Curiosity takes me to Lake Louise
Snow globes always bring me back to childhood and magical places. I was looking for a book the other day and instead found an old, rather sad looking, snow globe with a snowman inside. The water, a little murky, had evaporated so that part of his head was uncovered, and there weren’t many sparkly things when I turned it upside down. That snowman; however, was in his own little world and whoever invented the snow globe was brilliant.
Snow globes remind me of lying in the grass and cloud watching, as I would look from one side of the horizon to the other and feel like the sky was a bubble above me. I used to make up stories of animals, mostly relating to Watership Down which was a favourite book of mine when I was younger.
Lake Louise, surrounded by high mountains, felt like that, and when the mist started rising over the lake later in the day, I felt transported back to another time. I have to say that I would swap out the Banff Springs Hotel with the Chateau Lake Louise as it would suit the environment (and the story) better with its stone and old wood. Blasphemy, I know! Sadly, I had not been to the town of Lake Louise in twenty years and never in the winter (other than the ski hill). The Ice Magic Festival, which was on in the middle of January, gave me a good excuse to go and explore the town, the lake and to see some amazing carvings.
I’m one of those annoying people who has to eat frequently so we stopped at the Trailhead Cafe in Samson Mall. It is billed as a locals’ favourite and, judging by the four RCMP officers there for coffee, they must be right. The food was great, as was the service.
The carvings were beautiful and so detailed. We were there during the week, so did not see the competition, but the final results were works of art. The Yukon snow carving team was working on a sculpture so we stopped to talk. I lead with the stupidest question on the planet “does this carving somehow get turned into ice?” but Donald Watt patiently explained the process of both. The ice carvers get a number of pieces of ice which they carve and then join together. Snow carvers, on the other hand, start with a pile of blocks of snow and carve their artwork from there. Donald is a very interesting guy as he has been snow carving for years and travels all over the world for competitions. Who knew? He was supported from a young age by his dad, and he builds an inukshuk at each competition representing his dad watching over him. I’m sure he would be proud.
We walked down to the end of the lake, where three ice climbers were tackling a frozen waterfall. And a horse-drawn sleigh came by which further added to the old-world feel. The horses, particularly the one on the left, were hilarious, and I got some funny pictures (check out Instagram if you have time). All in all, a great day!