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  • Writer's pictureUrsula

Vancouver to Banff 3.6.-25.6.22

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

In Vancouver we are taking it a bit easy because it keeps raining and the temperatures are on the cool side. That's why we are mainly concerned with planning our route in Mexico between October and January.

Vancouver itself is probably called one of the most beautiful cities mainly because of the great location on the water and the mountains in the background. It's pretty laid back, safe and the standard of living is high. We find everything our hearts desire in markets and supermarkets. The center consists of glass skyscrapers, green facilities and you always bump into the water with boats, water buses and water cabs.

A nice neighborhood is Gastown, which was rebuilt in the old style after a fire. Of course, a dinner at the revolving restaurant 'Top of Vancouver' must not be missed. In one hour there is a tour around with a great view. The food is quite OK for this tourist attraction.

Getting to Granville by Aquabus (water bus) is worth the trip in itself. The peninsula itself is a large market with an indoor market, many small stores and restaurants.

In the surroundings of Vancouver we do some excursions:

In Whistler we decide against taking the gondola up because all hiking trails are still closed due to snow. Whistler is a winter retort town, where the 2010 Alpine Winter Olympics were held and which are also immortalized Swiss Olympic champions Carlo Janka and Didier Defago.

Right at the big parking lot there is a black bear with which we have not expected in such a busy place. From there we make a nice round hike in the valley to the small 'Lost Lake', always with a certain fear to meet more bears.

On the way back to Vancouver we stop at Brandywine Fall, which reminds us of a big bathtub enema, and at Alice Lake where one could do a 4 lakes hike.

Before the next hike we stock up on bear spray and bear bell. The bell should scare the bears away, but it also helps to overtake hikers on narrow paths. In Lynn Canon we go through a beautiful forest down the canyon with a few hundred steps and then we go around Rice Lake. At the lake 1000 trout in catch size are rinsed by a tanker into the lake and beside it the fishermen have already lined up.

Another hike leads through Capilano Canyon starting at Capilano Lake Dam, where the famous Suspension Bridge is located nearby, for which an entrance fee of $60 is charged.

We leave Vancouver and drive to the Canadian wine region in the Okanagan Valley. We spend the night in the resort town of Penticton, where it is finally a bit warmer and the tourists are already swimming in the lake. There we visit two vintners and try to get some pleasure from the Canadian wine. But the high prices definitely keep us from buying.

The wine region becomes more and more beautiful the further south we drive.

Our next destination for three nights is Nelson, a pretty little town. The goal was to do some hiking in the Kootenay Glacier Park. Because, as already known, the Canadian early summer is waiting for warmer and drier weather, we could not do anything in the park and were content with a hike at Kootenay Bay in Pilot Bay Provincial Park, where we can observe magnificent butterflies.

We leave Nelson on a beautiful route via Revelstoke (including free ferry crossing) and the Glacier National Park to Golden. It gets more and more lonely and we encounter deer and a bear, which disappears as soon as we stop.

We live about 20 km outside of Golden directly at one of the largest wetlands on earth. The owner of the vacation home invites us to a boat trip through the winding alluvial area. We enjoy the beautiful ride and we observe birds and a beaver.

Back in Glacier National Park we do two short hikes: the Rock Garden and the Bear Falls Trail.

From Golden we continue to the highlight of this week: the drive through Yoho National Park to Canmore near Banff National Park. The weather is beautiful for the first time and we enjoy the Watpka Fall in the Yoho Park, the natural Bridge

the green Emerald Lake

and the 254m high impressive Takakkaw Fall where we discover some mountain goats far above.

We continue to Canmore where we take a week for the Banff National Park.

The next blog is scheduled in three weeks while we will take our next multi-day break in Anchorage.

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