Had my best nights sleep so far, that is until the alarm went off at 6am, conveniently left set by the previous occupants of our room - cheers for that! Especially as no need for an early start today.
As I briefly mentioned, Jen & I really like the look of Banff. It resembles what we would expect of an alpine retreat resort, with many wooden & log type buildings. Not that surprising really given this is a town surrounded by glaziers and mountains with an altitude of nearly 1,400 metres.
First job of the day is to get some breakfast (no more meals provided on this trip now except for one hotel breakfast) and then purchase the replacement suitcase locks. After that we have a short tour of the town and it’s surrounding area. This afternoon Jen & I have booked to go on the Sulpher Mountain gondola.
Mission accomplished re padlocks & food. Return to the hotel to ready ourselves for the Banff tour at 11am. First stop is the Banff Springs Hotel. Apparently you can tell their customers in the town as they are usually missing an arm & a leg. My sister Laura mentioned she had stayed here some years ago, so she will remember it well.
We move onto Tunnel Mountain for some spectacular scenery (see pics). In the car park here are some revolutionary buildings known as ‘Ventalation Improvement Pits’ (or VIP for short and there is a photo of one - basically a wooden hut with a chimney) and was devised as a way of accommodating comfort breaks in remote areas less the plumming. Interesting best describes this concept and it’s usage (which I really did!)
We move on to look at the Bow river and falls and on the way back to the hotel see a black bear (although it’s brown colouring would suggest otherwise) in the woods just outside the town. It scurries off into the undergrowth only to reappear and perform a ‘dump’ for the eager cameras before disappearing for good - charming!
Jen and I have lunch before making our way to the gondola ride to the top of Sulpher Mountain, standing at nearly 2,450 metres. It has two peaks and you are able to walk between them via a series of decking & stairs. The views from the top are quite stunning, and I will again let the photos included do the talking for you.
We return via the free shuffle bus to town, hugely entertained by the female driver.
It has been a long day so we decide to eat at the highly recommended ‘Old Spagetti Factory’, a very reasonable establishment specialising in pasta dishes - obviously. A great meal it has to be said and as we leave notice it has been raining. Rather than frequent the local brewery pub a little further into town, decide it best to return to our own hotel for our usual nightcap to have the best chance of staying dry.