Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Jun 17, 2009

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Flag of Canada  , Alberta,
Saturday, October 6, 2007

This time it's 6 a.m. - we've had an hours lie-in from our 20 hour day yesterday and we're raring to go (oh yeh?)

We're booked on a Brewster coach tour that's picking us up at 8 a.m., so today we have time for breakfast at the hotel.  Calgary is known mainly for business but in Summer they host the Calgary stampede which is the biggest 'cowboy' event in the world.  A breakfast option was the 'Albertan' - steak and eggs.  OK - when in Rome.....

We set off on the luxury coach heading out of Calgary into rolling pasture land, where apart from the many herds of cattle we spotted a coyote scavenging through a field.  Temperature was 6 deg. with a lot of early morning mist and cloud around.  This is 'Thanksgiving' week-end (I thought only the Americans celebrated this but theirs is in November) and Highway 1, Trans Canada Highway, was pretty quiet

As the mist and clouds slowly cleared, we got our first fabulous views of the smaller peaks at the start of the Rocky Mountains, their tops covered in snow against the now blue sky.  We had several stops at viewing points before we reached Banff.  Walking through the trees at one stop we disturbed a small squirrel-like animal, sandy coloured with dark brown stripes along its body - this turned out to be a chipmunk although he (Alvin) didn't stop to sing.  If you remember the song you are as 'young' as we are!!!

We visited the sulphur spring cave, which is the original reason why Banff developed as a tourist area and took the Sulphur Mountain Gondola up to the mountain top for absolutely fantastic views of the mountains and valleys surrounding Banff.  No-one does 'Awesome' like the Canadians - and this is only the start of our tour in this area, even if it will be the highest spot that we reach. 

Calgary is at a height of 3,000 ft above sea level (500 ft higher than the summit of Ben Nevis - Britain's highest point).  Banff is at 4,500 ft and the top of Sulphur Mountain is 7500 ft.  We could certainly feel the effect of this cool mountain altitude after spending many weeks at sea level. The temperature was about 3 deg.on top and 8 deg. back in Banff. We see the Bow river and Bow Falls sites - our senses going into overload at each new view !
Driving distance  -  don't care, someone else is driving this week!!

Sunday, 7th October

This is a free day in Banff, so we looked round all the touristy shops. The weather is slightly cloudy with a slight breeze. We had an easy day and caught up with the blog pictures. Tonight we're off to a 'Thanksgiving' turkey dinner, another "When in Rome....."

Monday, 8th October

 A cold and cloudy morning. Tried to find a different breakfast place in town but everywhere is quiet. It's the Thanksgiving Monday - a Bank Holiday as they have in the UK.

We find a small place and then check out of the hotel. We're not being picked up until 3.15 so we store the bags, have a walk in town and then work on our photo downloads. We are selecting the best photos for this travel log and then archiving all the photos we take on my own BT web user, trying to identify them all before we forget !
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