Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Royals Visit Calgary

William and Kate at the National War Memorial in Ottawa
Photo courtesy of Rueters/Blair Gable
 Calgary is just plain excited to have William and Kate visit their city. The pair has warmed or should I say “charmed” the hearts of Canadians as they have traveled throughout Canada. A friend of my son’s who met them in Ottawa stated how sincere and friendly they were when she talked to them and was surprised to find that William was so tall.

After seven days of a busy schedule, Kate and William arrived at the Calgary airport to be whisked away to Lake Louise in a private helicopter for an overnight stay in a private retreat. Their 24 hour stay was cut short due to their change in plans to visit Slave Lake in northern Alberta where many residents lost their homes and a third of the town of Slave Lake was destroyed due to recent forest fires.

William and Kate observing the damage at Slave Lake
Photo courtesy of Jonathan Hayward/CP
To the surprise of many Calgarians, Kate and William stayed overnight  at Skoki Lodge, a rustic secluded lodge near Lake Louise instead of the well know Chateau Lake Louise dubbed "the most romantic setting in Alberta". Chateau Lake Louise is a castle-like hotel which has been a favorite stop for royal visitors dating as far back as 1912 when Edward, Prince of Wales, hiked the nearby peaks.

Lake Louise Chateau with ski hill in the background
Photo from archives//CalgaryHerald

Skoki Lodge is a historic backcountry cabin and hiking Mecca in the pristine alpine in Banff National Park, 11 kilometers from the Lake Louise Ski Area. The young and active couple are known to enjoy hiking, and the lodge is set among an incredibly beautiful area with "breathtaking mountain ridges and alpine lakes" with five different adjoining valleys.

Skoki Lodge
Photo from Archives/Calgary Herald
The only access is to hike in or take a helicopter which would allow them the privacy that they desire. The lodge consists of one main building and three private cabins. One of the cabins is named Honeymoon, and with one king-sized bed. It would seem ideal for the couple, who were married little more than two months ago. The lodge is indeed rustic with an outhouse (an outdoor toilet). There is no electricity or running water, but it's unlikely the potential future king and queen had to use the outhouse. Reports say a cabin has been retrofitted especially for the royal couple, with a full bathroom built onto the existing lodge, and was flown to the lodge in two separate parts. The cabin had also been outfitted with a new heater that provided instant gas heat. At night, the couple would enjoy the soft light of candles and kerosene lamps, or venture outside and feel the stars close up. In the morning the smells of freshly brewed coffee, wood smoke, and breakfast would entice them from their cozy down comforter.

Inside of Skoki Lodge
Photo from Archives/Calgary Herald
By Thursday afternoon, William and Kate will have moved on. The royal pair will fly by helicopter to the Lake Louise ski area to spend their last two hours of private time freshening up in a lodge used for executive accommodation before they head back to Calgary to resume their jam packed schedule.

Arriving at Lake Lousie Ski Lodge to prepare from trip to Calgary
Photo courtesy of Robert Remington Calgary Herald
Muriel MacRae plans exciting getaways and customized vacations for honeymooners and families. As the owner of Del Sol Travel, she offers romantic vacations with personalized service and unique itineraries. Getting to know and understand her clients is critical in helping turn their ideas and vision into a unique and memorable masterpiece when creating their customized vacation. Located in Calgary, Alberta, she plans weddings, destination weddings, and honeymoons for couples in and around the Calgary and Banff area and throughout North America. For more information about planning your wedding, honeymoon, or romantic getaway, please contact her at or phone 403-477-0643.

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