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“Staying rooted to your culture/tradition and being proud of where you come from is the first step for knowing and discovering yourself.” –Yours Truly.

A Budget Friendly Alberta Travel Guide!

A Budget Friendly Alberta Travel Guide!

"Nature is cheaper than therapy"

Yes, with this post I am going on a tangent with respect to the theme of my posts. However, that’s the fun part of being a hobby blogger…you are not bound to a particular niche! My husband and I have traveled/explored quite a bit last summer with our most memorable international travel being our honeymoon for which we went to Bali! I plan on writing a detailed travel guide to Bali for all our friends trying to decide a honeymoon spot!

For this summer though, if you enjoy nature and are confused about a vacation destination, I highly recommend Alberta!

Let’s go to Alberta! But first…just kidding.

I would like to thank you for dropping by again and exerting yourself each time with all the words on my posts! I have received a handful of comments both approving and disapproving in nature, both of which I am thankful for! One of the comments I received was that I include “way too many words and not many photos”. Hence, for this post as well as all the future posts, I will try to include more visuals!

Let’s go to Alberta a.k.a. the heart of Canada! 

Photo by  SLRInfinity

Photo by SLRInfinity

Length of the trip: August 24th – September 4th. I spent the first bit of the trip with family until my husband joined me on August 29th.

How we traveled: For the period of time we were in Alberta, my husband and I rented a car. We picked up our rental straight from the airport which, in my opinion is the best thing to do when renting a car.

Last year was Canada’s 150th birthday so; we had free parking at all National Parks in Canada!

Where we stayed: Initially, we had planned to camp at the National Parks however, due to wildfires in British Columbia and Alberta; there was a fire ban at all parks. Temperatures dipped close to zero Celsius after sunset which would’ve made it impossible for us to camp without a campfire.

For the first bit of the trip, I stayed at my cousin Kedar's house in Calgary after which we stayed in a super trendy Airbnb suit in SW Calgary. Check out Andy’s suit here.

Money saver: we generally don’t spend a fortune on residence (with the exception of our honeymoon obviously) when we travel, because we only go there to sleep for a few hours after a long touristy day. We avoid high-end hotels and rent Airbnb with a kitchen where we cook our own food!

Our last few days, we lodged at the Athabasca Inn which again was a decent option for the days you visit Jasper National Park. For adventurous and single souls, there are countless, affordable hostels that you can try! Email me or leave me a comment if you like information about hostels. I will forward your questions to my brother in-law who knows all the dos and don’ts of hostels!

Where we ate: Alberta and specifically the National Parks had almost all the generic restaurants and coffee shops like McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza Pizza, Subway and Burger King etc.

One Indian fast-food restaurant that I LOVED and went to multiple times was Royal Paan in Calgary. No (I know what you are thinking), it was nothing compared to Royal Pan in Ontario. Another Indian restaurant we tried and highly recommend is called Tamarind.

Places we visited: Moraine Lake, Emerald Lake, Lake Louise, Athabasca Glacier (check out a video of me drinking fresh glacier water below), Edmonton Mall, Glacier Skywalk, Waterton Park, Maligne Lake. Below are the details of all the places.

Emerald Lake. Photos by SLRInfinity.

  • Waterton Lakes National Park

This national site was not your typical Alberta destination. Luckily, we were able to experience this beauty thanks to my local Albertan cousin Kedar! The flat prairies meet the great Canadian Rockies at this location!

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On our way to Waterton Lakes National Park, we visited Pincher Creek which is again a very well hidden gem!

  • Waterton Lake

Apologies - not the best quality snapchat photo.

Apologies - not the best quality snapchat photo.

Waterton Lake is the deepest lake in the Canadian Rockies, sinking to 120m (394ft)! One of the most classic views was from the Prince of Wales Hotel. I could write more about the Prince of Wales Hotel here but like I promised, I will keep it short. Read more about the Prince of Wales Hotel here.

Google Image

Google Image

  • Cameron Lake 

Cameron Lake is tucked beneath the Continental Divide at the three-way meeting point of Montana, Alberta and British Columbia.

Cameron Lake 

Cameron Lake 

Fun fact: Grizzly bears are known to frequent this lake. Spotting bears was like cherry on the cake! Other wilds were equally as captivating as bears though. Check out the elk we spotted!

Apologies - not the best quality camera photo.

Apologies - not the best quality camera photo.

  • Red Rock Canyon

Half the beauty of this red canyon is in getting there: the 15km drive along Red Rock Parkway through Blakiston Valley had spectacular views of grassy plains and the Rockies!

Red Rock Canyon. Apologies - not the best quality camera photo.

Red Rock Canyon. Apologies - not the best quality camera photo.

  • Banff and Jasper National Parks

Both Banff and Jasper National Parks are swallowed up by the surreal wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Coming from a relatively flat province, I was stunned by the vastness of the castle-like peaks!

Photo by  SLRInfinity .

Photo by SLRInfinity.

The lakes (Moraine, Louise, Maligne) at Banff and Jasper National Parks flash beautiful emerald, sapphire and turquoise shades with the Rockies reflecting off the glassy water. It's the scenery that you only expect to see in movies and postcards!

Lake Louise. Photo by SLRInfinity.

Lake Louise. Photo by SLRInfinity.

Photo by  SLRInfinity

Photo by SLRInfinity

There were countless picture-worthy spots along the way to and from the parks. Peyto Lake was one such lake we discovered accidently on our way to Calgary from Jasper National Park. The more you see, the more you appreciate the beauty of the long drives and the more you will want to explore and discover.

Lake Louise. Photo by  SLRInfinity.

Lake Louise. Photo by SLRInfinity.

Lake Moraine. Photo by  SLRInfinity.

Lake Moraine. Photo by SLRInfinity.

Trip to the Athabasca Glacier was definitely an awe moment for me as a geologist. I have studied glaciers and even this particular glacier but, never visited one. Here is a snap I saved of me drinking fresh glacier water!

Athabasca Glacier. Photo by  SLRInfinity  

Athabasca Glacier. Photo by SLRInfinity 

Money Saver: Bundle your experience to save money! We got the $180 adventure package from the “banffjaspercollection” website which included trip to the Athabasca Glacier, Banff Gondola, boat cruise of Lake Minnewanka and the Glacier Skywalk. Click here to explore the other options.

Lake Minnewanka. Edited by  SLRInfinity .

Lake Minnewanka. Edited by SLRInfinity.

We took the Banff gondola up the Sulfur Mountain. From which we hiked up to the highest peak of the mountain for a beautiful sunset view!

Northern Lights: April fools (in May)!

We didn’t get to experience the Northern Lights because it wasn’t Northern Lights season. The best time for Northern Lights is September to mid-May.

SLR Wedding Photography

Last but not the least, we were fortunate to be a part of a beautiful wedding at Banff! Here are a few photos of the wedding flawlessly captured by SLR Infinity! Check out more work by SLR Infinity here.

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Next post (which I promise will not be delayed) – DIY: recycle your old kurtas that don’t fit you anymore into a completely new look!

 

August 15: Independence Day of India

August 15: Independence Day of India

Patan Patola: facing extinction?

Patan Patola: facing extinction?