As well as luxury relaxation holidays, we love a back-breaking, adrenaline pumping, non-stop itinerary.
When in Canada, do as the Canadians do, and live your best live ‘full send’! (Which basically means don’t be half-arsed about it, go big!)
We went big in Canada and committed to a road trip through Alberta staying at the unbelievably luxurious Fairmont Hotels as we went.
Starting in the city of Edmonton, then up through the vast snow-covered rollercoaster of Marmot Basin, along the everlasting Icefields Parkway, past the Rockies, on to dreamy Lake Louise and Banff, ending in Calgary. Big. HUGE.
I can tell you that everything you’ve heard about Canada is true. Every vista you come across is mind-blowingly stunning, every Canadian you meet will know the other Canadian you met at the other side of the country, and poutine is the food of gods! (That’s chips,cheese and gravy to us!)
If you can take longer than two weeks off work, do it. Even in just Alberta you’re able to fill your precious time off with pure awe at the miles of white open spaces, moments of elation when you spot the elusive bison, elk just hanging out on the side of the road, and the epic mountains.
And do yourself a favour… don’t bother with a massive camera that you’ll get sick of carrying, you want to go big on adventures here and the scenery is good enough for your phone camera to cope.
A few stand out moments were:
Eating everything off the menu and being greeted with Tequila at Rostizado in Edmonton. Rostizado serves a nuevo-latino feast with inspiration from the 32 states of Mexico. Don’t ask them to remove anything from your dish, the chefs will be offended.
The crisp morning view of Edmonton’s financial buildings from the exclusive Gold Floor of our first Fairmont hotel of the trip, Fairmont Hotel Macdonald (You get personalised toiletries here!).
Brunch at Little Brick. Famous for all of the right reasons, rave reviews, hard to find and unbelievable food.
The Ice Castles! Legend has it that a father began making Ice Castles in his garden for his little girl. Popping on the hose which when combined with how cold it is in Canada created structures like this! It’s now a mini theme park with slides and everything!
Poutine and Fanta Orange for the hangover of doom and the road trip of dreams.
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. The big bear in the pic was chilling outside of our hotel, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Yes, that’s where Harry and Megan had their honeymoon, getting inspiration from generations of Royals who have stayed there.
Mountain drinks. They don’t have bloody Mary’s in Canada, they have Caesars. They’re pretty much the same but they use ‘clamato juice’… tomato and CLAM! Sounds gross, tastes like heaven!
Bubbles and views at Lake Abraham. The bubbles are frozen pockets of methane, created by dead plants, fish or animals on the lake bed. Bacteria chows down on the dead stuff and parps out the methane.
When all of my prayers were answered in Lake Louise with sushi in the mountains! Thank you Kuma Yama!
Snowboarding in Canada. Full stop.
Plan your Alberta adventure at www.travelalberta.com and www.explore-canada.co.uk.
And here’s a selection of the hundreds of pics I took in Alberta on my Iphone 7 plus, edited with
Snapseed… all for the ‘gram.
Stay: Fairmont Hotel Macdonald.
Eat: Rostizado, Little Brick, Bar Clementine.
Do: Snowshoe on Elk Island National Park, go to Roger’s Place for an Ice hockey game,
Revolution Cycle Fat Bike Tour, Ice Castles.
Stay: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.
Eat: Evil Dave’s Grill, Caribou Chalet at Marmot Basin.
Do: Snowboard Marmot basin, Malign Canyon Ice Walk with Sundog Tours, Planetarium &
Telescope Experience at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Lake Abraham Tour with Rockies Heli,
helicopter ride with Rockies Heli.
Stay: Fairmont Lake Louise or Deer Lodge.
Eat: The Station Restaurant, Lake Louise.
Do: Snowboarding Lake Louise, Ice Skating at Fairmont Lake Louise, take a sleigh ride around
the lake, pick up a puck and rent some ice hockey sticks nearby and give that a go.
Stay: Fairmont Banff Springs.
Eat: 1888 Chop House.
Do: Are you kidding… ride the shit out of those epic mountains of course! Also… check out
the hot springs. They stink but they’re pretty cool. Take the gondola for an immense view.
Stay: Hyatt Regency Calgary.
Do: Head up Calgary tower. There isn’t just an amazing view but it’s really educational. Do
the prohibition tour with Calgary Walks and Bus Tours. Go to Studio Bell, home of Canadas
National Music Centre.