QV2018: Day 12: Banff and Sulphur Mountain

4 11 2018

We got to sleep in this morning! Our bus picked us up around 11am and took us into Banff. We did a short tour of Banff, then were dropped off to do our own thing for the next three hours — lunch (like we needed it, with a late breakfast and an early dinner scheduled!), shopping, wandering art galleries etc. I certainly didn’t want lunch, and I’m not much into shopping or galleries. Besides, my feet hurt and I was a bit over taking my coat, scarf, and gloves off every time you enter a (hot) store and putting them back on when you go outside, so I was all done after 90 mins.

Our next stop was the famous Banff Springs Hotel, then Bow River Falls, where the bus driver told us about the phone booth there. There’s no phone any more because one night the phone rang (so the story goes) and a grizzly bear was passing and didn’t like the sound so ripped the phone out of the booth. There are claw marks in the metal to prove it!

Our final stop of the day was at the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, for the ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain where we had some time to explore, walk on the observation decks (it was quite cold and the wind was bitingly chilly!), and then meet for an early (still daylight) dinner at the Northern Lights restaurant there. The prime rib roast beef at the carvery was amazingly tender and delicious — the chef told me they marinate it for 12 hours, then slow cook it on low heat for another 12 hours. We headed back down the mountain at dusk, onto the bus, and back to Lake Louise for the night. Despite being a cloudy day, with some early morning snow at Lake Louise, it was a fine day without clouds, fog, rain, or snow obscuring our 360 degree views of the Canadian Rockies from Sulphur Mountain — we were very lucky!

After all that fresh (super fresh) air and wind and snow and cold, I think we were all ready to have an early night! Tomorrow is a rest day for us to do as much or as little as we want.

Lake Louise

Lake Louise

Banff Springs Hotel

Banff Springs Hotel

Bow River, Banff -- below the falls

Bow River, Banff — below the falls

Grizzly bear claw marks on the silver metal

Grizzly bear claw marks on the silver metal

Sulphur Mountain -- 4-person gondolas

Sulphur Mountain — 4-person gondolas

Yes, we went right to the top -- an 8-minute ride

Yes, we went right to the top — an 8-minute ride

Looking back to the gondola base station

Looking back to the gondola base station

Banff, Bow River, and the surrounding mountains, from the top of Sulphur Mountain

Banff, Bow River, and the surrounding mountains, from the top of Sulphur Mountain

More photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/albums/72157702998096454