After very little sleep in the hostel from hell, it was time to leave Banff. It has been a great couple of days, and I have really enjoyed this town. I am sure it is even more beautiful in the winter! A great place to come skiing!
Getting out of my bunk was a little like mission impossible, I really struggled to get down with the very limited headroom. People were coming home all hours of the night, and when we had our alarms go off at 6:45 I didn't hold back making loads of noise. I'm hoping I woke a couple of them up!
We went and had our free breakfast that consisted of toast and peanut butter. It was something to fill a hole and plus it was free. We are doing a day trip to the Columbus ice fields. The coach is then going to take us all the way to jasper our next town. We were planning to do a greyhound but that was a 14 hour journey. This journey would only take a couple of hours.
Our pick up was just after 8. It was pretty cold at this time in the morning, the sun hadn't made it over the mountains just yet. The bus was empty with only 10 people onboard. Our first stop was at Lake Louise. We had planned to stay here in a hostel, but thank god we didn't. Once we had taken a couple of picture there wasn't much more to do. Of course you could have done a lot of walking. It was a beautiful location. Stunning. I'm really glad that we managed to see it. But 25 minutes was enough time.
The bus stopped a couple of times at good view points, and gave us the opportunity to take some pictures. It was about 12 o'clock when we arrived at the main centre for the Columbus ice fields. It looked amazing. I'm glad the sun was out, as not sure it would have been impressive when raining. We took a walk around the museum which looked like it was made in the 1970's. Could do with an upgrade. Lunch was a sandwich and a packet of crips. It was bloody expensive. But you didn't have a choice, there was nothing else around.
Our 4x4 specially made bus was leaving at one thirty, it would take us up the glacier. It was packed and they must have had a bus to every 10 minutes. The first section of the track was on a normal bus. The second part on the special bus! It took about 20 minutes to get to the turn around point. We were able to get off take pictures and and walk on the ice. They had warned us there can be massive holes in the ice, and not to pass blue cones that had been put out. Except people did - seemed to be all the tourists from Japan and China. They could have fallen through holes 20ft. Crazy! It was solid ice that had been compacted for hundreds of years, and as the glacier melts the ice moves. I liked learning about how it moved - it's ok - I won't bore you. In the past bodies had been found in the ice.! A fact that is a bit more interesting.
We only stayed in the glacier for about 20 minutes before returning to the base and our tour bus that was leaving at 3. It was time to head to Jasper a small town located to the north of the Canadian Rockies. On route we stopped quickly at a waterfall. Took some pictures and then only one hour to our hotel in jasper.
There was a couple on our bus that I think were on their honeymoon, seemed very loved up! They were saying how much they loved one another! It made me heave a little bit! They were talking about how the enjoyed their scrabble game last night, and they will have to have another game tonight if they get bored. They were on their honeymoon - I'm sure they could think of better ways of entertaining each other! Strange! They were Aussies! However the hotel they were dropped off at was amazing our driver told us the Queen of England had stayed in this hotel a number of time! That was pretty cool.
Our hotel was about a 5 minute walk from the main strip. I'll set the scene a little. We were in a kind of valley, Rockies all around most of them snow capped. Their was a long straight road outside our hotel that went into the town. Running along side the railway. Very green.
We checked in and the hotel looked nice, it had a pool! Tonight was Canadian Thanksgiving Eve. Our hotel was doing a special offer for a three course meal at the restaurant across the road. We decided to have a quiet night, ate this amazing food, and had a couple of beers.
The food was great, just very sweet - however I did eat everything in my plate.
Headed to bed shortly after that, full - and tired after all the fresh air. Tomorrow is thanksgiving and we are planing to do a long walk. Fingers crossed we see some bears or wolfs!