September 8, 2005

As noted in my previous entry, I went to Banff, Alberta this past weekend for a quick vacation. Many people told me that it’s the most beautiful place on Earth, but I wasn’t sure if they were just exaggerating.

Well, I’m not sure if Banff is the most beautiful place on Earth, but it sure was pretty.

Banff.9.2.2005 014Banff.9.2.2005 032

We stayed at the Rimrock Resort which is right next to the Banff Upper Hot Springs. The hotel is rated as a AAA four diamond and we got our room for $205 CAD a night – a decent deal I think. The hotel was nice but the reservation system was kinda broken. We had reserved under a “Banff Weekend Getaway” package which came with free parking, free local public transit, and access to the fitness center. However, the front desk thought we had reserved for the room only so we had to get them to give us free parking. The other two “free” items in the package are actually free for everyone heh. We did get a free upgrade from a Superior room (no view) to a Deluxe room (view of Mt. Rundle, which really just a view of trees). All in all, it’s not a terrible deal for a nice hotel in a touristy area.

Rose and I both had our cameras and I had my laptop too. We were taking pictures all day and dumping them onto my laptop when necessary. Our cameras were also running out of batteries, so fortunately Rose’s father had a DC-AC converter for the car and we were able to charge our cameras on the go as well. By the end of the weekend, we had about 2 GB of photos – over 1000 shots at 4 and 5 MPixel. As usual, I’ve uploaded my entire batch to Flickr.

Here are some must-do activities πŸ˜€ :

  • Eat at Grizzly House – bear, rattlesnake, caribou, and more. Fondue and hot plate. Yum.
    Banff.9.2.2005 127Banff.9.2.2005 129
  • Check out the Columbia Icefield and the Icefield Parkway – I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves πŸ™‚
    Columbia Icefield.9.3.2005 038Columbia Icefield.9.3.2005 050
  • Visit (or if you have the $$$, stay at) the Fairmont Banff Springs
    Banff.9.2.2005 147Banff.9.2.2005 140
  • Hike Tunnel Mountain in Banff and the Johnston Canyon Trail on the Bow Valley Parkway
    Banff.9.2.2005 106Banff.9.2.2005 067
    Lake Louise.9.3.2005 125Lake Louise.9.3.2005 091
  • Visit the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
    Lake Louise.9.3.2005 054Lake Louise.9.3.2005 038
  • Go to Moraine Lake and climb up the rock pile
    Banff.9.4.2005 077Banff.9.4.2005 079

And here are some activities to avoid 😦 :

  • Eating at Wild Bills on Banff Ave – we were hungry the first night so we checked this place out. Their idea “medium” and “medium rare” is more like a “well done” or “medium well” at best.
  • Eating at Bumper’s steak house on Banff Ave – thought it would be a good place to get Alberta Beef, but the steaks weren’t good and the all-you-can-eat salad bar is terrible.
  • Eating the fruit at the breakfast buffet at the Lake Louise Gondola – it was actually half fermented :-O At first, we thought they had maybe added champagne to the fruit bowl so we asked and found out that it was just plain fruit. Yikes…
  • Actually, you can probably skip the Lake Louise Gondola completely – it’s $22 / person for a view from the top of a ski lift… I’d rather just pay for a lift ticket during the year and get to snowboard down too.

Anyone else have recommendations for Banff? We noticed there are a ton of ski resorts in the area (and I’m a big snowboarder) so maybe Rose and I will go back someday πŸ™‚


No Responses Yet to “Banff!”

  1. Looks like an awesome place to visit. Thanks for the pics.

  2. markjen Says:

    Hi Jeremy, likewise for all your flying pics πŸ™‚ Maybe one day I’ll check out these lightweight gliders, they look pretty fun!

  3. The Noon Says:

    Beh-ahh-utiful! thanks for the tips too!

  4. DontheCat Says:

    Mark, lovely place there. Everytime someone posts beuatiful images of our planet, I wonder why some morons out there are also trying to destroy it with their foolishness.

    When I do THAT world tour, I’ll include banff in my iteniarary πŸ™‚

    Cheers and Keep that Party Alive…

  5. Banff kicks arse, I used to live in Calgary so we’d go there all the time to snowboard, but you sure take it for granted when it’s next door.

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