ende
ende
menu
ende

You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Visiting #myBanff during winter: Ski, Hot Springs & Snow Delights in Western Canada

#myBanff, I love you. “What a beautiful story, Elena. So glad you came back to Canada. I can tell from our past conversations, and this article, that Western Canada really spoke to your heart. So so so wonderful! Are you still out there? You know the door in Toronto is always open if you need a place.”

Thank you, sweet Nathalie.

 

Western Canada. “Why am I not surprised …”, my dear friends are saying, smiles pouring in from all corners of the world.

If you haven’t been to Western Canada, and Banff National Park in particular, you will want to consider reading on. If you have, just bear (and continue to sigh) with me. Oh Banff. What is it, really, that makes Canada’s oldest national park one of the country’s most coveted spots for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, and passion people combined? I cannot tell you all the answers. However, I can certainly help you planting the seeds of adventure. Share a few tips on how to best organise your trip there. Where to go, what not to miss – even if you come on a rather spontaneous note, such as myself, flying in from Europe on a surprise mission to see my friends … 😉

Banff, and indeed Canada, is a place and a country so relaxed, that travelling there becomes one of the easiest tasks in the universe. And more so during winter, when the busy summer crowds shy away from the cold, making way for what is truly spectacular about the Rocky Mountains: The sun-kissed ski slopes. The soothing, natural hot springs. The warmth of a smile, emanating from the the happy local people you will meet there.

 

Flying, driving, staying in #myBanff : Here are some travel tips to get you geared up for a winter trip to the Canadian Rockies.

” .. Remaining flight time is about one hour and twenty minutes. If you want winter, you’ll certainly get it in Calgary. The outside temperature there is minus sixteen degrees ..” I smile, listening to the pilot speaking on my Air Canada flight from Toronto to Calgary. And yet: Calgary is nothing compared to what is about to come! Straight from Alberta’s gateway city into the Rocky Mountains (Calgary is closest to Banff, at “only” 120 kilometres approximately), I once more take up the smooth & reliable transfer service of the Banff Airporter, which provides a direct connection from YYC Calgary International Airport to the towns of Banff & Canmore. It is there where I get my first feel of what have been the lowest temperatures I have ever experienced in my whole life: -27°C. Biting against the stark silhouette of the moon-lit Rocky Mountain chain that is to greet me upon my arrival. Wow. Check this out.

Coming in from either across the Atlantic or "simply" across Canada: Calgary International Airport, and the Banff Airporter, make for a warm welcome ...

Coming in from either across the Atlantic or “simply” from across Canada: Calgary International Airport, and the Banff Airporter, make for a warm, reliable welcome service despite the freezing temperatures …

 

... to the Rocky Mountains on the horizon ...

… as swiftly, we are on our way to the Rocky Mountains …

 

... and a staggering cold of almost thirty degrees below zero the following morning (yes. Everything is frozen ..) ...

… and off to a staggering cold of almost thirty degrees below zero the following morning (yes. Everything here is now frozen ..) …

 

... everything except the warm-hearted smile of the local people, there to greet you & cheer you up. Cheers to our driver Adam for a fantastic road trip onboard the Banff Airporter!

… everything but the warm-hearted smile of the local people: Cheers to our driver Adam for a fantastic road trip onboard the Banff Airporter!

 

Check out my travel video for a good impression of what a trip with the Banff Airporter is like, and let yourself be sucked into the magic of a road trip across the Rockies:

 

I have also published a photo gallery that will give you more impressions of my trip with the Banff Airporter:

 

Staying in Banff (even if you don’t ski) has many options for you to enjoy winter here.

Wander = wonder. Everything in and around Banff is beautiful, no matter the season. The town, which totals about 10.000 inhabitants, is made up of some of the most mindful, heartwarming people I have met in recent times, second only to my experience of Santa Fe in New Mexico. Both places draw a crowd of humble local residents, who are passionate about their natural surroundings, and who indulge in sharing their passion through either art, outdoor adventure, or any kind of creative pursuit. No wonder a naturally curious, soulful traveller like me finds a haven of peace there, a home to rest from a busy life elsewhere. Here are some tips my beautiful Banff community has allowed me to experience:

Hello, Banff: The view from up Tunnel Mountain is pretty spectacular, especially during this winter sunset ...

Hello, Banff: The view from up Tunnel Mountain is pretty spectacular, especially during this winter sunset …

 

... thank you, Bianca, for taking me there.

… thank you, Bianca, for taking me there (never mind your hair freezing slightly from the continuous cold …).

 

Bianca and I both meet (and stay) at the Banff International Hostel, a good value-for-money option centrally located on Banff Ave ...

Bianca and I both meet (and stay) at the Banff International Hostel, a good value-for-money option centrally located on Banff Ave …

 

... together with two more travellers from Australia, we go & experience the Banff Upper Hot Springs ...

… together with two more travellers from Australia, we go & experience the Banff Upper Hot Springs run by Parks Canada …

 

... reminding us of the

… reminding us of the specially designated nature protection area we are in, one of the most prestigious (and oldest) in Canada.

 

Strolling around Banff ...

Strolling around Banff …

 

... you can see what I mean by "relaxed": Even the deer come out here to greet us ...

… you see even the deer “naturally relaxed” …

 

... the beautiful local Presbyterian Church ...

… the beautiful local Presbyterian Church (like the tower in “Frozen”) …

 

... magic sunsets ...

