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Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international consultants. About living in Italy, the Veneto area near Venice; in Indonesia, central Java. Why we love the southeast of the United States and moved back from Italy. Our love for gardening, the botanical way. Sharing with you our manifold treasures from exotic places and even offering several at Spectrenoir:http://ebay.to/2xI69uc, for others to enjoy. As well as high end silver items from Giovanni Raspini, Italy |  google.com/+MariettesBacktoBasics 
I also do classes and consulting... too much to list here! Check out my google.com/+MarietteVandenMunckhofVedder ABOUT page, where you see my other LINKS; you just scroll down.Thanks!
Love to bring back some romance and quality to the daily life of others... 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Exploring Banff with Brewster Sightseeing

Our Rocky Mountaineer journey is completed, so now we enjoy exploring Banff with Brewster Sightseeing.
Banff National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel sits right in the center of it!
Here, husband Pieter is seen left from the bench at 7:55 AM in the morning. It is nearly impossible to capture this enormous hotel!
Yes, we did rise early as this was our breakfast at 7:08 AM.
At STOCK Food & Drink, I'd ordered Avocado on Toast without salt added.
We got picked up at our Fairmont Banff Springs hotel by coach and started our 4.5 hour guided bus tour.
At 8:54 AM we arrive here at the Gondola Base, but it is raining...
Okay, we will start our 8 minutes trip up on Sulphur Mountain...
It is what it is, the weather is NOT good, no view at 9:09 AM.
We see hardly the Gondola Base to the right of husband Pieter...
Here I am standing at the Summit in front of a nice 'clear' photo of what this Bow Valley should look like from upon high!
Cold too, I'm enjoying my down filled Escada hand muff!
Both our down filled jackets felt great here in Banff!
A strong wind as well and a white world...
Nobody is using the board walk where you can get to Sanson Peak.
Just click here on: Brewster Sightseeing for exploring it all under excellent conditions!
This COULD be viewed on a clear day and you see the board walk.
See more here at Banff Gondola just click it and scroll down.
At 9:20 AM I at least can read why so blue? The brilliant turquoise color of glacial lakes appears due to 'rock flour', or tiny grains of rock ground up by moving glaciers.
Leaving husband Pieter inside at the Summit with a hot coffee, I go outside again.
Very windy and no view!
Husband Pieter captured me outside, after he finished his coffee.
My hair is wildly blowing in the wind and it was COLD!
Oh sure, I enjoyed a hot cup of tea as well; felt great inside my cold hands.
Too bad we completely missed this spectacular 360º view from the top of this Summit. No use for even getting there...
This is where I stand in the snow...
Such a small world...
At 10:09 AM we're back down at the Gondola Base
While we wait for our bus to continue our sight seeing tour, we admire the bearings of the gondola!
My hand on top of such a sturdy steel cable...
At 11:00 AM we're outside near Bow Falls and noticed these spectacular fall colors, even if the light was not good.
Here Pieter is standing at Bow Falls.
This is where Pieter is standing, near the edge of the Bow River and the very rough falls, no rafting possible due to the rocks.
Next stop is #3 - Surprise Corner
The site of our hotel, is in the lower part, center as seen from Surprise Corner.
The driver brings us across the Bow River now where we capture our Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.
No mountains visible... Surprise Corner was a very limited view for us!
Across from the Bow River now.
Pieter standing next to the beautiful fence made from bright orange Douglas fir.
Uhm, my husband is not related to Micky Mouse... just one snap on the flap of his hat came loose!
Explanation about DOUGLAS FIR
Even these posts seem to be made of Douglas fir!
Excellent directions though, everything looked so meticulous and clean.
Here we are near the Hoodoos at 11:55 AM.
A unique sight that is as impressive as it is awe-inspiring: hoodoos. Formed from volcanic rock over 200 million years ago, these wonders were created due to erosion, rain, frost, and snow. Legend says that the hoodoos are actually giants that come to life at night to protect the region, but because you will be traveling through the hoodoos during the day, you will never know!
The Hoodoos, seen at center...
At 12:00 noon, the Hoodoos
The beautiful fall colors at the edge of Lake Minnewanka where part of the group got off for a cruise on the lake.
Lake Minnewanka...
That was our 4.5 hour guided bus tour... We only did the Banff Gondola and not the Lake Minnewanka Cruise!
Back to our Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel where for the first time since 5 days, poor Pieter was able to take a nap!
At that time I could work a bit on my MacBook in our cozy room.
By 16:00 it was 4ºC or 39ºF and it will go down to -4ºC or 25ºF
Around 18:00 we enjoyed a cozy early supper... Pieter liked a soup and I know that it would be too high in sodium for me so I ordered something different.
The fluffy puff pastry with arugula and fresh veggies inside proved to be a good choice!
Also my salad was good.
When I looked out of our window at 19:30 the mountains were almost entirely visible!
We enjoyed our down duvet and the lovely pillows and had a good night sleep for our 2nd night here.
Once again, the special bargains you get when booking through Canada Rail Vacations makes you feel like Royalty! They only select the BEST!
Enjoy below my short 55 second video from Relive:

