Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Canada Trip Retrospective...Banff National Park, Part One

The drive from Calgary to Banff
What a wonderful trip...all 4,400 miles of it...through Alberta, Canada. I had hoped to blog throughout our travels but the internet connection struggled and I couldn't get the photos posted. So here is a quick retrospective of our amazingly visual trip to the Canadian Rockies.

Let me start with a disclaimer - the pictures don't do the actual scenery justice. The colors and dimensions were more striking than anything my camera could catch. In a place like this I have to remind myself to actually stand and look and absorb the beauty, instead of simply clicking away with the camera.

We drove to Billings, Montana on July 1 and "landed" in Calgary in the evening of July 2. One of my favorite sites once inside Canada were the miles and miles of yellow fields. They were a mystery until a fellow traveler in the small town of Hinton informed me that they were Canola fields. Amazing.

Canola fields
Our first full day on vacation in Calgary was spent at the Heritage Historic Park. It was a leisurely day while we awaited my brother's arrival from California. We fell in love with two foods - maple walnut ice cream and butter tarts which are apparently a treat in Canada. We certainly thought so!

With Peter (brother) in tow we headed out for Banff on July 4 (no fireworks for us this year). For any of you planning a trip, we loved the Banff Tram. What panoramas! It was a photographers paradise. The town of Banff reminded all of us of Vail or towns in Colorado. We felt right at home.

View from atop the mountain...Banff below

The peaks from the top ot the tram

My favorite way to do a road trip vacation is to find a base camp and then explore the region without constantly changing locations. So from our terrific condo in Canmore (15-minutes west of Banff and hundreds of dollars cheaper) we explored Banff, Yoho and Kootaney National Parks. Each had their own surprises.

I loved the crazy squirrels

The top of Sulphur Mountain looking down on the tram station

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