With three weeks off work over Christmas and New Years, we were quick to make plans – quick plans! Over the course of three weeks we celebrated Christmas with my family, Norwegian Style. We then proceeded to hop over the pond to Canada in time for some Canadian Christmas cheers and celebrations before venturing on to some fun in the sun and reunion with friends in El Salvador.
This past Monday was my birthday! I love birthdays and my incredible husband knows this all too well. He also knows that I love competitions and therefore invited friends and family to the Super Intense Recreational Invitational 2013!
As our road trip is coming to an end, let me present part 2 of our Northern Safari!
We spent our last weekend in Canada – for now – in Banff. The occasion was originally the Banff Food and Wine Festival, but as it turned out it was also the fabulous weather, hikes, friends and family. That being said, we also enjoyed our share of food and wine!
The drive from Jasper to Banff, through the Canadian Rockies, is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. According to the Icefields Parkway’s own website: “This is more that just traveling a mountain road; it’s a journey of the self and a celebration of protected wilderness grandeur.” I guess I can agree with that!
We stopped a number of times along the way. The first stop was at The Hike of Five Lakes. It is an fun, easy hike that goes by five different lakes all with different colors, beautiful. In the parking lot, we met a German couple who had just bought their vehicle and were on their way South. South as in South America! We exchanged stories and advice and gave them our Spanish textbook, some left over Costa Rican money and wished them a fantastic journey!
Not many people were on the road, so we mostly had it to ourselves. Beautiful, grand, spectacular – What more can one say!?
Our first night back in Alberta after our Alaskan Adventure, was spent in Honey in Jasper. We rolled in fairly late and parked in town by the railroad. Nobody bothered us and we were in great company (Check out the other VW in the back)!
The ferry arrived at Prince Rupert just after 1 am Saturday morning. We were asleep as the ferry reached the dock, but somehow woke up and were the last car off the boat. The Canadian border crossing was right as we were on dry land. Only a few minutes later, we were back in Canada! What a whirlwind of a trip to Alaska!
“Let’s catch that ferry!”
We had decided that we wanted to make it to Haines in order see the inside passage of Alaska from a boat. The ferries only leave once a week. That meant one serious day of driving. We are talking about 1250 km of driving in one long day. As always, we were keen and optimistic!
The further North we were getting, the colder the nights were getting. When waking up, it did not seem tempting to cook up breakfast and coffee, so instead we drove on until we found it.
The Alaskan Highway is beautiful, but also very long. Therefore, it is great that there is plenty to see and a couple great stops along the road. The Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park in Northern British Columbia is fantastic and is a must-stop (especially for the van campers who have not showered in a few days)!