Isn't the title interesting?? Once you read this and see the photos attached, you will know exactly why!
Our first day was spent exploring downtown Banff, and sights in and around the townsite...which in itself has numerous attractions to offer. There are so many scenic drives, lakes and valleys, that one gets easily confused with all the great choices.
We went driving to and around Lake "Minnewanka" after we learnt how to say it!!! It was a little tongue twister, but once we got it down, it actually felt good saying it! It was late evening, and that is what is nice about this place in general. There was hardly a soul around, and felt like we were at a private lake, and had it all to ourselves. The serene waters have a natural calming effect. It felt wonderful.
Further along the Minnewanka loop, towards our return back to the townsite, are these un-believable hidden ponds called CASCADE PONDS. At the outset, this looked like any regular tourist attraction, with benches, small beach/picnic area and the mountains in the distance.
It was only when we stepped out of the car, and started walking towards it, that we realized what this place was all about! It was like we were smiling from our stomachs, if you can ever imagine that....firstly, there are many small ponds...and the big secret about them, is that they appear as sheets of mirror that hold within them some of the largest reflections of the mountains and sky above and around them! And if you look at the photos here, you would know what I am talking about...the perfectly still waters, seemed un-real and held in them what the largest wide-angle cameras couldn't.
These man-made wooden bridges that went across them (as shown in the picture here), were built like a dream! We found ourselves in magic wonderland, with un-surpassed beauty surrounding us. The Cascade ponds are a must for anyone to see and experience in the area. You do not want to miss out on seeing the world's largest natural mirrors!
TIP: Day time destinations have throngs of tourists all over the place, who take up your time, (parking)space and sometimes patience!! But if you want the place literally all to yourself, go later in the afternoon or early evening, when most of the bus loads of camera-snapping tourists have departed, towards their hotel stay for the night. This is when you have the place all to yourself and have complete bragging rights!