Last week we visited Canada - a highschool friend of mine is living in Vancouver, so killing two birds with one stone, we went to Vancouver to see them and on the weekdays we visited the Canadian Rockies.
Our flight was direct from Mexico City which was a relief after all the connections in the US to Japan. Also, Canada was relatively close, only 5.5 hours by plane. (A piece of cake compared to the 12-14 hours flights to Japan.)
After getting off the plane we went to pick up our rental car - which finally messed up all our plans for the weekend, as even after 2 hours of waiting and quarreling at the rental shop, we couldn`t get a car... The Ace Rental Car was a very strange company - after arriving to them (outside of the airport), they told us they would took us to another place, because they hadn`t had any car at the place. So far it didn`t seem so strange (it happens), but than we arrived to a totally different rental car company where they wanted to give us a car twice the price we had reserved with Ace Rental Car. To me it seems as fraud, but as I am not a lawyer, I could only reason with them on the base of common sense: why they accept reservations online if they won`t ensure cars for the customers? Well, common sense hadn`t worked, so after a long flight and a long (unfruitless) wait for our car, we headed to downtown in a taxi where we had some delicious, fresh sushi before my friend picked us up.
My friends are living in North Vancouver, just a few kilometers to the North from Vancouver. The road crosses the beautiful Stanley Park on the Western corner of the city and after a short drive on the highway you arrive to the suburban town of North Vancouver.
|ths suspension bridge in North Vancouver|
|English Bay beach|
|in Fish House|
Anyway, on this day we finally just drove all the way to Canmore, checked in to our hotel and just looked around a bit in the town. The whole town has a really good feeling - all the houses (even supermarkets, even McDonald`s!) have the same features of mountain lodges (steep roofs, wooden ornaments, earth colors) which gives a nice uniformity to the whole town. (Actually, I preferred this town than Banff - the latter was a bit over-touristicated, at least the center.)
|our hotel in Canmore|
|Lake Louise and the crowd|
The next day it was raining from the morning... we were planning to go to see the Columbia Icefield, so after checking the weather forecast (it forecasted the same weather for all week), we decided to go to the Icefields anyway. Fortunately at the Icefields (about 50kms from The Crossing hotel) it wasn`t raining, so we bought a ticket to the Icefields. A tour started in every 30 minutes and we were lucky only having to wait 10 minutes for the next.
|the Icefield tour starts|
|up on the glacier|
|the beaver boardwalk|
Apparently not even Canadians know much about it; by the time we got there (around 3pm), it was only us. The trails are around 3kms long, mainly going along the swampy lake where the beavers live. We were told they are more active in the evening and morning, but we only had to wait about 30 minutes to spot the first beaver. They started to work already in the afternoon - swimming in and out from their nest, taking branches to it. We spotted some little ones as well - which turned out to be a muskrat. Apparently, beavers and muskrats are relatives and can live together in peace. Actually, it seemed they are dividing the job pretty well: the beavers were taking branches while the much smaller muskrat cut grass and leaves to build the nest or to accumulate them as food for the winter.
Walking around the trail we have seen various smaller and bigger dams built by the beavers. They are indeed the engineers of the nature! We`ve seen a trunk about 50cms in diameter that the beavers cut out - checking it after, apparently the beaver can cut down a 30cm diameter tree in just 10 minutes!
|beaver at work|
|Banff hot springs|
For more pictures, click here! → Canada