Lake Louise Ice Sculptures & Lussier Hot Springs

This weekend Julie and I embarked on another winter road trip. This weekend we drove to Lake Louise to look at the final day of the International Ice Sculpture contest that’s been held annually at Lake Louise for the past 26 years, spent a wonderful overnight stay in Radium at Radium Chalet, and then soaked in the natural Lussier Hot Springs.

The Lake Louise International Ice Sculpture contest has been held annually in January for the past 26 years. The world’s best ice carvers come every year to compete against one another. Ten teams of two are created and they compete head to head, usually to a specific theme, to create a masterpiece of art from 15 blocks of ice. This year the theme was open, which meant that the carvers could enjoy creative freedom.

My YouTube video of the Ice Carving can be viewed here!

2020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 012020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 052020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 072020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 112020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 142020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 172020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 212020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 222020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 232020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 252020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 262020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 272020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 282020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 292020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 302020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 332020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 342020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 352020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 362020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 372020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 392020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 412020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 422020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 442020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 452020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 462020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 472020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 482020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 502020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 512020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 542020-01-17 Lake Louise Ice Sculptures 56

After enjoying our afternoon at Lake Louise we drove to Radium and checked into Radium Lodge, where we spent the evening relaxing, playing board games, and having a few beverages. Radium, also known as Radium Hot Springs, is a village of roughly 800 residents situated in Kootenay National Park in British Columbia.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0176.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0188.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0196.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0202.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0207.JPG2020-01-17 Radium 062020-01-17 Radium 07

The next morning we woke up at 8:00am, had a continental breakfast (which was included), and drove to Lussier Hot Springs to soak and relax before heading back to Calgary to meet with some friends to go bowling and have hot wings in the evening.

Lussier Hot Springs is a natural undeveloped Sulphur hot spring located inside Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia. It is about a one hour drive southeast of Invermere. The springs are made up of five rock pools with gravel bottoms. The hottest pool at the inlet is 43°C, and the coolest pool us about 37°C nominally, but we experienced it to be much cooler; perhaps about 20°C. The water flows through the pools and into the Lussier River.

The use of the hot springs dates back to roughly 5000 years ago when the Ktunaxa native people used the area for seasonal hunting. During the 1800’s and 1900’s trappers, guides, and prospectors used the hot springs to sooth their bodies after a long days work.

2020-01-17 Lussier Hot Springs 012020-01-17 Lussier Hot Springs 042020-01-17 Lussier Hot Springs 052020-01-17 Lussier Hot Springs 072020-01-17 Lussier Hot Springs 082020-01-17 Lussier Hot Springs 092020-01-17 Lussier Hot Springs 102020-01-17 Lussier Hot Springs 11

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Abraham Lake

Last weekend Julie and I took a road trip to visit Abraham Lake, located in the Kootenay Plains. The drive to Abraham lake took roughly 4 hours via Rocky Mountain House on Highway 11. Abraham Lake is a photographers paradise because trapped methane causes frozen bubbles to form under the ice on the lake’s surface. The methane is formed from decaying plants on the lake bed. The methane gas ends up becoming trapped within the ice, in suspension, just below the surface of the lake as it begins to freeze.

Abraham Lake is actually an artificial lake and Alberta’s largest reservoir. The lake has a surface area of nearly 54 square kilometers and was created in 1972 by the former Calgary Power Company (now known as TransAlta) when the Bighorn Dam was constructed. The lake was built on the upper course of the North Saskatchewan River and is used to feed the 120 MW hydroelectric Bighorn power plant. The lake received its name from a contest that the Government of Alberta sponsored in 1972, during the final stage of construction of the Bighorn Dam. Students across the province submitted names to be taken into consideration. The lake was named after Silas Abraham, an inhabitant of the Saskatchewan River valley in the nineteenth century.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0152.JPGDCIM100MEDIADJI_0170.JPG2020-01-11 Abraham Lake 062020-01-11 Abraham Lake 092020-01-11 Abraham Lake 132020-01-11 Abraham Lake 152020-01-11 Abraham Lake 162020-01-11 Abraham Lake 172020-01-11 Abraham Lake 192020-01-11 Abraham Lake 202020-01-11 Abraham Lake 222020-01-11 Abraham Lake 232020-01-11 Abraham Lake 252020-01-11 Abraham Lake 28

After visiting Abraham Lake we drove to Banff to soak in the Banff Hot Springs by continuing to drive along Highway 11 to where it meets up with Highway 93N, and then looped around to Banff that way.

