I was scheduled to leave on a great big adventure this morning. This was a big trip, one that could legitimately be called a trip-of-a-lifetime. And instead I’m at home and it’s just another weekday. But I’m going to talk about this trip anyway (if only to have my itinerary planned for when I finally get round to it). But first a little history.
Travel inspiration can come from a lot of different places but part of this trip came from a book that I first read many years ago – The Edge by Dick Francis. It’s the story of a train journey across Canada, along with murder, intrigue and other aspects that make a great story but are not necessarily things I want during a trip. Part of the book was set in Lake Louise and the description of the scenery and the Château stayed with me. As I love a good train, and the Rocky Mountaineer has been on my radar for a while, the seeds of an epic trip were starting to germinate.
The other part of my trip, an Alaskan cruise, was an uncompleted item on my mum’s bucket list and, as I’m working my way through her bucket list as well as my own (because, hey, the world’s not a big place…), combining a cruise with a trip to Lake Louise seemed like a sensible decision.
I like booking open-jaw flights as a way to see as much as possible when I don’t have the time available to do a full circular trip so I booked flights into Calgary and out of Vancouver and started filling the time in between with adventure.
I would have arrived too soon for the Calgary Stampede (another item on my list) so I planned to head straight to Banff for a couple of days to get some mountain time. And I could have opted to catch the Rocky Mountaineer from Banff to Vancouver but that would have meant skipping Lake Louise which was not the point of the exercise. So, instead, a transfer of less than an hour could take me to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for a night of pure indulgence (and maybe even afternoon tea). But really it would have been all about the scenery.
The next day would have seen me catching the Rocky Mountaineer on the first leg of my two-day journey to Vancouver, traveling through the Canadian Rockies. As well as a panoramic observation car, the journey promised gourmet dining and spectacular views from a nice, comfortable seat.
After arrival in Vancouver I would have done something I don’t often do when traveling – meet up with a friend to share the next part of my trip! For the first time I was going to have company on a cruise. But, best laid plans and all that.
I was obviously really looking forward to the Alaskan cruise itself. The itinerary took us through the Inside Passage, Tracy Arm, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan. I might have seen bears! Another time, I guess.
The cancellation of this trip means that I do have lots of travel vouchers. So hopefully I will be able to do the Lake Louise and Rocky Mountaineer part of the trip in 2021. But I think an Alaskan cruise is going to be on my travel to-do list for a while longer.
Obviously I don’t have any pictures of a trip I can’t take so instead here is a picture of a squirrel from Vancouver: