Sunday 18 August 2013

The Sweet Taste of Summer

I bought a punnet of what will probably be some of the last local strawberries of summer and decided to try a recipe from Lorraine Pascale's book Fast, Fresh and Easy Food.  There is no comparison between the delicious sweetness of seasonal strawberries and those that have accumulated air miles.
Strawberry and Cream Mini Cakes combine the sweetness of good quality strawberry jam (I used Bonne Maman) with whipped cream and the fresh strawberries.  I did not sweeten the cream, as I felt that there was probably enough sugar without adding more and I also left out the sugar syrup and  white chocolate drizzles, but if you want to go overboard with sweetness, then follow the original recipe.
Lorraine's book is full of inspirational and tasty recipe ideas.  I have others bookmarked to try when I have more time to spend in the kitchen.  All of her recipes are reliable, well-described and easy to follow.  This book is a great addition to my kitchen library.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Icefields Parkway

Our last trip during our visit to Alberta was along the Icefields' Parkway.  As the entire trip is about 232 km/144 miles, we did a section at the southern end of it.

Visiting yet another glacial lake, the name of which escapes me now.  The mirror-perfect image was stunning.

Not a ripple disturbed the surface of the water and it looked just like glass.

Along the road, we saw ancient glaciers and sweeping valleys, surrounded by rocky peaks. 

We had considered going up to one of the glaciers but time constraints, plus fatigue got the better of us, so we admired them from a distance.  Also, it is unsafe to venture onto a glacier except with a suitably qualified guide.

Anyway, it is always a good excuse to make a return visit....

Tuesday 6 August 2013

The Banff Gondola

We had heard that for absolutely the best views of the Canadian Rockies, it was essential to take a gondola ride to the top of one of the peaks.  We decided on the Banff Gondola.

We made the journey early one morning, so it was still a little misty at times.  The enclosed gondola took us up Sulphur Mountain, to an altitude of 698 m/2,292 ft.  The Banff Springs Hotel is visible to the bottom left of this photograph.

The snowy peaks were all around us.  Much of the view was still in shadow at this time.

Upon reaching the top, we were at the Upper Summit Terminal, where we were able to appreciate the fantastic views.

There we discovered the Banff Summit Walk, which extends for about a kilometre along the ridge to the Cosmic Ray Station, a high-altitude geophysical laboratory; which is a National Historic Site of Canada.  It commemorates Canada's  contribution to the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58.  More information can be found here.

All along the ridge, we saw stunning views of the surrounding peaks.

As well as the winding river in the valley below.

This is a photograph looking back towards the Upper Summit Terminal.

Who could fail to be impressed by such breath-taking scenery?  My lasting memories of this trip are of those majestic mountain peaks and beautiful glacial lakes.

Monday 5 August 2013

How Do The Bears Cross The Road?

Have you ever wondered how bears cross the road?  Here in Nova Scotia, they walk out into the road and this is not generally a problem, as except in the very rural areas, there are not that many of them about.  I've only ever seen them once and that was a black bear and her two cubs early one morning on a deserted road in Cape Breton.  She saw them safely across the road and we were all happy, though for different reasons ~ I was delighted to have this rare glimpse of them from the safety of our car.

However, just imagine the chaos if the much larger grizzly bears were wandering about in the road, especially on the major highways.  In Alberta, they have come up with this ingenious idea of animal bridges.  Much like pedestrian bridges, except that they have covered them in vegetation and fenced to keep the animals from harm. 

We didn't see any bears on them, but I suspect that they are used more during the hours of darkness.  Incidentally, the rest of the highway is fenced to discourage wildlife from wandering into the traffic.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Lake Louise

Lake Louise is probably one of the best recognized sights of Western Canada and the Rockies.  It is high on the list of places to visit for most tourists heading to Alberta.   

With its situation at the base of glacial peaks (yes, that it is a glacier in the background).  The sparkling blue waters have a magical effect on the visitor. 

Lake Louise is about 2.5 km in length and 90 metres deep.  Chateau Lake Louise, the famous hotel is located close to the lake, but not actually on the shore, as I had imagined. 
I didn't take too many photographs here as the place was swarming with tourists and I was trying to capture the beauty of nature, not lots of people obstructing the views! 

Saturday 3 August 2013

Yorkshire Tea

Missing my beloved Yorkshire, I was delighted to come across this tea caddy on eBay.  I had tried to bid on them before without success, so snapped this one up when it appeared as an instant purchase.

At present, it is residing in a cupboard, as I have nowhere to display it, but I'm hoping to be able to do so in the near future and for the time being, I can admire it occasionally as well as the Yorkshire Tea framed postcard on my kitchen wall, which I mentioned in this post.

Friday 2 August 2013

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake is in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, at an elevation of 1,884 metres/6,193 feet above sea level.  It is a glacial lake, which is located in Banff National Park.

Located 14 km/9 miles from the village of Lake Louise; we made this one of our stops, as we had heard of its glacial beauty.  The view took our breath away.