Remembering Banff – Part 2

If you read my second blog about Banff, now I am going to cite the story about my third and last day tour in Banff. I had been so excited for the past two days of my tour in Banff, but the excitement that I have still not perished in my last day tour. The main reason why I am still excited, I am going to Columbia Icefield in Jasper.

Ice and snow are the things that are not familiar to me because I am living in a tropical country. And I have been dreaming to experience snow or walk in ice.

Before we went to Columbia Icefield, there were other interesting places we visit. While traveling along Icefield Parkway (or Highway 93) – a highway road that you can see both Banff and Jasper National Park, I am stunned because of the rocky mountains in each side of the road. Because of the scenic view I saw, I became a rocky mountain lover. While inside the tourist bus, I took a lot of pictures of rocky mountains and I can say that I shot my digital camera to all mountains that my eyes can see. I cannot stop myself to admire those rocky mountains.

rocky mountains from Icefield Parkway

While on the road, we saw Crowfoot Glacier and I had been lucky because I captured a picture of it while inside the bus. Then, we stop over in Jimmy’s place. Before, I thought that was the real name of the lodge until I found out that it is the famous Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. in Icefield Parkway. The lodge was founded by Jimmy Simpson and it is located near in beautiful Bow Lake where you can see both Bow Glacier and Crowfoot Mountain. We had our hot chocolate inside the Num-Ti-Jah lodge and because of it we had a chance to view some of the arts and crafts created by Jimmy Simpson. We were also informed that the lodge was built by Jimmy with his own bare hands (based on history – he has no knowledge about building house and architecture) and that was really amazing. I also found out that the lodge will be probably become part of Canadian National Historic Site.

Crowfoot Glacier
Icy Bow Lake
Crowfoot Mountain
Bow Glacier
One of the rocky mountain
Num-Ti-Jah Lodge
Inside the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge

After Num-Ti-Jah lodge, we traveled again. We stop at the side of the road and after I got myself out in the bus I was surprised because of panoramic view of Mount Chepren and Waterfowl Lake. Mount Chepren has its own distinct shapes compared to other rocky mountains and the Waterfowl Lake adds beauty to the mountain. Waterfowl lake is amazing too, I saw most part of it as icy water (same like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake).

Mount Chepren and Waterfowl Lake from Icefield Parkway
Waterfowl Lake (with rocky mountains)

The next place we stop was where we had our lunch – the place was near in Saskatchewan River Crossing. We had our table where we were freely enjoyed the great view of North Saskatchewan River. I am wondering why it was called Saskatchewan River Crossing and I just found out from our guide that this great Canadian Heritage River is crossing other river such as Howse River and Mistaya River (but I never got a chance to see the other two rivers). While writing this blog, I remembered North Saskatchewan River is also the same river that I had chance to cruise in Edmonton (what a great surprise!!!).

North Saskatchewan River

After lunch we went back to the bus and started to travel again. And the moment I have been waiting for had arrived, we were in Columbia Icefield Centre. After the bus came into halt, I picked my winter jacket, my gloves and my bonnet hat, then I went outside the bus and of course I looked around and I took pictures as much as I can. We waited for our tourist guide to park our minibus. Then, he led us to the bus driver that will send us to the area where we can transfer and ride an ice explorer. Ice explorer is big wheel vehicle that was made for ice exploration at the top of the glacier. When I saw the ice explorer or the snow coach vehicle, I am surprised because it is so huge, I remember that the wheel is almost the same of my height. And another surprise is that the vehicle can carry a lot of people. After I got myself onboard in the ice explorer, I got my digital cam on and I both took videos and pictures while on our way to the top of Athabasca Glacier. Ice exploration was one of the great memories I had in Jasper and Banff National Park. I am not fully aware how is the feeling while walking at the top of the glacier. Speaking of Athabasca Glacier, I have information that this is the friendliest glacier that people can take to be able to go to the Columbia Icefield. Some glaciers are meant for the adventure extremist but Athabasca Glacier are meant for all type of people. Few minutes passed, we arrived in the top of Athabasca Glacier. The feeling was so great after I got out the ice explorer. There are lots of people at the top of the glacier . I saw different kind of people such as children, young, adult and old ones, all were enjoying the scenery. And my dream came into reality, I was able to walk in the ice that really thrilled me. And I am so glad because of the thought that I was near in the middle of the Columbia Icefield through Althasbasca Glacier. Walking in the icefield was exciting, fun and scary but I had a great time. Some people got fall in the icefield ground because some part of it is slippery due to solid ice, but even that was the case, people were all enjoying. I chose the part of the icefield with snow, then I tried to picked some snow and I made snow ball. After I did that I felt that my hands got numb (because of it, now I understand the feeling in a cold place like glacier). The experience was worthy and I enjoyed Columbia Icefield ice exploration.