        

Thanks for your visit and comment and stay tuned for more...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Our Kamloops to Banff Trip Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer via Canada Rail Vacation

After a very good rest at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, we needed to get up early again for our 2nd day on the Rocky Mountaineer organized by Canada Rail Vacations.
This is the longer journey, all the way from Kamloops to Banff!
The journey FIRST PASSAGE TO THE WEST just click link to find the above screenshot at 15 seconds into video from Rocky Mountaineer.
So lets go...
Day 1 was in Vancouver, see links of previous 2 posts below this one.
At 8:40 in the morning, at Salmon Arm in British Columbia, Canada.
Rivers are huge in this Province!
Pieter's yummy breakfast at 8:55 aboard the train in the dining room.
My yummy breakfast and again a Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry) for garnish.
This is the HISTORIC SITE at Sushwap of the LAST SPIKE!
We passed this at 9:52
Craigellachie makes us go back to 1885 to the site of the Last Spike where Canada's East and West were united by 3,200 kilometers (1,988 miles) of railway track.
THE LAST SPIKE IS DRIVEN INTO THE CANADIAN PACIFIC RAILWAY... On November 7, 1885, completing Canadian Pacific Railway from ocean to ocean!
At 10:24 we passed Three Valley Gap Resort, a 200 room hotel resort (see info above this photo).
This is adjacent to Three Valley Lake and west of the summit of Eagle Pass.
It is an incorporated settlement on the Trans-Canada Highway and is 27 km southwest of Revelstoke.
At 10:48 we are near Revelstoke
Same mountain peak with snow and Revelstoke on the banks of the Columbia River and a bridge.
The Rocky Mountaineer is on the middle bridge!
Almost crossed the Columbia River at 10:49
This is at 12:30 when we are entering Glacier National Park
What a sight!
This photo is taken from the back window in the GoldLeaf car, since there were a lot less cars, we had free view!
At Kamloops the biggest part of our LONG train got hooked off for their ongoing journey to Jasper.
Glacier National Park at 12:39
Different angle at Glacier National Park, also at 12:39
This is where we are at Glacier National Park in the above photos.
At Glacier National Park, still around 12:39 as we pass the tall Stoney Creek Bridge of 90 m or 295 ft height. Click link for view of bridge.
STONEY CREEK BRIDGE
The original wooden structure got replaced by 1893. By 1929, the weight of the locomotives had almost doubled and Canadian Pacific Rail was forced to replace this structure.
Glacier National Park at 12:50 and you can see the bare spots where the frozen ice took rocks and all down!
At 14:09 a freight train on the NR (National Railroad) is passing us along the river.
At 14:58 along the river
Exact spot along the Columbia River where the previous photo got taken
COLUMBIA RIVER
The Columbia River flows 1,250 miles from the Rocky Mountain Trench to the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon.
KICKING HORSE RIVER
For the next 48 km/30 miles, we travel through the Kicking Horse Canyon, crossing the river seven times.
Also taken at 14:58 from the dining room, which is below... We were the 2nd shift from our car to go down for lunch.
The reflection of the lights is visible in the window.
At 15:16 near Kicking Horse River as we travel through Kicking Horse Canyon where British Columbia's dramatic Canadian Rocky Mountains are on full display.