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls

Last weekend my girlfriend Julie and I visited Lundbreck Falls and Waterton Lakes National Park. It was a fairly chilly day with a lot of wind, so our time outside was limited.

Lundbreck Falls is a waterfall of the Crowsnest River and is located in Southwest Alberta in the Crowsnest Pass. The twin waterfalls were absolutely beautiful! It shocked me because it was a lot smaller in person than the pictures depicted. Being half frozen it was a unique perspective compared to many of the pictures that I had seen online. I would like to come back in the summer to see it completely thawed.

2019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 23DCIM100MEDIADJI_0069.JPG

The next stop was Wateron Lakes National Park, which I had not visited since right after the great fire of 2017, and never in the Winter. Much has changed in the park since the fire with many buildings still completely gone, and many still being rebuilt. The view of Cameron Falls half frozen was also quite spectacular.

Waterton Lakes National Park is located in Southwest Alberta. It borders Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. Waterton was the fourth Canadian National Park that was founded; being former in 1895. The park offers beautiful iconic views of the rocky mountains as well as some premier hikes such as Crypt Lake Trail and Bertha Falls.

2019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 252019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 272019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 292019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 312019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 332019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 342019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 352019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 362019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 402019-12-29 Waterton Lakes National Park & Lundbreck Falls 42

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Luxembourg

Today I had to wake up fairly early to catch a 5:00am train to Luxembourg via Brussels, and Arlon. In Brussels I grabbed a sandwich and a coffee at the train station before switching trains. I arrived in Luxembourg at 10:00am and dropped off my bag at the hotel I was staying at; Empire Hotel, which was conveniently located right across from the train station. I then proceeded to walk into the old city, with a quick stop for another sandwich at the supermarket.

First stop was Luxemburgo-Passerelle, a gorgeous viaduct spanning 290 metres long and is 45 metres above the valley below. The viaduct has a total of 24 arches, and is also known as the “Old Bridge”. The viaduct was finished in 1861 to connect the city center with Luxembourg’s new railways station (the one I just arrived on). The railway station was built away from the city center so it wouldn’t detract from the defensive capabilities of the city’s fortress.

IMG_0852 copy

I then proceeded to walk down a narrow road to the valley floor below. In the valley you can see some incredible views of the old town above, as well as Neumünster Abbey. Neumünster Abbey was built in 1688 after the previous two abbey’s were destroyed by fire. After the French Revolution it served as a police station, prison, and as a barracks. Since 1997 it has been home to the European Institute of Cultural Routes.

IMG_0860IMG_0867

Next stop was a lot of stairs to climb back out of the valley and to explore the beautiful views of Neumünster Abbey, and the surrounding valley below, as well as walk through Casemates du Bock,  the site of a former fortified castle from 963 AD that has an intricate maze of casemates underneath of it that were used the shelter soldiers, workshops, kitchens, bakeries, etc. The original fortress was destroyed in 1875 after the declaration of neutrality in 1867. The casemates proved to be impossible to destroy, so they were left. 17 km of the original 23 km still remain.

IMG_0871IMG_0875IMG_0887IMG_0862IMG_0879

I then continued to walk around Old Luxembourg overlooking the valley below as well as stopping at Cathedral Notre-Dame, and the Monument of Remembrance. The Monument of Remembrance, a 21 metre tall granite obelisk with a gilded bronze statue representing Nike (Goddess of Victory) was dedicated to the thousands of Luxembourgers who volunteered their service in the armed forces of the Allied Powers during both World Wars and the Korean War.

IMG_0899IMG_0900IMG_0903IMG_0906IMG_0912

It was then time to head back for a nap as I was getting tired.  I ended up napping from 3:00pm to almost 5:00pm.

