite a drop!

Our ‘not on the itinerary’ stop was at Takakkaw ‘Tak’ Falls! Tak Falls is a gorgeous vertical drop waterfall – the second tallest in Canada! For added awesomeness, at the time we visited it had started to freeze! (Where I come from, waterfalls don’t freeze. They may dry up from drought, but they never freeze. 😆)

Tak Falls is fed from glacial meltwater so even if it hadn’t been freezing, I can imagine how cold that water was!

Our group @ Tak Falls!

The falls have a total height of over 370m and the main drop of the waterfall is over 250m! Truly stunning sight – you really feel tiny standing on the bridge in front of it! You can get an idea of the height/scale from the image of our tour group in front of the falls (click the image for the full vertical shot). 😊

(With photo credit to Matt, using my camera)

Lake Louise, Banff National Park, AB

Next up, over the border into Alberta, was Lake Louise. It was still cold (freeezing) but sunny. And gorgeous. So incredibly gorgeous. Things I remember: how ICY the pathways were getting from the carpark down to the lake! I was really worried I would slip and break my ankle (or my camera/gear) which would have been unacceptable! 😬 Thankfully, I managed to keep my feet (with only a small skid or two) before I made it to the lake front.

Lake Louise is a seriously beautiful spot and I can understand why so many people love it. It was an extremely sunny afternoon while we were there which made it hard to get good photos (because of the angle/placement of the sun). Guess that means I’ll just HAVE to do a return trip? Oh the hardship. 😁

Lake Louise in all her glory!

Oh, and the other thing that I remember is I FILLED UP A FREAKING MEMORY CARD. 😱

Yes, I actually filled up a memory card. Not a bad effort, considering it’s a 128GB card!! I can’t remember for sure, but I think I didn’t get around to emptying the card the night before. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Which was my own fault. Lesson learned!

But it meant that I had to stop taking photos with the camera at Lake Louise (I’d taken hardly any 😭) and head back to the bus so I could start deleting photos from earlier in the day that were blurry/not usable, to free some space up! We still had Moraine Lake to go! (Yes, I had spare cards back at the bus. No, I didn’t think of that until much, MUCH later… 🤦🏻‍♀️🤦🏻‍♀️ )

Moraine Lake, Banff National Park, AB

Sun setting over Moraine Lake

We headed to Moraine Lake after Lake Louise, just as the sun was setting. It was freaking cold – but the kind of cold that’s invigorating! – and SO SO STUNNING. Again, the blue of the water was just amazing. 💙

I did the short walk up to the lookout and wow, you can feel how thin the air is at that altitude! The views from the lookout were incredible – easily could have spent hours up there just taking it all in.

The beauty of Moraine Lake… with a crazy person

There were also signs an amazing sunset would happen – I was so bummed we had to leave when we did! (I did note there were quite a few photographers carrying tripods up to the lookout as we were leaving – hope they got some great photos!)

If/when I go back, Moraine Lake is absolutely on my to-do list again. I’d actually really LOVE to do an astro workshop up there. It would be freezing of the holy-f*ck kind, but the thought of how clear the skies would be and all those stars…! Note to self: Keep an eye on the Rachel Jones Ross workshop for 2021 – seriously, my own kind of heaven!!

One thing I have to mention about this second photo from Moraine Lake… can you see the lady in red? There we were, in multiple layers and still freezing our butts off and… I’m not sure what she was doing? We think it may have been a photoshoot but she removed her coat at one point and was in a SLEEVELESS FORMAL GOWN. 😳 (Canadians may be just a leeetle insane.)

Banff, AB

From Moraine Lake we headed to Banff where we stayed for two nights at the Mount Royal Hotel. I was determined to have poutine for dinner (something I hadn’t ticked off my Canadian dishes bucket list!) so I took myself over to The Eddie Burger + Bar. What should I see on the menu but an Aussie burger!! But not quite the Aussie burger (or ‘burger with the lot’) you’d get out here!

A little piece of home in Canada!

(What is a burger with the lot? Heaven on a bun. Typical Aussie burgers with the lot have: meat pattie, lettuce, tomato, cheese, beetroot, bacon, fried egg, pineapple and either BBQ or tomato sauce. Sometimes also fried onion. DO NOT put mayo or any other white sauce NEAR that burger! I WILL CUT YOU. 🔪😝 And don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! I know some of you *cough*Americans*cough* think that sounds gross but all the flavours are yummo together.)

So I bypassed the poutine and ordered my own version of the Aussie instead. It was an expensive burger (with the changes I ordered, I think it was about CA$25-ish? Considering most burgers with the lot out here are anywhere between AU$9-15…) but to have a taste of home so far from home? SO. WORTH. IT. 🤤 And I’ve gotta say that Eddie’s did a bloody good job. So tasty. 👍

The thing was so huge, though, that I couldn’t get through it all! The staff were very accommodating and boxed up the leftovers for me… made a beaut lunch the day after, even if it was cold! 😋

After dinner it was back to the room for a well deserved sleep! Particularly as we had an early start the next morning for breakfast on top of a mountain!

And that’s it for Day 2 of the Rockies Premium Tour! I’ve got Day 3 notes so should have that one done the next few days, with luck. Have a great week!

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