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CHAMPAGNE, STARLIGHT AND A ONE-HORSE OPEN SLEIGH

Author: Travel Alberta

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In the moonlight,a light dusting of snow floats around us. Above, the night sky is wrapped in a blanket of stars. The crisp evening air tickles my nose, as I snuggle a little closer to my wife in our private sleigh. A rich buffalo robe draped across us offers added warmth, as do the liqueurs we sip.

My wife has dreamed of taking a romantic horse drawn sleigh ride since she was a child. So, on our winter honeymoon in the Canadian Rockies, I surprised her with two.

Fairy Tale Sleigh Ride in Lake Louise

Our fairy tale honeymoon started in Banff National Park at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The lake’s famous turquoise waters now a glittering outdoor arena for ice skating and play. An elaborate ice castle sits atop the crystal playground, adding a little more sparkle to this winter wonderland. I chose a late afternoon sunset sleigh ride. It was spectacular. Cozy, wrapped in blankets with hot cocoa in hand, we set off along the lakeshore trail towards Victoria Glacier. Halfway through the ride we popped a bottle of champagne and marvelled at the elegant Chateau.

Fondue for Two

The romance continued with an alpine inspired dinner at the Walliser Stube overlooking Lake Louise. We started with the Black Truffle Käse, a deliciously rich, fondue made with Gruyère, Emmental and Appenzeller cheeses. Then shared the bison rib Fleisch fondue cooked in beef bouillon. A dessert of fruit dipped in decadent molten chocolate completed the meal and capped a perfectly romantic day.

Private Sleigh Ride in Banff

From Lake Louise we headed south to Banff for the 45-minute private sleigh ride with Discover Banff Tours, which begins and ends at Warner Stables just five minutes from town. Dave, a towering Percheron horse dressed in a black and silver harness, looks dapper in front of the crimson coloured traditional wood sleigh. Our genuine cowboy guide, Shawn offers us Bernard Callebaut chocolates and liqueurs before giving the reins a gentle tug.  

Majestic Rocky Mountain Views

Even though we’re so close to town, it feels like we’ve journeyed deep into mountain wilderness. Shawn tells us the Bow River Valley is teeming with wildlife and that elk and deer are often seen on the early morning and dusk rides. In this magical moment, the only sound we hear is the harness jingling and an occasional whinny from Dave. Somehow the moonlit peaks of Rundle and Cascade seem even more majestic from our vantage point. Two picture perfect sleigh rides? Absolutely!

Activity Highlights
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Winter Wonderland
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