Sunday, August 18, 2013

Doing Banff

 If you're going to go to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, there are just certain places you have to go see. Banff is on the list, but be forewarned, because it is so well know, it's THE busiest place for tourism. There are a few main attraction there, and then there are lots of areas to go walking and explore. You can even go on a horseback tour, or take the gondola up to the top of Sulphur Mountain for a view that's really beautiful (or hike up it, if you're feeling particularly energetic). Our first stop was Bow Falls. I like this photo of it because it's not quite the normal photo people take there. Plus, I like this tree, standing in solitude, but totally surrounded by beauty. It looks like a very content tree.

If you walk across the Spray River bridge, you arrive at a spot that's popular for rafters to depart from and if you just walk beyond and ignore the sign that says the bike path is for golf carts only and not to walk there, you arrive at this little spot that is usually perfect and secluded and a nice spot to take in the convergence of the Bow and Spray Rivers. This year, however, it was totally over run by mosquitoes due to the flood water aftermath that happened in June. We didn't stay long and chose to partake in indoor activities after this.

We went inside the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. This was the first time I'd ever been in there, but I've seen it countless times. Much like the one at Lake Louise. I prefer the Lake Louise one. We toured the hotel and stopped in many shops. Mountain Galleries at The Fairmont Banff Springs displays Canadian Fine Art and is where we spent some time talking to a lovely lady about the artist on display there. Glass art, paintings, prints, and bronze sculptures filled the gallery. I loved this one, which was about 2.5 feet high and a fortune to buy. I would not buy this piece, but I did like it. There was a smaller one there that I might have bought if I was the type of person who had oodles of spendable income.

Here's the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel  from a little sitting point just down the block from it. If you sit here, you'd better not be afraid of Ground Squirrels (or we call them groundhogs up where I'm from). There's a large group of them and they aren't afraid to come right up to you.

See! They literally walk on your feet and beg for food. They are totally tame and probably make a good living from getting in your space.

When you're done doing the big touristy things, take some time to walk across the main bridge and explore the countless tourist shops that line main street. If you have even more time, explore the streets branching off main street. There are some good places to eat that are way more reasonably priced than those along main street, lots more shops and fewer tourists. We grabbed a totally delicious burger at a place called The Eddie. I recommend going there. It was really tasty. When we were finished eating, we decided to take in the Banff Upper Hot Springs. For some reason, it smelled more sulfur-y than I remembered it being. Maybe it was something to do with the flood. Not sure. It's hotter than the ones at Radium or Fairmont, and on the small side. Not my favorite hot spring, but still nice. After Banff, we headed back for a nice evening of singing and playing our instruments at Mosquito Creek Campground, our last night there before heading back into Kootenay National Park.

Jules :O)


Siddhartha Joshi said...

Nice shots Jules...especially the last one :) Super cute!

SIMON said...

Banff will be even more popular now the secret of 'the content tree' is out!!
Nice one!

Jules said...

Sidds - Thank you! That one was my least favorite, but it was cute..

Si - Banff's next tourist attraction.. the content tree?

SIMON said...

Ha ha yes the content tree! Your words!