I ended up grabbing a salad from the supermarket for dinner and chatting on the phone for a few hours before getting ready for bed. Be sure to check back tomorrow when I visit Prague, Czech Republic!

If you like the content that I produce and want to donate money towards the upkeep of my site, my travel, or buy me a cup of coffee please feel free to contribute towards it. I really appreciate it.

Donate By Clicking Here

Belgium – Brussels – Day 2 of 2

Today I woke up at 8:00am and had some coffee in my room before venturing out to explore more of the city.

First stop was Hôtel van Eetvelde, which was sadly under construction so I couldn’t get any good pictures of it. Hôtel van Eetvelde is a town house designed in 1895 by Victor Horta for Edmond van Eetvelde, the administrator of Congo Free State.

Second stop was Maison Saint-Cyr was built in 1903 to serve as a mansion for the painter Georges Saint-Cyr. The façade is about four metres wide, and is rich in finely worked ironwork that forms a set of lines, curves and geometric figures. Each balcony has a railing with different patterns.

IMG_0353

Third stop was Stoclet Palace, after a few quick photos of some various things along the way. Stoclet Palace was built in 1911 in the Viennese Secession style by architect Josef Hoffmann. It was built for Adophe Stoclet, a wealthy industrialist and art collector.

IMG_0357IMG_0359IMG_0365

Fourth stop and fifth stop was Arcades du Cinquantenaire and Autoworld. Arcades du Cinquantenaire is a triple arch in the centre of Brussels and is topped by a bronze quadriga sculpture group with a woman charioteer, representing Brabant raising the national flag. Autoworld is a substantial collection of vintage vehicles in extremely well preserved states.

IMG_0374IMG_0377IMG_0383IMG_0388IMG_0389IMG_0394IMG_0398IMG_0399IMG_0420IMG_0427IMG_0434IMG_0436IMG_0440IMG_0445

The sixth stop was the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a beautiful Art Deco church that was completed in 1970. Construction began in 1905 in Neo-Gothic style, but only the foundations had been completed before World War 1 broke out. Construction of the actual basilica began in 1919, with the architectural style changing to Art Deco, and was not completed until 1970.

IMG_0465IMG_0472IMG_0473

The seventh and eighth stops were Mini-Europe and Atomium. Mini-Europe is a miniature park that was started in 1989 and represents over 80 countries and 350 buildings. Atomium was designed and constructed for the 1958 Brussels World Expo by architect Andre and Jean Polak. It is 102 metres (335 feet) tall and has nine 18 metre (60 foot) diameter stainless steel clad spheres which are connected by escalators and stairs. 3 metre (10 foot) diameter tubes connect the spheres. The central tube had the world’s fastest elevator at the time; allowing people to reach the summit in only 23 seconds at 5 metres/second. The Atomium, was designed to last a mere six months and was slated for destruction after the 1958 World Expo, but due to its popularity it made it a major element of Brussels landscape. A weird piece of history about Atomium is that SABAM, Belgium’s society for collecting copyrights, claimed worldwide intellectual property rights on all reproduction of the image via the United States Artists Rights Society (ARS). There are numerous censored images circulating the internet, but finally in 2016 there was a bill enacted to allow pictures to be legally distributed.

IMG_0480IMG_0490IMG_0493IMG_0505IMG_0525IMG_0526IMG_0529IMG_0530IMG_0538IMG_0539IMG_0540IMG_0546IMG_0550IMG_0552IMG_0554IMG_0561IMG_0569IMG_0585

I then stopped for dinner at the same restaurant I stopped at for lunch yesterday; Tonton Garby, before heading to get a new power adapted, because I somehow forgot mine at home. After getting a power adapter I visited the Brussels Comic Strip Museum, and then went to Beer Planet and picked up a few authentic trappist monk beers that were recommended to me.

IMG_0611IMG_0612IMG_0616IMG_0617IMG_0618IMG_0620IMG_0627IMG_0630IMG_0635

I went back to my hotel room to edit photos and write my blog before heading out to take some night time photos of Atomium.

Chicago!!!

Two weekends ago I had the wonderful opportunity to visit my friend Chelsea in the beautiful city of Chicago, Illinois. I spent three glorious days in the Windy City eating and drinking my way through the amazing city, while soaking up the amazing architecture in this metropolis that 9.5 million people call home (2.7 million in the greater Chicago area).

