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Unread 28 Jun 18, 09:47 PM  
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Gunna
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Canadian Rockies Road Trip July 2018.

So after a break from trip reports I have decided to write one for our upcoming trip to the Canadian Rockies in July of this year. My last trip report was following a family trip to Orlando in August of 2016 but this remained unfinished on both the trip report and food report due to an illness once I returned. After a break from writing reports and doing a separate blog elsewhere for an Italian Road Trip we did I had kept visiting the Dibb since our Florida trip mainly the General Trip reports area as our trips since 2016 have all been away from the Orlando area and USA.

Firstly I will introduce the cast.



This was us taken on a trip last year to Barcelona. Its just the 3 of us taking the trip this year. Myself, Neil (or Gunna) the trip planner and main organizer who has been over the last 12 months planning, researching and booking this and many other trips. In the later years of my forties, trying to keep fit with running and watching what I eat (sometimes failing on the food front) and making the most of whatever opportunities come about.

My other half - Kirsty (or Kik ) - the one who keeps me in check and pretty much lets me book whatever trips and holidays look good, which has meant, especially recently, we have seen some great places. She keeps everything in order - not easy with a forty something who maybe tries to live life like a 20 something and a teenager in the house too.

The final one is Sam, our son, who will be nearly 17 when we go to Canada. He has just finished his exams - one of the reasons for the trip - and although has his moments as most teenagers do, he has a good head on his shoulders, is grounded and doesn't give us too much hassle.

The trip was something we have wanted to do for a while and one we nearly did a few years ago following a holiday to the east coast of Canada which we loved and even debated moving out there we loved the place that much. A holiday to the East Coast of the USA another Florida trip, a fair few European holidays and city breaks meant the trip was delayed a few years until now. Following my health issues after the Florida trip it made Kirsty and me reassess life a bit and realize that although its good to have a cushion in the bank we had seen lots of friends and family save for a future only for something to happen to prevent them doing all they had planned for. We felt that while we where younger and relatively in good health we needed to see more of the world, build more fantastic memories and experiences which has therefore meant we have spent pretty much every week or time booked off work since Florida ticking lots of places off the bucket list.

As much as we have enjoyed our Orlando trips we have equally loved exploring lots of places closer to home and seen many things we have always wanted too. The city breaks have been fantastic and given us a real passion to keep exploring new places. We now have a list of countries, sights and things we wish to see and have been taking our time visiting them and have really enjoyed this, this has also been a great experience for Sam too. We always wanted to do a trip further afield after he finished his exams and as we where able to secure three weeks off work and Sams early school break up we felt this all fitted in perfectly. Sam is currently on his NCS programme and after his prom on 13th July we set off for London the next day leaving for Canada on the Sunday.

I have spent a lot of time planning routes, reading blogs, visiting the Dibb as well as endless hours on the internet and now with about two things left to book have pretty much everything done and sorted - this is what we will be doing with some information on what we have pre-booked and what we will do as we go along. Plans may change dependant on what happens when we are there, we may add some stuff in and other bits may not get done. Time and crowds will play a factor as will our own energy levels.

Sunday 15th July - Fly from Gatwick to Calgary arriving mid-day. Its worked in our favour that this is the last day of the Calgary Stampede so we have booked tickets. I know this is going to be a really long day but we couldn't miss the opportunity to see this and we can (hopefully) relax the day after.

Monday 16th July - Calgary. The only thing we have sorted for today is the Calgary Tower (with lunch booked in as it includes the elevation fee) and the rest of the time we will explore the city after a lazy morning and lie in all being well.

Tuesday 17th July - Off to Banff. We pick up our hire car and head off to Banff in the morning. On route we are stopping at the Olympic Park and doing the zipline down the ski-jump Eddie the Eagle jumped from which we be equally exciting and scary. We are staying about 10 minutes outside of Banff and have hired a condo, Banff wasn't the cheapest place to stay but we are close enough to explore and do all we want.

Wednesday 18th July - Banff. Today we have booked horseriding and the gondola up the mountain. We'll do some exploring and see what else we like the look off when we are there. There are some stunning sights to see, would like to see if we can fit in Lake Minnewanka if we can today.

Thursday 19th July - Banff - Visiting Lake Lousie and Moraine Lake today. Know we need to be up super early to try to get a head start on the crowds. Planning on hiking to the tea-house and visiting Johnston Canyon on the way back to Banff.

Friday 20th July - Off to Jasper. Driving the Icefield Parkway today with stops to see some of the sights on route to Jasper. We have also booked a glacier tour on the way up to Jasper and our stay in a cabin at a place called Bear Hill Lodge which looks great. Theres loads to see on route and time and traffic will be a deciding factor, well start off early to make the most of it.

Saturday 21st July - we have not booked anything for today but plan on exploring Jasper, the waterfalls and lakes. Looking at hiring canoes today and stopping at the Fairmont as they do frisbee golf.

Sunday 22nd July - I have booked the boat trip at Maligne Lake to Spirit Island today and we are looking at doing a hike as well as visitng Maligne Canyon. Wouldnt mind the hot springs if we can fit it in.

Monday 23rd July - we leave Jasper and drive down to Kamloops. Will do a couple of stops on route as its a fair drive and then have a chilled night. Theres a cinema near the hotel which maybe our plan for tonight.

Tuesday 24th July - Whistler - leave Kamloops and drive to Whistler. Found some places to stop on route and we are staying in a condo just outside Whistler at Creekside but close enough to be near the action and sights. Chilled night again after the drive.

Wednesday 25th July - We have booked whitewater rafting today which is something we are all looking forward too. We will also explore Whistler as well as do a hike Sam likes the look of which is off to see a train wreck in a forest.

