All photos are clickable.
In 2003 the canyon and vicinity were part of a massive fire that burned over 170 square kilometers of Kootenay National Park -- almost 12 per cent of the total area of the park itself! It had taken a month to contain and extinguish the lightning-ignited fire, and when the fire was out, the Marble Canyon area was almost completely destroyed. It took 4 years of hard work to rebuild the bridges, railings and trails and ensure public safety. It got much greener from last time we visited it few years ago. While burnt tree trunks were still standing, there was a lot of new growth. Turquoise, glacial waters and startling canyon walls grow more and more impressive as we moved along this relatively short trail. Multiple bridges spanned the narrow gorge, crossing several times for spine-tingling views of the river below.
Next stop was Numa Falls. Very short walk to the bridge got me to this impressive waterfall on the Vermilion River, carving a path between the glistening black canyon walls.
By the time we reached the end of the Kootenay National Park it stopped raining so technically we could get our next planned adventure – to soak in hot radium springs. However, we did not feel like it and limited ourselves to just walking around it and eating ice cream in small gift shop near the springs.
Our next unexpected and unplanned but very interesting adventure was visiting Fort Steele heritage town. It was very close to our destination for the day – town of Cranbrook. They do not advertise much so we did not know about their existence and found them by chance – just saw a sign and decided to check it. This was very interesting place and I will have a separate post to write about it.
Town of Cranbrook was pretty boring little town with population of about 20000 residents. They were famous for a group of 14 elephants that ran away from traveling circus in 1926. It took a while to catch them all.
Here is the whole story:
However, Cranbrook was a home of a wonderful Allegra restaurant. It was even better than we expected based on Tripadvisor reviews. The restaurant was pretty small but extremely busy. We got really lucky. They were packed solid but we got a small table by the kitchen so we were able to watch their chef in action. People who walked in couple minutes after us had to wait for half an hour. The restaurant was truly one man show and family business. Chef/restaurant owner was doing everything in a kitchen by himself. His young daughter helped to wash dishes. Another daughter was helping with cleaning tables. And his wife was seating guests and helping to serve dishes. Their only waitress/bartender was extremely efficient and moved with a speed of a Wonder Woman.
We ordered two appetizers smoked duck breast with blueberry fig relish and orange ginger marinated salmon on mustard lemon aioli. They were both outstanding and substantial. For the entrée Alex had chili ginger prawn fettuccine but instead of fettuccine he ordered their home-made egg noodles. It had some pleasant spiciness, was very rich and tasty. I ordered Moroccan lamb tagine with preserved lemons and cashew nut and loved every bite of it. We were very full after our dinner. We also bought two jars of their home-made preserves and a jar of Moroccan Spice made by the chef. Our total bill with two beers excluding tips, jams and spices was around $70 which was very reasonable considering outstanding quality of both food and service. Interestingly enough our waitress told we that they are as busy year around and not just in touristy summer season.
To be continued....