Monday, August 15, 2011

Days 47 - 53: Beautiful Banff!!

Everywhere we go just seems to be more spectacular than the place we just left.  First we get to climb up to a glacier in Glacier Nat'l Park, then we go to Banff to spend a week with Greg's mom, Barbara.  What a wonderfully gorgeous and relaxing week!!

 On the way to Banff, we saw these bridges.  Since the highway goes through a national park, there's lots of wildlife.  They built these wildlife bridges so the animals can cross the highway without going on the street.  Brilliant.  They say that the animals actually use it. 

 This is down the main street through the town of Banff.  It's really small, nestled in a valley surrounded by mountains.  All the buildings are built to look like Swiss chalets and there are people from all over the world.  Lots of different languages.  We felt like we were in Europe.  Nice.

 Our home for the next 6 days. Cutest little cabins so close to downtown.  And they're dog much so that the owner, Chrissy, built little doggie peep holes in her deck so her pups could greet the newcomers!

 Hillside Bungalows: our home away from home

 It's got everything we need...

 ...including a real bed!!!!!

Actually, it's got TWO beds!  This is the view from the front room. 

 Kipper's all, "Okaaaaaay, so this is our home now?"

 Chrissy, our fantastic host, insisted that we try this Canadian maple whiskey, before we left.
No problem!  It was delicious!

One of the first places we went was Lake Louise, a small glacier fed lake with an old hotel on its banks, Chateau Lake Louis.

Chateau Lake Louis.  Never saw the occupants of this vintage-looking kayak so I began to wonder if it was placed there for photos?

 We walked a trail around the lake and passed several rock climbers.

 Banff Avenue at dusk.  This little town has a pretty active nightlife.

 We checked out a band and couldn't resist getting a photo of this guy's shirt.
Despite what his shirt says, he was very friendly.  The whole town is pretty friendly!

 The following day we rode up to the top of Sulphur Mountain via gondola.
The views were incredible!  Banff National Park is behind us.

 The view towards town.

 Angie and I have seen a lot of mountains on this trip and also arrived in Banff a day earlier so we were prepared (not that we're becoming jaded to all this beauty).  My Mom, however, arrived from Texas, where it's 100+ and hasn't ever rained, right into this environment.
Here she is....soaking it all in.

Next day over to Kootenay National Park, neighbor to Banff NP, to see Marble Canyon.  It's a cool place to see how nature comes back after a wildfire.  Plus, there's a super awesome waterfall.

 This glacier/snow melt creek has been carving a thin but very deep canyon for thousands of years.  The power of this water was incredible!

 Back in the town of Banff is this beautiful waterfall in the Bow River, adjacent to the
Banff Springs Hotel.

 The Banff Springs Hotel was opened by the Canadian Pacific Railroad in the late 1800's., just like Lake Louise and the Glacier House in Glacier Nat'l Park.
The Banff Springs Hotel is beautiful (we actually liked it better than Lake Louise) and there's rumors it's haunted by a bellman and a bride!  Spooky

 Banff Springs Hotel from across the Bow River.

 And now onto Calgary!  Mom is flying home from here.  We lucked out and were here for local food and drink at a downtown festival.  Everyone was there, Calgarians know how to appreciate good weather and food!

 These geese are enjoying the local food too.

And, of course, we exercise Kipper wherever we are.


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