We left the warmth of Sam's dorm room at 4:00am and headed out of the city into Banff National Park to catch sunrise at Moraine Lake, arguably one of the most picturesque locations in Canada. A brief pit-stop for coffee at the local 24-hour, three sweaters to fight the cold, a pitch black road ahead of us and our travel playlist blaring through the aux cord keeping us awake brought us to an empty parking lot and a morning sky lightly painted with pink clouds. The lake itself was a blissfully calm turquoise blue, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. It was perfect.
After our 4am wake-up call brought us to the shores of Moraine Lake, we bundled back into Sam's jeep to turn up the other road that leads up the same mountain to the iconic Lake Louise. Now settling in for the winter months, Lake Louise is no longer bustling with eager summer tourists, all wanting to capture a photo of arguably one of the most famous lakes in Canada. Sam and I enjoyed the peace and calm of 8am, wrapped in a blanket on a bench at the waterfront. The grand Fairmont Lake Louise stood proudly behind us, keeping guard over the lake. The sky ahead of us was grey with clouds, yet every so often we were greeted with a ray of sunshine that managed to pierce it's way down to us on the ground. The canoe rental hut was locked up and the canoes benched to dry out, with silence replacing the summer shouts of wonder.