on the road to the most photographed hotel in the world

My GPS indicates that it will take about two hours to drive from Lake McDonald in West Glacier, over the “going to the Sun” road through the national park, then crossing the border into Alberta, Canada and onto my final destination of the Waterton International Peace Park.

GPS doesn’t take into account nature’s beauty though, and this is one drive that you need to slow down and soak in your surroundings. It took me a little over six hours, and worth every second.

This part of Alberta is a stark contrast of open fields of endless grain and towering glacier carved mountains. As I arrived at the park entrance, I asked the fellow for directions to the Prince of Wales hotel.
“just follow the road mate, you can’t miss it….”
and he couldn’t have been more correct.

Touted as the most photographed hotel in the world, the Prince of Wales had a wonderful air of European charm, from the staff dressed in Swiss and German attire, to the elevator that could only fit two people at a time, one of them being the person that had to operate it.

The lobby had the sweet smell of aged oak and wine, with giant windows that overlooked Lake Waterton.

As I carried my bags up the stairs to the fifth floor, I marveled at the eccentricity of the fixtures, the room doors that all required actual keys to open, the old 1920’s style exit signs. I felt transported to a different era, and as I settled down in my room after a long day to unpack, I looked out the window to an amazing sight….

and knew that I was in for quite the experience here.

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Wench, bring my ale, what say you?