Arriving into Vancouver we started our holiday with a two night stay. Using the hop on hop off bus was a great way to see everything this city had to offer before choosing our favourite places to stop at. A visit to Granville Island is a must to explore the market and variety of foods on offer. From here we also embarked on a whale watching tour and whilst my pictures didn’t do it justice, we saw a variety of whales and sea life.
We decided to drive on our trip however taking the train can be just as easy. The time spent driving is slightly longer than expected however the roads are easy to navigate and everything seems to be at a slower pace allowing you to stop for those picture perfect moments.
After the scenic drive, arriving into Whistler was a little unexpected. This 2010 Winter Olympics venue is home to one of the largest ski resorts in North America and whilst there was no snow when we arrived the slops were being used by BMX bikers which helped create a buzz in the local area.
As we travelled on from Whistler towards Jasper National Park, our journey consisted of many sightseeing stops for pictures before arriving into Clearwater for a rest break and overnight stay. The following morning we continued on our journey into the National Park arriving at Jasper for our extended stay.
With time to explore the town, surrounded by the snow-capped Canadian Rockies, and to stock up on driving essential, we spent the rest of the day at leisure as we had a tour planned for the following day. The tour started early as we headed out in search of wildlife with our tour guide. We also visited Maligne Canyon and enjoyed a cruise on Maligne Lake to Spirit Island.
As our journey continued, our next stop was Banff National Park, and staying just outside of Banff in Canmore allowed us to explore Banff and the National Park with a guided tour that we had pre-booked. The tour was on the Banff Bus, a hop on hop off bus with pre-set routes to maximise the locations that we wanted to see, from the Johnston Canyon to Lake Louise and Lake Moraine. The weather changes were unbelievable here, from clear skies to snow, we seemed to pass through every season in only a few hours.
Our final stop was Calgary and as we headed out of the National Parks we continued like any tourist, onto the shopping malls before our flight home the following day.
A fantastic trip and one that can be taken in so many ways, from self-drive, to rail, to escorted touring, this is a journey everyone has to do.