Day 15 – Rest Day in Canmore. One day later than planned, today I finally got my rest day. I had to reduce the planned mileage a bit, first for heat and then for cold, and ended up arriving here last night.
A fantastic view from my attic window this morning at Gill’s stepfather Noel’s lovely place here in Canmore reminded me that I was indeed in the heart of the mountains:…and after a bit of toast and coffee we loaded ourselves into their car for a mini local tour.
Gill, Stewart and I paid a brunch visit to the superb Post Hotel & Spa, Lake Louise. Not the vast Hotel on the lake that is in so many tourists’ photos, but nestled at the bottom of the hill, quite close to where I met Justin and his family from Newfoundland yesterday, had I only known it.
We were a bit late for breakfast and touch keen for lunch too, so we had the great hardship of having to sit by the fireside drinking coffee (G&S, very wise) and beer (me, day off. Morley Markson, Susie’s father and now friend-of-the-blog following us from Toronto, will appreciate the microbrewery nature of my choice, eh Morley??)
The restaurant was very quiet (a Monday early in the season) but we were served with great attentiveness and charm. The place is owned by two Swiss brother hoteliers, André and George, and it has a nice Alpine/Rockies hybrid feel to it. We had bratwurst, eggs benedict, rosti, more beer, more coffee.
I saw a tempting-looking wine cellar through a glass door, and was told to go ahead and have a look by a waiter. The array of fine wines that lay inside was absolutely breathtaking. Perhaps more places have this kind of collection than I realise, but not many have them on show so openly. My dad, following this in Linton, Cambs, will no doubt be going a bit weak at the knees right now, wondering what marvels are concealed within. (Bottle of Petrus, not sure of vintage, $4,500) It just went on and on, down into the depths of the building, but my meal was being neglected so I headed back:
The plan then was to go and visit Moraine Lake, the iconic Rockies image, and also the beautiful photograph on my JustGiving page which some of you have already spotted. Seeing a big queue of cars to head up to the lake, we went instead on to Lake Louise, glimpsed the famous hotel before being sent back down the hill towards an overflow car park G&S were amazed at how busy it was for a Monday, and think the 150th celebrations, including free parks access, could be the culprit. Anyway, we tried Moraine again and the queue was shorter than we realised, got up there pretty quickly and parked miraculously close to this:
Looks familiar? I can’t quite believe that I’ve actually made it to this very place at last. What a privilege.
Stewart, our photographer today, assures me that a “peace” sign takes the place of a “thumbs up” in Canada. So peace, bunny ears.
The rest of the day was spent trying to get my binoculars repaired (gone a bit squiffy) and then doing my free-day bike-service, which is mainly scraping road crud off brakes, wheels, derailleur etc and checking tyres for wear. All looks good, famous last words. I didn’t say any of that, OK?
Now I’m typing and packing panniers up at one and the same time, before a farewell supper together and a (possibly!) early start tomorrow morning with Stewart for a ride towards Calgary, my next stop. See you tomorrow!