… magical sunsets …

 

... and more of those happy smiles: Being back in #myBanff has travel writer friend Leigh McAdam and me meet following our one & only previous meet-up during The Social Travel Summit in Leipzig years ago, finally exchanging both our books we have written and published in the meantime ...

… and more of those happy smiles: Being back in #myBanff has travel writer friend Leigh McAdam and me meet again after attending The Social Travel Summit in Leipzig, finally exchanging the books we have written and published over the years since!

 

And once you, too, make it to beautiful Banff, do stop for the most relaxing cup of coffee at my favourite café in town, the "Wild Flour Café" on Bear Street.

And once you, too, make it to beautiful Banff, do stop for the most relaxing cup of coffee at my favourite café in town, the “Wild Flour Café” on Bear Street.

 

Now finally, for the love of ski.

Earlier on, I have shared with you my enthusiasm for “shredding powder in Banff National Park” thanks to a perfectly suited, tri-area lift ticket with Ski Banff Canada’s Big 3. This ticket can be purchased online and gets cheaper the earlier you buy it in the season, or the more days you decide to ski. Just why you will want to ski more at either of the three resorts Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay, and Lake Louise, is explained here:

 

My Facebook video, too, has earned raving reviews and reached more than 22.000 people to date, being viewed close to 4.000 times: “Absolutely amazing … Looks like paradise on Earth … Can’t wait to experience it!”, are just some of the heartwarming comments I have received there.

Must be the magic of the Rocky Mountains, really. Check this out.

 

Here now is what the tri-area lift ticket, and #SkiBig3, looks like in pictures.

Consider Mount Norquay ...

Consider Mount Norquay …

 

... a mere ten minutes' drive from the town of Banff, it also offers a fun tubing area for snow enthusiasts ...

… a mere ten minutes’ drive from the town of Banff with a fun tubing area for snow enthusiasts …

 

... Poutine for lunch, a Canadian classic ...

… Poutine for lunch, a Canadian classic …

 

... to freshen up on energy for those perfectly groomed slopes, with even better views ...

… to fuel up on some energy for those perfectly groomed slopes, with even better views …

 

... also, only twenty minutes' drive away from Banff, is the wonderful ski resort of Sunshine Village ...

… also, only twenty minutes’ drive away from Banff, is the wonderful ski resort of Sunshine Village (“nomen est omen”) …

 

... loved hanging out with the local ski hosts there ...

… loved hanging out with the local ski hosts there …

 

... and Goat's Eye mountain, really, is one of my favourite hills ... Wow. I couldn't take my eyes off the views ... Never seen anything quite like this skiing before

… and Goat’s Eye mountain, really, is one of my favourite hills … Wow. I couldn’t take my eyes off the views … Never seen anything quite like during a ski trip before. I believe this is where the notion of looking at a “National Geographic magazine” came to mind.

 

Finally, take a look at Lake Louise ...

Finally, take a look at Lake Louise …

 

... and my beautiful friend Adam, happily leading me on to "shredding powder" near the groomed slopes of this world-class ski resort ...

… and my beautiful friend Adam, happily leading me on to “shredding powder” near the groomed slopes of this world-class ski resort …

 

... Lake Louise has an ice castle, too ..!

… Lake Louise, by the way, has an ice castle, too: Best fight the freezing temperatures with a big bear hug ..!

 

And naturally, wherever there's ice (in Canada), there must be hockey.

And naturally, wherever there’s ice (in Canada), there must be hockey. But boy, what a view !!! I’d forever be distracted, playing here.

 

Thank you, #myBanff, for all the beauty you've painted into my smile.

Thank you, #myBanff, for all the beauty you’ve painted into my smile.

 

See you soon for more!

More ski news here: #SkiBig3 in the Canadian Rockies : Shredding Powder in Banff National Park.

What about the most perfect road trip through the Rockies: Between Banff & Jasper: The most beautiful 300 kilometres on Earth.

Why Banff stole my heart in the first place: Banff & beyond: #ExploreCanada the local way.

Why I came back a second time in just under two months: #myBanff Mountain Film & Book Festival & other travel delights in the Canadian Rockies

Why I came back a .. Oh well, what’s that story on the birthday cake there, anyway …? 😉 12.000 kilometres for a birthday cake. “Oh Canada, eh!”

"All doors are open, we just have to walk through ..."

“All doors are open, we just have to walk through …”

 

Spread the love

Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
#SkiBig3 in the Canadian Rockies : Shredding Powder in Banff National Park.
#NBEFinland Nordic Bloggers' Experience: "From Niche to Business" at Matkamessut Travel Trade Show in Helsinki

2 Comments

  1. Fabrizio Ranzolin

    Elena, realmente um lugar mágico… As suas fotos das montanhas geladas que tocam o céu, passam uma sensação tão inóspida, que somente podemos nomear como algo semelhante ao toque da eternidade… Lindas as imagens, nos lembram como o ser humano é pequeno e passageiro neste incrível e mágico planeta… Abraços dos “Pampas”!

    Reply
    • Elena

      Obrigada, Fabrizio querido!

      “O toque da eternidade…” Que linda sensação que você expressa diante destas fotos minhas. Eu também senti algo muito forte quando estive lá viajando nestas montanhas, lembra perfeitamente o pequeno que somos. Fico emocionada, e espero poder voltar em breve!

      Até mais, querido amigo.

      Elena

      Reply

Leave a Reply


Follow me on my travels: