Ice Ice Baby!
The next morning it was off on the 300km scenic drive from Jasper to Banff. It was also my turn to sit in the front and admire the wonderful views, sorry be on bear watch!
During the drive we stopped at the Sunwapta Pass & waterfall (another slot canyon) and the Athabasca Falls which whilst spectacular where getting to the become the norm so had lost some of their appeal.Still I did get some good photos!
The next stop was the Icefields Parkway and the Athabasca Glacier. The glacier is one that has been around for millions of years however is receding fast due to warmer temperatures. There is still quite a large area covered in ice though considering it was the height of the summer and we had the chance to walk (up a very steep hill!) to get a better view. I was surprised at how dirty the top layer of the glacier was which is due to the melting snow on top being mixed with rock and mud. I was also slightly disappointed that I could make an Ice Angel as we weren't allowed that near due to the risk of melting and us falling into a ravine and dying rather quickly of hypothermia! We also got to go into the Information centre to educate us on how the glacier was formed, visit the gist shop and have the obligatory photo taken with a bear and Mountie!
We then carried along the parkway with a quick photo stop at Lake Peyto before arriving at Banff. Banff in summer was bit odd - a fairly large town (it had the first Starbucks since Whistler!) with loads of skiing type shops but fairly busy. We had some free time to look around Banff at even more gift shops before having dinner and a few drinks as we were staying in town. We went into a club called The Dancing Sasquatch and were able to get our picture taken with a Sasquatch taken (aka a Furry Man!). I also decided to have a beer but didn't realise just quite how thirst quenched the locals are!