“Profond, froid et magnifique” (that’s on a plaque), Lake Louise in Banff National Park is thrilling and unspoiled. Tourist guides claim that as a protected World Heritage Site, the vistas that greet visitors today are virtually the same as those that Swiss explorers experienced more than a century ago, and I believe it. The present day village mini-mall with its high end grocery, sports shop and artsy fartsy gift store now only adds to the ambiance.
After driving through the monotonous prairie to the south, the abrupt appearance of the colossal Canadian Rockies can take your breath away and some of the peaks are visible through the trees at Lake Louise Campground. (Call early for reservations to avoid a long line at the entrance with disappointment at the end; hopeful campers ahead of us were being turned away one by one.)
We visited Lake Moraine and its lodge (another crazy-beautiful spot); drank martinis at Lake Louise Station; rented a canoe. Ralph cycled a section of the Icefields Parkway. It was like a honeymoon without the messy wedding.