Thursday 26th July - Whistler - booked tickets for the Peak to Peak gondola today so will spend most of the day up the mountains exploring, hiking and enjoying the scenery.

Friday 27th July - Squamish - a short drive today and we have booked tickets on the Sea to Sky Gondola which looks great. We are also staying in a local brewery in Squamish. They do their own brews and have live music so should be a good night.

Saturday 28th July - Vancouver Island - we have booked our ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo and are staying in Victoria for the next 3 nights. We have booked tickets for the Butchart Gardens today as they have fireworks in the summer on Saturday evenings so this worked out well. Well check in and then head to gardens.

Sunday 29th July - Victoria - explore Victoria today and I am looking to book the BC Museum today. Dont tend to do museums but this one is meant to be excellent and they have an IMAX. Have also booked a sunset whale watching tour where I hope we are lucky enough to see orcas in the wild, if not Im sure it will still be brilliant.

Monday 30th July - Victoria - looking to visit the Parliament building today and do a tour around the building. There are lots of other sights in Victoria which wed like to see so well spent a chilled afternoon looking around.

Tuesday 31st July - Off to Vancouver. We leave the Island and head back to Vancouver - ferry is booked and we drop the car off at the airport and head into the city. Might stop
at the outlet first for some retail therapy. We have booked a condo near Stanley Park and most probably take a cab from the airport for our final 4 nights. Place looks great and gets excellent reviews.

Wednesday 1st August - Off to Granville Island and the market via the ferry. We are booking a table at a local restaurant called Bistro 101 which is run by apprentice chefs and gets good write ups. Meant to be great quality food at a very good price. Also looking to explore Gastown and Chinatown before heading off to see a free fireworks competition on one of Vancouvers beaches to end the day.

Thursday 2nd August - booked Capilano Suspension Bridge today making use of the shuttle bus. Will also have a look around Canada Place as well as doing a bit of retail therapy in downtown Vancouver.

Friday 3rd August - exploring Stanley Park today. Maybe hire bikes, go to the Aquarium, walk the sea wall, see the totems and sights before a final night meal which Ill have a look at somewhere to book.

Saturday 4th August - lazy final morning before heading back to the airport and flying back home to London.

And that is the itinerary with what we have booked and planned. Its a place we are all really looking forward to visiting. We love being outdoors so this type of holiday suits us perfectly and from looking at some of the pictures and videos online the scenery looks breathtaking. In some ways I don't think 3 weeks is enough and I am sure we will be sad to leave and talk again of moving to Canada. Sam has said he would love to work abroad, maybe if its Canada he wont mind if his folks turn up with our cases. Im flexible to move stuff around, drop things and add others in as we get there and see what crowd levels are and if we see something else wed love to do.

I'll be writing a report once I'm back but if anyone has any hints or tips who has done this trip please let me know. If you wish to ask me anything on what I've booked I'm more than happy to help if I can.

Neil

Edited at 09:57 PM.
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Unread 28 Jun 18, 10:07 PM  
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CrispyA
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Sounds fantastic - look forward to reading about it. Have a wonderful time.
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Unread 28 Jun 18, 10:08 PM  
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jocat
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Sounds like youve planned a fantastic trip Neil and Im very grateful for all the advice youve given me along the way. The only disappointment is that your trip report wont be written before I go! Itll be something to look forward to when Im home though, as it helps relive your own holiday, spotting places youve visited.

After a few weeks break from planning, Im back on it with a vengeance, and have almost got my itinerary finished now. Unfortunately I only started booking things last week, so have ended up being a bit disappointed - we wanted to book a wildlife tour in Jasper, but unfortunately its fully booked for our dates. I should have taken a leaf from your book and been more organised.

As you know, were doing our trip the opposite way round - it looks like we might pass in Whistler!

Edited at 10:10 PM.
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Unread 28 Jun 18, 10:59 PM  
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Twiggy1953
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I shall look forward to your trip report with great interest. We are planning on doing a quite similar trip next year.
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Unread 29 Jun 18, 07:33 AM  
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Apricota
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So joe be greatly interested in your trip, both of you as am dreaming of the rockies...
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Unread 30 Jun 18, 04:44 AM  
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Another Canada fan here! Sounds like a fabulous trip!
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Unread 30 Jun 18, 07:15 AM  
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Gunna
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Originally Posted by jocat View Post
Sounds like youve planned a fantastic trip Neil and Im very grateful for all the advice youve given me along the way. The only disappointment is that your trip report wont be written before I go! Itll be something to look forward to when Im home though, as it helps relive your own holiday, spotting places youve visited.

After a few weeks break from planning, Im back on it with a vengeance, and have almost got my itinerary finished now. Unfortunately I only started booking things last week, so have ended up being a bit disappointed - we wanted to book a wildlife tour in Jasper, but unfortunately its fully booked for our dates. I should have taken a leaf from your book and been more organised.

As you know, were doing our trip the opposite way round - it looks like we might pass in Whistler!
I debated changing one of my accommodations and I couldnt find anything better or at a price I wanted to pay recently, seems things get booked up really quickly across there in the summer, youll have a fantastic trip and a friend of mine said that usually you see lots of wildlife as youre exploring around. Im hoping so as we didnt book the wildlife trip so hope the bears arent too elusive when we are there.

I think we do pass each other in Whistler - I might be burnt out by then or just running on endless Tim Hortons!

Have a great trip, not long to go now for either of us.
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Unread 14 Jul 18, 11:54 PM  
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Have a fabulous holiday! Looking forward to the trippie.
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