Today was a day of moving, and not moving. The plan was to leave Banff and end up in Revelstoke. Along the way we were stopping to see Kicking Horse resort. As soon as we met the crew we changed the plan – we definitely wanted to see Lake Louise, and so we said that as we were driving within 4km of it, we’d stop for a “Kodak moment” (oops, have I just broken somebody’s copyright. And actually, as we’ve got a digital camera, it’s really a “Compact Flash moment”.)
Anyway, we went to Lake Louise, and it is A-W-E-S-O-M-E. It’s everything it looks like in any photograph you’ve ever seen of it…and then some. The colour, which is a turquoisey-blue-green, was stunning against a backdrop of mountains, some still with glacial ice and snow sticking to them. And around the bowl of the lake, the slopes are covered in dark green fir trees. The view takes your breath away as you walk around the corner from the car park. Even the canoes on the lake, full of smiley Japanese tourists didn’t spoil it, because their scale was minute compared to the lake and mountains. (Closer inspection of Japanese paddling a canoe yields many comedy moments – it certainly looks like they don’t have canoes in Japan, because the way that they hold their paddles looks more like a Kendo stick fight than a graceful glide across a lake!)
Anyway, did I mention it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E? Some things you see in real life are nowhere as good as the photo you saw somewhere else (eg National Geographic), but Lake Louise is a million times better in real life than any photograph you’ve seen of it.
And Mat and his crew agreed, so we spent half an hour at the Lake being filmed going “wow”. Mat even filmed us taking photographs of ourselves, and other tourists started taking photo’s of Mat filming us taking photo’s of ourselves (Confused? Well that kind of sums up our experiences with the filming this week!)
Anyway, for an unplanned 3 mile detour, it was A-W-E-S-O-M-E. (Did I already mention that? Charlotte thought everything was “awesome” last week, but then decided it was so ‘yesterday’ and that now everything is “wow”). As you can see from the photograph, Charlotte has also adjusted well to the omni-present crew, even when the lens is pushed right up to her. It may ruin the view, but we’ve got our fingers crossed that it will make good TV for you all!
We did feel a little bit cheated, because our time there was so short – reflecting afterwards we’d have liked to do the corny tourist thing and go out in a canoe, and also walk around the lake for a while. But at least we got there, saw it, and got a great photo for our memories.
Then we headed off to Kicking Horse Resort, near Golden. This involved a 2 1/2 hour dash through the Rockies, stopping once for a photo (we were already an hour late for our pre-booked ‘PR opportunity’). But still, when we arrived we found that we were being filmed taking a gondola to the top of the mountain, and then being hosted by the resort staff for a free lunch at the highest restaurant in British Columbia. It was really nice food (and well worth the $25 – £10 – that everybody else had paid for the ride & lunch!). If I was putting together a schedule for somebody, I’d put it on the list – it’s a good day trip, with great views and hiking from the peak, and it’s a good break in the middle of a long drive.
Then we went down the mountain and caught the BearBus (is it me, or have the Canadian marketers gone marketing word crazy, what with the BearBus – an 8 seater Hertz minibus- the SnoCoach – a bus with big wheels- and the Jasper TramWay – a cable car). I think I’m going to rebrand our trip around the world, but I’ve got to find the right combination of words to stick together!
Anyway, I digress (again).
The BearBus took us up to a 22 acre enclosed area where two rescued grizzly bears live. Charlotte and Emily were enraptured by the sight of them (although they’d had to sit on the minibus a little too long, waiting for Mat to line up the first shot, so when you see them on TV they’ll look less excited than they were when the first saw them from the bus). But it was a great moment, standing four feet away from a baby grizzly bear. There’s no photo for this because it is one of those memories that we’ll prefer to cherish in our minds-eye. And also because I got three great shots of a fuzzy bear and razo-sharp-focussed bushes. I think I need more camera training.
By the time we left, it was almost 5 o’clock, so another day had gone – and we still had a 1 1/2 hour drive to Revelstoke, our next destination. So we put the car on the road again, and drove through our last bit of Rockies to arrive hot & bothered. But a wonderful icecream soon solved that for all of us, and later a nice meal with the crew capped off the day.