Kicking Horse River where previous photo got taken and we did cross this river seven times!
At 15:28 my special risotto got served...
Pieter's delicious pork tenderloin. It all got very artful garnished and presented.
This is at 15:30 along the Kicking Horse River, where Pieter's pork tenderloin got served.
At 16:04 time for a mousse with lovely garnish. Again my favorite Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry).
Passing through THE SPIRAL TUNNELS was quite something!
Because it was a very dangerous 4.5 persent grade in 1907, construction began on the unique Spiral Tunnels. Modeled after a tunnel system in Switzerland, it took 1,000 men 20 months to complete. It involved the excavation of 557,500 m3 / 750,000 cubic yards of rock and cost over $ 1 million to build. However, it allowed the grade to be reduced to a more manageable 2.2 percent. 
The Upper Spiral travels through Castle Mountain and is 993 m / 3.255 feet long and turns approx. 290 degrees, emerging 15.25 m / 50 feet higher than its entrance.
The Lower Spiral is tunneled through Mount Ogden and is 891 m / 2,923 feet long and turns approx. 230 degrees, emerging 17.1 m / 56 feet higher than its entrance.
WHITE DOTTET LINES in this picture at the top REPRESENT THE ROUTE TAKEN BY TRAIN THROUGH SPIRAL TUNNELS
In the Rocky Mountaineer paper that we received on board, they printed Cathedral Mountain... should read Castle Mountain instead! 
CONTINENTAL DIVIDE
We crossed this Continental Divide and the boundary between Banff National Park in Alberta and Yoho National Park in British Columbia. It is the highest point on our journey, at 1,626 m / 5,332 feet above sea level, and separates the Pacific and Atlantic watersheds. 
On one side the water flows towards the Pacific Ocean and the other side all the water flows towards the Atlantic Ocean...
At 16:17 we are at Yoho National Park...
LOOK at those snow-capped mountains!
Right here is Yoho National Park where I took the previous photo.
At 16:22 Yoho National Park
At 18:15 still in the vast Yoho National Park
Such an awesome sight through the glass dome!
Today we did section 5, 6 and 7 in the above chart.
SUSHWAP SUBDIVISION from KAMLOOPS → REVELSTOKE
Next we traveled through the MOUNTAIN SUBDIVISION from REVELSTOKE → FIELD
Finally traveling the LAGGAN SUBDIVISION from FIELD  → LAKE LOUISE/BANFF
It was too dark for taking any photos of the final stretch... Just watch the video below blog post.
Enjoy my 2 min. 3 sec. Relive video below, the total Rocky Mountaineer trip, including the very short trip by coach to our Fairmont Banff Springs hotel:
Again, sometimes the dots got connected in a straight line, where I had no signal at all.
But the sight from above is what counts, for getting a better impression of this day's journey.
According to the information from the Rocky Mountaineer the total trip is 497 KM/309 MILES for the stretch KAMLOOPS & BANFF
As a courtesy, our luggage got sent separately by truck, straight to our Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel
Which proved to be the very best during this trip!

Thanks for traveling along and see you back when we take you by coach around Banff...


Related links:
Rocky Mountaineer - Best Vacations.mov - GREAT video about our 2-day trip
Our Canada Rail Vacation Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Vancouver to Kamloops | previous post
Vancouver British Columbia, Canada in 1996 and back again in 2018 | previous post by me


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