Blogs from Banff, Alberta, Canada, North America


North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff July 12th 2021

Cascade Gardens The Cascades Of Time Gardens are a little oasis just minutes walking distance from downtown Banff and this morning Pam took us to these beautiful gardens but not before showing stunning views from both sides of the bridge overlooking the Bow River. Parks Canada took over the Brett Sanatorium and Hotel built in the 1880s, when it burned down in 1930 and converted it into the present day gardens. Ontario architect, Walter Beckett, planned the Parks administrative building and the gardens in the ~12 acre site, which was completed in 1935. The gardens were made as a geological garden to explain the geology of Banff National Park. But they evolved into a rock garden with rustic features and extensive floral bedding. Over 50,000 flowers are planted every year. We wandered along the garden’s many ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff March 27th 2021

#heygo Patrick’s son joined him for the evening walk. Finn is 14 and a charming young man, he demonstrated how to make yourself bigger if you come across a bear, he also showed the bear spray he always carries. At the moment the bears are sleeping but they will soon be waking from their winter slumber. We saw a couple of mule deer and listened to the birdsong in the trees. We saw an old beaver dam, amazing how large they are. A separate tour and we arrived at The Fairmont Chateau Hotel on Lake Louise. Lake Louise was first conceived by the railway at the end of the 19th century, as a vacation destination to lure moneyed travelers into taking trains and heading West. By the time airplanes and automobiles had displaced the trains, ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff March 5th 2021 4th March Banff The Hudson’s Bay Company – the oldest incorporated business in North America – received its charter in 1670. The waters flowing into Hudson Bay have their watershed up in the Canadian Rockies and fur traders passed through the more northern Yellowhead route (now Jasper) long before the Bow Valley (where Banff is located) was mapped by Europeans. Why the ‘Yellowhead Trail’? The first nations met blond people for the first time. Canada’ began to emerge as a country in 1867 when Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia entered confederation. The real future of the country occurred when sparsely populated British Colombia joined in 1871 on the provision that a trainline connected the country. Meanwhile, in 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the post-civil war USA for 2 cents an acre! Russia ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff » Sunshine January 23rd 2020

What an amazing place to ski!! Banff is the perfect town to stay in with massive ski mountains all around. We have a ski pass for Mt Norquay, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village. On the first day (I think I mentioned) we went to Norquay, which was nice but there were only about four runs open and Adam was just starting to learn. So on day 2 we went to Sunshine Village, which we ended up going to quite a lot. It’s perfect. There’s a gondola that takes you up the mountains to the chair lifts, and you can get off halfway and ski at the halfway point or you can keep going up the very top to the village, and get the lifts up to the clouds. Unfortunately on our first day in Sunshine we ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff » Norquay January 20th 2020

Welllll what a day. We originally set the alarm for 6am, snoozed til 7am, snoozed til 8am, realised the sun wouldn’t come up til 8:50am, so then officially woke up at 9am. We got the shuttle down to the village (also I asked how we get the shuttle back and they’re actually drop off only, so every time we go to the village we’ll have to do the gruelling, icy walk home) and headed straight to the rental store. We got fitted, paid (which by the way, holy MOLY skiing ain’t cheap), and did the gruelling, icy walk home, but this time carrying skis, poles, boots, helmets and pants. Once again, in freezing, -16 degree weather, it got way too hot. We had to organise a few things before we left, like our lift passes and ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff January 18th 2020

Had a pretty slow day today. We woke up super early (about 5am) to pack up and leave our cute Vancouver bnb to head to Calgary! It was a pretty cold morning, but it is very hard work pushing a suitcase through piles of snow, so we worked up quite a sweat. Made our train two seconds before the doors closed (that would have been a DISASTER) and we arrived at the airport super early/on time depending on who you are. We sent off our luggage and then headed to Subway for breakfast- once again we needed some vegetables. So far, so great. Everything is going smoothly. Until we get to security. There weren’t that many people at vancouver airport at 6:30am, so I wasn’t surprised when Adam was pulled over for a security check before ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff August 31st 2019

We woke to thunder claps and steady rain. No need to get out of bed then! The thunder stopped - the rain didnt'. We roused eventually and had breakfast. Our plans for a ride to the lake were delayed until the afternoon when the rain was meant to clear. Instead we spent the morning finalising the last week of our trip and trying to book all of our accommodation and connections. When we get back to Vancouver we'll head straight to Seattle by train. We've booked tickets for an NFL game on the Sunday (very excited). We'll head by ferry over to Vancouver Island and spend a night there before heading back to Vancouver by ferry. Tom and I, and maybe Jeff will then head off to Whistler for a day trip while Graeme has other ... read more

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff August 30th 2019

Another relaxing sleep-in this morning followed by a hearty breakfast. We better start riding again soon otherwise we'll be carrying a lot more weight up the Rockies than we planned! Our main adventure today was the Banff Gondola. It was only 7kms from where we're staying so we took the bikes - down the steep hill through town and then up a much longer but less steep hill the other side to get to the Gondola. The Banff Gondola is around 1500m above sea level at it's base and climbs to 2250m at the top - almost Kosciusko height. The ride takes about 10 minutes in little Gondolas that seat four passengers. The views as you climb are breath taking, but not as good as when you get to the top. Looking out over Banff there ... read more
The 4 Amigos
View from the Weather Station to the Gondala Station
Don't feed the Animals - Max $25,000 Fine !!!

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff August 29th 2019

Well, it took until our 14th day in Canada but we've finally had a day not on the bikes - well not in a serious way anyway. We had a decadent sleep-in until 9am before rousing for a leisurely breakfast. We got some house keeping out of the way and then jumped on the bikes (minus the paniers) and headed into town for lunch and to explore. Banff is a bustling tourist town in both the summer and winter. The streets are packed with tourists and every shop seems to be advertising for "Help Wanted". I think I've met more Aussies than local Banff people working here! And why not? It's a great place to come and spend some time having fun before settling down to the harsh realities of life. After a bite to eat ... read more
The Banff Gardens
Banff Gardens
Banff Gardens

North America » Canada » Alberta » Banff August 28th 2019

With only 76kms to ride today we could afford a slightly later start. We made good use of the breafast bar and headed off about 9:15am. Heading off from the Great Divide Lodge we were travelling east. The road was wet as it had rained most of the night. The sun was reflecting off the road creating a bit of glare but we were being escorted by mountains on our left and the river on our right and it was all down hill. What a way to start the day. We arrived at Lake Louise Village 15kms later. It was busier than Bourke Street. People, cars, buses, traffic wardens - it was chaotic. We locked up our bikes and decided to take the free shuttle bus the 7kms (up hill) to the Lake. After waiting 20 ... read more
Lake Louise
Lake Louise
Lake Louise

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