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Banff Springs Hotel

sunny 17 °C
View 2010 Around the World on greynomadm's travel map.

Day 29 Thursday 14 October – Fairmont Banff Springs

Up at about 7 and spent an hour or more exploring this incredible hotel. Enormous ball rooms, compact meeting rooms, dining rooms and specialist restaurants. In addition there is a whole wing primarily for weddings and conferences.

Decided to walk into town – about 15-20 minutes, temperature just above zero and clear. Just half a block from the hotel we see a small group of elk cows and juveniles. Across the road grazing on a sports field was an elk bull. I managed to take a few photos but didn't get too close – he didn't seem to care. With interruptions for photos it took almost 30 minutes to get to the heart of Banff.

We stopped at the Parks Canada Information Centre and the lovely lady behind the desk confirmed that it was an elk and reiterated the warning that one shouldn't approach closer than three bus lengths to these animals. I think I was a little closer than that.

At times it is hard to remember that we are in a National Park. There are no restrictions on horses and dogs. When I remarked on that she explained that if dogs were banned hardly anyone would come. The same applies to hotels, dogs are quite acceptable although a cleaning surcharge is applied.

Found Bruno's diner just off the main drag and enjoyed a spectacular “Traditional Canadian Breakfast”. Two eggs any style, two slices of toast, fried potatoes and choice of bacon, ham or sausage. In this case they added a slice of grapefruit, pineapple and melon and a segment of orange – it just has got to be healthy.

Wandered in and out of a number of shops, many of them selling exquisite native souvenirs, many of them made locally which was a surprise. One shop had marked down jackets I would have loved to buy one of the traditional Inuit tops made to look and feel like skins. A steal at $180 (down from $250) but we couldn't see an occasion when we'd wear it and we're already over our baggage limit again.

Dropped into the local Post Office and found they have postage-paid post cards for just 4 cents more than the cost of the stamp !! Had to have some of them. Walked past the Banff National Parks Administrative building, looks a bit like our hotel, a mix of a traditional castle and a mountain chalet.

Back at the hotel we dropped our purchases and set off to check out the Bow River Falls, a shortish walk but a long way down. Well worth the walk especially as the weather is flawless, the falls are more of a cascade but very spectacular. On the way back a local jogger told us to look out for two elk further up the road. We heard them before we saw them, they were rattling each-other's antlers. Curiosity got the better of me and I broke the three buses separation rule, Jenny quietly having a fit in the background. Eventually she joined me to look at these two bulls pushing each-other around.

Back at the hotel we relaxed and I downloaded the pictures and started to write this entry. Happened to look out the window and noticed a whole herd of elk on one of the hotel’s golf fairways too far away to photograph but they looked good through the binoculars.
Tomorrow morning we have to be ready to board the bus at 8 am so we'll have to be virtually packed tonight.

Will update again from Jasper with any luck.

Lone Elk Bull, Bruno's Dinner, Parks HQ, the Hotel, Bow River Falls,


Posted by greynomadm 17:20 Archived in Canada

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OMG!!!! How absolutely spectacular to see the Elk's in their natural habitat (ok, so maybe the fairway isn't quite natural but you get what I mean!).

I think the next trip you should do should be to Churchill to see Polar Bears. Now THAT would be neat.

Keep the entries coming Dad - we love em!


by DrTard

Oh, and another thing, just for curiosity and general interest (and nerdiness) the collective noun for elk is gang, not herd. Bet you didn't know that!

Love ya

Dr. Dictionary :)

by DrTard

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