I’ve had a happy time at Lake Louise with my elderly, married companions. Yes, elderly. I am the youngest in my group by at least twenty years. I joke you not. Yesterday morning I eagerly plonked myself down at the front of the ‘tour’ coach in Calgary so I could check out everyone boarding from the different hotels. It wasn’t long before my rose-tinted vision of chatting with like-minded, attractive people around my own age began to diminish as I realised there was no-one near 30, 40 or even 50. Everyone is old. And married. I have now faced up to the fact that I am going to be adrift in a sea of grey hair and spectacles for the next few days as the tour traverses the Canadian Rockies, ending up in Vancouver on Saturday. That said, they’re all kind and interesting. It’s actually rather refreshing as they all chat to each other and I haven’t heard one mobile phone ring, nor have I seen a single set of headphones or heard tinny music coming from a device. I haven’t produced any devices in their company. I like that.
There has been one upside to being the young one in the party; yesterday during a scheduled helicopter ride over the Rockies I got to sit up front with the pilot whilst the oldies were all herded into the back. That was very neat. I couldn’t see ‘Mitch’ properly as most of his face was covered by his big bug-eyed helmet, but I suspect he was about 12. He had a long, curled chin sprouting tufts of fluff, like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. Even though I was probably old enough to be his mother, it felt pretty cool to be there beside him, although the chopper itself felt about as safe as an empty tin can as it got buffeted about by the wind. I didn’t enjoy that part, but the views of the Rockies were spectacular.
Before signing off, I can’t not mention the Chateau Lake Louise, where I stayed last night along with the cast of Cocoon. As we pulled up, my first impression was that this statuesque, enormous hotel nestled deep in Banff National Park was like Kellerman’s Mountain Resort from Dirty Dancing. This first impression stuck. I would have liked to stay there longer, it was so luxurious and the views of Lake Louise were immense. I didn’t see any Robbies or Johnnys though, more Mr and Mrs Schumacher types….
Tonight I’m in Banff and tomorrow we board the Rocky Mountaineer train to take us to Kamloops. I can’t wait!