Athabasca Glacier in Columbia Icefield
ice explorer or snow coach
Views in the glacier icefield
old snow mobile
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North Saskatchewan River – Edmonton (Part 5)

I booked an Edmonton Queen Riverboat cruise. My main reason for doing it was to experience North Saskatchewan river. From the time I arrived in Edmonton, I was fascinated already by this river.

I took a cab from Legislature Building to Edmonton Queen Riverboat center at 98Th avenue. I gave my reservation booking to one of the crew and they gave me my entrance and dinner ticket. But on my way to the rafters landing area where I am going to ride the boat, I lost my ticket somewhere. So, I have to go back and look for my ticket or else, I will not be admitted to the entrance and I will not have my dinner (this situation made me felt bad). I went back to the center where I get my ticket. On my way, to the center, other tourist that coming approached me and asked if I lost my ticket, and I told them that I was. After saying that, they showed my ticket and gave it to me. Then, I felt lucky and thanked them. Next, I went back to the boat and showed my ticket. I was relieved when I got myself inside the boat.I walked to the front deck of the boat and approached one of the table then grab a chair for me. Then, I saw a couple sitting to the table next to mine. Then, I stood up and approached the couple and asked them if they mind if I can join them in their table. I told them I was alone and I added that it was better to give my table to the other group of people. They agreed and I joined them in their table.

Shaw Conference Centre (with flags)
and Canada Place (pink building)
from Queen Riverboat at North Saskatchewan River
Fairmont Hotel MacDonald (Castle like building) and
TELUS (former highest building in Edmonton)
from Queen Riverboat at North Saskatchewan River
Downtown Skyline from Queen Riverboat at North Saskatchewan River

The couple started a conversation with me. They introduce their selves and I did the same thing. Right now, I cannot remember their name. I was informed that the reason why they were cruising and having dinner in Edmonton Queen Riverboat was to celebrate their 10Th anniversary. For me that was really wonderful. And the idea of dating or cruising in a river is kind of sweet thing. Then I told them where I came from, why I was in Edmonton and until when I am staying in the city. I had a great time with them. They were very friendly. And when the boat crew announced that we can go inside the boat for our dinner, we went down and shared the dinner table. I never felt alone in my cruise in Edmonton Queen Riverboat since I was accompanied by the couple I met.

After dinner, that was the only time the cruise started. I requested a permission to the couple to leave the table to enjoy the scenery outside. I told them that I have to take my chances to take pictures of the river. While cruising the river, I were able to view the downtown skyline. Even though I used to see downtown, what I saw from the river still amazed me. I loved what I saw. And I loved to feel the air in the river which was quite cold.


Different photos with North Saskatchewan River

Another angle for Downtown skyline

Downtown skyline





Mixed photos of Downtown
from Queen Riverboat at North Saskatchewan River

The sail started from the Rafter’s landing area then cruised before the high level bridge. Then, the boat turned around and sailed up to area before Dawson Bridge. The cruise was enjoyable and I had a great night.



Wonderful North Saskatchewan River

Before leaving the boat, I approached the couple and thanked them again for letting me joined them to celebrate their anniversary. Next, the couple asked me how I will be able to get home and I told them that I am going to take a cab since I am not sure which bus will take me to downtown and if there were still bus around that time. To my surprise, the couple offered me that they will drive me home. And I cannot reject their offer that was why I accepted it. Before they dropped me home, they drove me around downtown and nearby places so that I can see more about Edmonton. We even stopped at Starbucks and they bought me an iced coffee that was really thoughtful of both of them. I really enjoyed their company, they were so kind to me to think they just met me.

Edmonton Queen River Boat

I really enjoyed my Sunday.