Upon disembarking the Rocky Mountaineer, we spent the final part of our Canadian honeymoon in Alberta, with the dramatic backdrop of the Canadian Rockies.
The first night we stayed in the charming town of Banff, and in hindsight it was here that we should have based ourselves for the duration of our time in Alberta.
Instead we had booked to stay in a what was supposed to be a remote and peaceful log cabin, (while the cabin it’s self was as it said on the tin, cosy but basic, the setting was far from peaceful – situated on a busy highway where the cabins were more or less on top of one another offering little privacy, and the staff were appalling to boot)! But I’m not going to dwell on this too much as despite this let down we did manage to have a lovely time in Alberta. We had a hire car, or more of a tank to be honest! which allowed us to get around easily, we spent our days as we pleased travelling around and singing on route to our next destination. More often than not this was another lake!
We clocked up many miles across Alberta twinning in our Ariat walking boots (the most comfortable walking boots ever I might add), frequently stopping to take in the awe-inspiring scenery surrounding us.
We visited Lake Louise which was beautiful and jaw dropping, however much like anywhere mentioned by Lonely Planet, it was far from being lonely!
After discovering just how busy the lakes can get, the next lake we visited we packed a breakfast picnic and left first thing in the hope that we would miss the crowds. By the time we arrived Moraine Lake the coaches were already beginning to pull up in the car park, but it was still fairly peaceful.
Another lake we visited was Emerald Lake where we took a walk before having lunch at the onsite restaurant. Whilst here we suffered with cabin envy of all the tranquil cabins overlooking the lake from Emerald Lake Lodge. I mean just look at the views some of the cabins would have had!
All the lakes really are as vibrant a blue and crystal clear as any pictures you see, they are also icy cold!
On one of our all day drives (where we managed to get completely lost for a couple of hours), we stumbled upon Bow Lake which was far less busy than all the others we had visited. Getting lost has it’s benefits.
Can water be any clearer than this?
One evening we rode the Banff Gondola where the views were spectacular, the air still and peaceful. You can even have a meal at the top.
Looking across the small town of Banff.
Chris managed to twist my arm and get me to go whitewater rafting one morning, (still unwell I might add)! However I could not deny him this as the day after he had agreed to accompany me by spending a whole day in the saddle. Having only ever ridden a handful of times and for a maximum of an hour at a time, this was a big ask of him.
We chose to ride over at family run Moose Mountain Horseback Adventures. Details here. We booked a private ride with only the owner of the Ranch.
If we had been more organised (and we had actually been very regimented in our plans), we could have booked a night at Moose Mountain after our ride as it was only 30 minutes away from Calgary where we were to drop off the car and fly out from the next evening.
The day started off well, Chris on his well mannered horse Hart and me on a pretty little young mare called Eclipso.
I was surprised when we stopped that the horses just ate and did not wander off as my own horse Daya would. I must train her to do this as it would be most beneficial on pub rides!
Leaving for the ride the sun was shining brightly. It even stayed sunny while we lunched atop a hill overlooking the mountains.
Shortly after lunch (still with hours to go) we felt the first droplets of rain and then the heavens opened! For the last hour we rode in hail and the most incredible thunderstorm. We were absolutely drenched by the time we arrived back at the ranch. Thankfully we were prepared for this eventuality and had packed a spare set of clothes, by this point we had become accustomed to the interchangeable weather.
Regardless of the weather, it had been a good day and in my mind there is no better way to take in the scenery than between the ears of a horse. We returned to dry out in front of the fire back at the cabin.
Our final day was the one and only day of our entire honeymoon we managed to have a lay in, before leaving Alberta and making a slow drive to Calgary passing through the land close by to the set of Heartland.
Staying on the topic of Heartland, to kill time before our evening flight we headed over to the sweet town of High River which is the fictional town of Hudson in the program. Being a Sunday there was not a lot open, but we did stop by the towns Museum which has a dedicated corner for Heartland fans of which we guiltily are!
We even got to look in the windows of Maggie’s Dinner.
To end our flying visit to the town we bought an ice cream and coffee from a cute coffee house and headed back to the car one last time to make the journey to the airport.
We booked our entire Honeymoon through My Canada Trips. The process was seamless and our consultant Zoe was always on hand if we had questions and even added in a few complimentary extras for which we were most grateful. Take a look at their holiday here.
Love for now the newlyweds!