From Jasper to Banff

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jun 12, 2007

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Where I stayed
Hi Hostel Banff

Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Saturday, July 8, 2006

Alex: Banff is just as stunning as Jasper and the drive over was also amazing. We were driving through a valley so could see mountains on either side. On one side there were the Columbian Icefields and all you could see was of the ice was a cross section on the peaks and ridges, I now understand why the icing on a cake is called that because that would be the only comparison I could make. We stopped just by one of the glaciers it looked pretty huge but you then realised the tiny things scurrying around on it were people and the slightly large ones were buses!

For our first couple of nights we stayed at the HI Hostel just outside Banff which is probably the nicest place we've stayed in - they've obviously spent some money on it! On Saturday (my birthday) we took a walk from the Hostel into town which cut down to and then followed the Bow river. It was beautiful, the forest we were walking through would occasionally open out into meadows filled with flowers (including some lovely wood lilies) and butterflies and the river was a milky turquoise (it is glacier fed which means it is filled with glacial silt),it also helped that the weather was perfect. When we got into town we had a little wander around, ate our butties and then decided it would be a great idea to climb a mountain, so we did! Walked up Tunnel Mountain not sure how high it is but it was about 2.3km each way. We got really good views of Banff and the surrounding area from the top and coming down was nice but if we are going to do the Inca trail I am going to have to get a bit fitter! In total I think we walked about 12km.

Went for Sushi for tea as it was my birthday which was good and then went back to the hostel for a beer or two (this one has its own bar which is novelty as most are a bit funny about booze)!

On Sunday we intended to relax, we got the bus into town as the HI had no more rooms and we were moving to the Y. We then went for a short walk along the river intending to then get the bus to the hot springs just outside of town, but us being us we ended up walking to the springs, hey ho. I imagined a nice rocky natural pool but when we got there it was a swimming pool fed but the springs and was quite busy. As they are just above the town you get some good views and I am sure they are wonderful in winter with the snow on the mountains but in the summer it is warm enough outside the springs and a bit too hot in the springs, it was also fairly heaving so we might give that one a miss next time unless it is a bit chilly, that said it was nice and we sat back and relaxed a bit.

After the HI the Y was a bit of a disappointment. It was a bit clinical and institutional, it also had some odd characters, including one horrible guy who really didn't like sharing the communal kitchen but it was only for one night. Another long bus ride (15hrs) to Calgary for the stampede awaits!

Dean: Alex got her own back on the rude guy in the kitchen - when he wasn't looking she "accidentally" turned the heat up on his rice causing it to burn to the bottom of the pan!!!
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