Despite my recent vow to never set foot on a coach again (a result of numerous soul destroying National Express journeys) last Saturday I found myself boarding a Greyhound bus set for Lake Louise, located in Banff National Park, a mere 182 km from Calgary.
So, okay, I was a bit late for the bus, and when I finally clambered on I was initially horrified by the overwhelming heating and apparent lack of seating. These were potentially two of the worst for someone wearing three layers of clothing and carrying three massive bags.
Thankfully, Omar the friendly coach driver, kindly sorted me out with a seat at the very front of the bus. I’m gonna guess this was probably due to my notably panicked exterior.
Note: I’ve started to become more aware of my general appearance and the fact it apparently screams *hopeless female in dire need of a helping hand, approach with caution and use your most sympathetic voice*
We set off around lunchtime, and luckily enough I now had the best seat in the house. I could spot the mountains in the distance almost as soon as we pulled away from the city…
I’ll be honest with you, originally I was not looking forward to the 2 and a half journey, not one bit. But I hadn’t anticipated just how unbelievable the view from the bus would be and sure enough the time sped by far too quickly for my liking. I would have happily driven around the Rockies for the rest of the day, but at the same time I was becoming more and more excited about arriving at my final destination.
When we eventually pulled into Lake Louise, I was genuinely speechless for the first time in my life. I had never seen anything like it: so much snow, so many mountains, and so few humans in such a vast space. I could not stop smiling.
After an emotional goodbye from Omar, I was greeted by a Canadian Rocky Mountains Resorts rep, a British guy, which was cool. He was the first Brit I’d met since Wednesday, and I figured he would be one of many English folk who had fled to this snowy paradise (I was wrong).
He drove me to the staff accommodation, an apartment building that really reminded me of Centre Parcs, a reference my fellow Englishman actually got. This was kind of a relief as other British based references had been met with raised eyebrows so far on my trip.
Much to my relief my roommate, Sheree, is a sweetheart, for example yesterday she returned from a food shop with English breakfast tea for me as a treat, what a total babe. After a brief housing meeting I quickly gathered that I was the only Brit working at Deer Lodge and that the place was full of Aussies and Kiwis.
Luckily, Aussies and Kiwis are the best kind of people and everyone became pally almost immediately. That night we all went for dinner and drinks, exchanged numbers and basically agreed to be the very best of friends for the foreseeable future.
Since then we have all started training at the resort, which has basically consisted of an avalanche awareness/mountain wildlife talk, lots of deep cleaning, and learning all about the Canadian hospitality industry in preparation for the upcoming winter season. I figured working in Canadian hotel couldn’t be all that different from working in an English hotel…I didn’t think about the difference in liquor measurements (oz not ml) and the fact tax will now be added AFTERWARDS, which has meant practicing the forgotten life skill that is mental arithmetic.
Although I have spent the majority of this last week in Deer Lodge, I am lucky enough to be living and working somewhere surrounded by some seriously surreal surroundings. Even a trip to the local grocery store is perfectly picturesque…and do not even get me started on the view from my bedroom window. ♥
A week has passed since I arrived here, and I am still walking around in absolute awe. This place is everything I hoped for and more. I SURE DO LOVE ME SOME SNOW.