Yesterday we arrived in Banff after a really scenic drive in, we got off Highway 1 at the famous Lake Louise. It is still a stunning place but we are a little disappointed we're not here in the summer to see the brilliant blue lakes! Instead of getting back onto the highway we consulted our bible i.e the Lonely Planet book and took the Bow Valley Parkway which was a much nicer drive into Banff. The views along the way were just as amazing as the amount of snow we trudged through to get to the view points! That was the best thing about this route, we could actually stop to take the sights in and get some good photographs.
As soon as we got into Banff we had a good feeling about the place, its a lovely town and we are actually staying in a proper hotel. I say that because it has a welcome brochure! After a small mooch around the shops we decided to treat ourselves and go out for dinner after the disaster of the cupa soup the day before! We had a lovely meal at an Irish pub and were starting to feel quite in the holiday mood, must remember we cant get used to this!
We had our longest lay in yet to the crazy time of half past nine! I guess our main problem with these places is we dont have the funds to spend our whole time here skiing and finding other activities in the winter isnt as easy as we thought! We got some advice on some walks and drives to do which we are going to head out on tomorrow as the weather forecast is looking better. So we're now equipped with our route highlighted map from the information centre, this is more like it!
For today though we decided to take a walk up to the gondola and hot springs, well it was only 4km away but with a sign saying 3km left to go we turned round decided to take the car up! Not out of laziness I have to say, more we couldnt find a track to take other than on the road, obviously not many walk it! We headed back into town through the woods and had a little run! We took advantage of being out of town to stop and play like kids in the snow!
Along the way back, we learnt some educational facts about the town... the name Banff comes from the Scottish county of Banffshire which was the birthplace of two of the founders of the Canadian Pacific Railway and it was found when they went looking for gold and instead found the hot springs.
Getting the car meant a quick pit stop for lunch and picking up our swim stuff, I didnt think my bikini would be getting its first outing in minus degrees! Back up the mountain we found where to park for the hot springs but thought to have a look at the gondola while it was still light. Big mistake, in the meantime a coach load of Chinese tourists had been dropped at the Springs! It was gorgeous though, despite how busy it was and the views over to the mountains were cool though we had fun playing with the icicles in our hair! Walking back to the car we felt warm from the inside out and we had the coldest temperature we have seen so far at minus ten!
Now, many will know Olofs obsession with getting a onesie! He knew the exact type he wanted...red, jersey material, with a bum flap! Oh and guess what they sell them here, how could I deny letting him have one! Somehow he manages to pull it off (or so I tell him!) I'm sure some pictures of him in it will follow!
So we have finished off a nice chilled day around town will a kettle boiled noodle dinner and watching the Superbowl and we're looking forward to seeing some recommended sights tomorrow!