True love never grows old! Finishing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route few years ago in Banff, located in the Canadian Rockies, left deep memories and true love for this part of the world on the border of Alberta and British Columbia. Leaving Amsterdam around lunchtime in December sets the plane more or less on the line between dusk and dawn. That sounds weird but it is kind of true. From mainland Europe to southwestern Canada, the plane flies in such a way that the dusk phase in Europe transits to the dawn phase in North America. The colors belonging to this sunset were splendidly spread across the horizon in a very very broad way. Incredible lights! It seemed so unreal! The light you would almost expect in a fairy tale. This surreal view was completed by the fantastic fjords of the coast of Greenland fully covered in X-mas’ whites and colds. This memory will be floating in my mind for a very long time. Continuing over Canada, the landscape of Baffin Island was really fictional, while in the meantime, dawn was moving gently into daylight before arriving in Calgary.
After touching the holy Calgarian ground, life went back to what it should be! The first impressions of the Canadian Rockies in the winter were so perfect. Snowshoeing to the Chester Lake in the Spray Valley, close to Canmore, was of absolute beauty. When entering the parking lot of the trailhead, no one was there except one big female moose. Somehow this animal of scary proportions decided to have her salt lick on the rental car so within few minutes she approached the car and licked it pretty clean! Big female nature! On the same day, the Canadian wildlife stroke again with the amazing species called the mountain goat. Being from Europe, we are used to seeing mountain goats having the size of a domestic goat. But when encountering, in not such a feel-safe distance, this huge white animal trudging in the snow, the first reaction was ‘ARE THERE POLAR BEARS IN ALBERTA?’ Knowing perfectly that it didn’t make sense, this creature nevertheless dominated the whole hike until Google finally gave the answer. After this day of wildlife, it was time for some cross country skiing on the nicely groomed lanes at the Canmore Nordic Centre, including the 1988 Olympic cross country track! Personal records were set! The views around Canmore and Banff were incredibly awesome! It was a very intense visual pleasure to be traveling around here! Time to go further north!