Thursday, October 21, 2010

The most beautiful lake in the world

I have been lucky to have been at some of the most beautiful places in the world (and I guess I was even luckier as it didn't cost me anything to be there in the first place).

Obviously, I had enjoyed the most spectacular road in the world that is the Great Ocean Road. You can read about my travel here. This is my favourite journey by road that I have undertaken when I was a student back then in the mid-80s. Another favourite of journey of mine would be the around the Rockies in Canada.

Yahoo Travel recently highlighted the most beautiful lakes in the world recently, and I have included that entry in my blog here. In the article, rated at No 2 is Peyto Lake at the Banff National Park in Alberta Canada. Unfortunately when I was travelling during my jet-setting days, there was no Yahoo Travel as my reference point. Heck, there was no internet either, so I did not visit Lake Peyto even though I was only about 60 km away from this picturesque lake.

If Great Ocean Road was No 3 in the list, Lake Peyto is at No 2. But really, I would rate Lake Louise as my No 1 lake.
Lake Louise with Chateau Lake Louise in the background. This is one
view I did not get to see as I was at the Chateau end. We were at the
opposite end of this picture. I got this pic from the net.
Back then I would consider Lake Louise, which Lake Peyto's more famous lake as the most beautiful lake in the world, and I will show you why I thought so highly of this lake right in the midst of the spectacular Rockies.

When I was informed by a software company (which turned out to be a future employer of mine - 5 years later) that they would be holding an international simulation conference in Banff, I knew it was my calling. I had been using their tool as part of my work in an oil company and were considered as focal point engineer in that area, and the department manager, without batting an eye-lid, approved of my travel there (even when there was no budget for this conference), and suddenly I found myself at this picturesque lake.

This is the view of Lake Louise from the Chateau end. A view to die for. I got this
picture from the internet, so I could not photoshop myself into this picture.
These are the two pictures of what I would rate as the most famous lake and it is at the Banff National Park, say about 2 hours drive from Calgary or about 130 km West. It is taken from Chateau Lake Louise and is the view is from the opposite view point of the earlier picture.

Lake Louise holds many memories for me. If I was a bachelor when I took the tour at the most spectacular road in the world, by the time I got to visit the most beautiful lake in the world, I was already married. So we got to enjoy the view together as a couple, I guess, even if by then we had been married for three years.

That was 1990, September to be exact, and being a mountain person, I thought the Rockies are majestic, unlike other mountains that I have seen in Malaysia and Australia. The Rockies, to my mind, are the only real mountains.
There we were at Lake Louise in September 1990. Unfortunately the sun
 is just behind us, and coupled with the deteriorating chemicals that formed the
colours in the pic, the picture we took that day was not as great
as the picture above. 
The Banff National Park in Alberta is a must if you love mountains, turquoise-blue lakes, crystal clear river and glacier. You will find lakes in between mountains or river snaking through the valleys. There are just way too many of these around here and you will be spoiled for choice. And they are all spectacular. I have also traveled the length and breadth of Colorado which is also famous for its Rockies, but I think I love the Rockies at the Banff National Park a lot better.
Lake Louise is right in the middle of this picture. It looks so tiny amidst the
monster that is the Rockies. Just imagine yourself being dwarfed by
the mountains when you are at Lake Louise.
Honestly, if you were to drive from Calgary to Banff as you enter the vicinity of the Rockies, you would be stopping at every few kilometres. Just like what we did at the Great Ocean Road and we did it again in Banff.
We stopped here, there and everywhere, while on the way to Banff from Calgary for picture. This is
one of the many lakes one would find along the way at Banff National Park.
Peter was my driver that day. Then he was the host, and later on in life we would be partner.
Business partner that is.
Obviously the journey around the National Park was to me then a journey of a lifetime. All my life I had been dreaming about the Rockies, but unfortunately MARA decided to instead send me away to the most flat country in the world - that's Australia. Luckily I was shrewd, and managed to escape to a city not too far away from the Kosciusko and the Snowy Mountains, from the intended city of Perth.

Still, it was nothing like what Banff and the Rockies have to offer, I must admit.
So Lake Louise is just midway point if we were to head to Lake Peyto. But honestly, I have no regret. In my mind I still think Lake Louise is the most beautiful lake in the world.
Another lake, this time around with a cement plant and the Rockies
as the background. As I was a former cement plant engineer, it was
hard to resist not to take this picture.

I do wish we had digital camera then. This is another great view
with rives the foreground and the Rockies in the background. Alas
for the deteriorating colour.
We did not get to stay at the Chateau Lake Louise that week as the conference
was held at the Banff Rocky Mountain Resort. The Resort instead
face this spectacular mountain protruding out from the land beneath.
We got to meet the Banff National Park's most famous
resident - the Elk. They were roaming freely at the Park.
Fortunately we were there late September. The weather was just excellent. It was chilly, but not downright cold. A sweater would do you just fine, so we did not have to carry winter clothing. The sun was shining too and it helped us enjoy outdoor once the conference was over.

Actually I have written an entry about this journey twenty years that was supposed to be written for the NST. If I find it again, I will publish it here in this blog.

Anyway, I would recommend Banff National Park to anyone looking for getaway. Forget your usua London, New York and Paris as a destination. Head to the Rockies.

To be honest, I would not mind retiring here, if only the weather in winter time is not as harsh. In fact if I have my way, I would.

1 comment:

  1. Lake Louise is #1!!!! I really loved this view. The best and gorgeous place that I ´ve ever been.