Chicago, the third most populous area in the USA, was founded in 1780 and officially was recognized as a city in 1837. Chicago had a spectacular fire in 1871 which destroyed many homes and left over 100,000 people homeless. This didn’t stop the city from rebuilding and by 1900 the construction boom and population influx left the city as being the fifth most populous city in the world at the turn of the 20th century.

Chicago is now an international hub for finance, culture, commerce, industry, technology, communications, and transportation. It also is a massive destination for tourism, with over 58 million visitors annually!

Below is a handful of the photographs that I took on my weekends adventures with Chelsea. I also had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of her friends while I was there.

2019-08-25 Chicago 0012019-08-25 Chicago 0022019-08-25 Chicago 0032019-08-25 Chicago 0042019-08-25 Chicago 0072019-08-25 Chicago 0092019-08-25 Chicago 0102019-08-25 Chicago 0112019-08-25 Chicago 0122019-08-25 Chicago 0132019-08-25 Chicago 0142019-08-25 Chicago 0162019-08-25 Chicago 0172019-08-25 Chicago 0182019-08-25 Chicago 0192019-08-25 Chicago 0252019-08-25 Chicago 0262019-08-25 Chicago 0282019-08-25 Chicago 0312019-08-25 Chicago 0322019-08-25 Chicago 0352019-08-25 Chicago 0362019-08-25 Chicago 0382019-08-25 Chicago 0392019-08-25 Chicago 0402019-08-25 Chicago 0412019-08-25 Chicago 0422019-08-25 Chicago 0432019-08-25 Chicago 0442019-08-25 Chicago 0452019-08-25 Chicago 0492019-08-25 Chicago 0502019-08-25 Chicago 0512019-08-25 Chicago 0552019-08-25 Chicago 0562019-08-25 Chicago 0572019-08-25 Chicago 0582019-08-25 Chicago 0592019-08-25 Chicago 0612019-08-25 Chicago 0622019-08-25 Chicago 0632019-08-25 Chicago 0672019-08-25 Chicago 0692019-08-25 Chicago 0732019-08-25 Chicago 0812019-08-25 Chicago 0822019-08-25 Chicago 0842019-08-25 Chicago 0872019-08-25 Chicago 0882019-08-25 Chicago 0922019-08-25 Chicago 0932019-08-25 Chicago 0942019-08-25 Chicago 0982019-08-25 Chicago 1022019-08-25 Chicago 1032019-08-25 Chicago 1122019-08-25 Chicago 1182019-08-25 Chicago 1212019-08-25 Chicago 122

Stanley Glacier Hike

Since Monday was a holiday and the weather was nice I decided to take on the Stanley Glacier Hike, a 10.9km hike with 606 metres of elevation gain located near Lake Louise. When I arrived at the trailhead at 7:00am there was still a moderate amount of rain, despite the weather report stating there shouldn’t be any rain. I was considering turning back and calling it a day, but I sat in my car for about twenty minutes and the rain let up.

I started hiking at 7:20am and the hike starts out as a gentle gradual climb up through a new forested area (the area had burned down from a fire numerous years ago and there were some smaller trees). After emerging from the forest into the meadow you could start to see Stanley Glacier and a large waterfall from a distance. The meadow area was quite flat and super pretty.

2019-09-02 Stanley Glacier 12019-09-02 Stanley Glacier 22019-09-02 Stanley Glacier 32019-09-02 Stanley Glacier 42019-09-02 Stanley Glacier 52019-09-02 Stanley Glacier 6

The last bit of the bike towards the glacier is quite the grunt, and is an unmaintained part of the trail, but there’s enough traffic during the summer months its quite apparent where the trail is. While I couldn’t directly walk to Stanley Glacier I did get fairly close however. I planted myself down on a big rock and ate lunch (homemade pizza from the night before), before venturing back to my car. On the way back I actually got to hike through the clouds, which was super cool and mysterious feeling. The hike took me just over 3 hours to complete.

2019-09-02 Stanley Glacier 72019-09-02 Stanley Glacier 8