Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day Six -- Banff and Lake Louise

After Dan took his bike ride to Banff and back yesterday afternoon, we went into Canmore to have some ice cream and take a walk along the river. A lovely little town.

The Ice Cream Bus
While Dan was out riding, I walked over to a campground near us. There are lots of prairie dogs in the area; they often seem to stand at attention on their hind legs.

Saturday was not a travel day, but some time was spent in the car sight-seeing. After breakfast at a nearby restaurant (walkable), we headed west on the TC1 toward Banff. We went just beyond Banff and turned off onto 1A, the Bow Valley Parkway, which went from there to Lake Louise. It was incredibly scenic, and we had the good fortune to see two bears right beside the road. We stopped at Johnston Canyon to hike up to the lower falls (didn't want to take the time to go a further two miles to the upper falls).

Near Lake Louise we turned off to the ski area to ride the gondola up to the nature center and lookout point. We could see Lake Louise (and the famous Fairmont Chateau Hotel) and gorgeous mountain scenery.

We skipped the small resort town of Lake Louise and headed toward the actual lake. However, the traffic was jammed up badly and we turned around and went to Moraine Lake instead.

Pile of rocks at base of lake; climbers can be spotted at the top

A Mountie was talking with some of the other tourists -- a must-see for a Canada visitor!
After visiting Moraine Lake we headed to Banff. We strolled Banff Avenue along with throngs of tourists and had lunch at a brew pub. We got out of town quickly after we'd eaten -- we much prefer the natural sights to the expensive shops and elbowing tourists!

Meat loaf sandwich with side salad

Fish and chips with slaw
After we arrived back at our hotel, I was happy to find that the pool had been warmed back up to its normal 83° and I got a good swim in!

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