By Marilyn Baron
The hotels we stayed at on our trip to Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies made our trip memorable. They were:
- The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Vancouver
- Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria
- Overnight on the Canadian Rockies by Rail, “The Canadian”
- The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
- Chateau Lake Louise
- The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Some of the sights we saw included the highlights of Vancouver, including a stop in Stanley Park, Granville Island and historic Gastown before taking a ferry for a cruise across the Straight of Georgia to Vancouver Island and Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.
In Victoria, we visited the Butchart Gardens, home to 55 acres of flowers and show gardens and the Royal B.C. Museum and experienced the time honored tradition of High Tea at the Empress Hotel.
Then we took a 35-minute scenic flight to via float plane over the Gulf Islands back to downtown Vancouver before it was all aboard the “Canadian,” for our overnight rail excursion to the national parks of the Canadian Rockies. We enjoyed a relaxing ride in a private domed observation car.
Then we arrived for a two-night stay at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in the heart of Jasper National Park, where my husband went horseback riding and I had high tea at the lodge. Another highlight was a Snocoach ride on Athabasca Glacier, part of the Columbia Icefields. Our next destination was the world famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise inside Banff National Park. We traveled through the Bow River Valley to view glacial Moraine Lake then into Yoho National Park. Our last stop was the beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, styled after a Scottish baronial castle. The next morning we took a raft trip along the Bow River and explored the town of Banff.
One of the highlights of the trip came on the last night when we got to meet a real Canadian Mounties and learn about his life. All in all, I would highly recommend this trip.