Not so much a night, more of an entire weekend! The best thing about living in Banff, apart from the mountains, views, lifestyle, wildlife and the people, is that as a local you just seem to get given things all the time. There is the tax discount from all the stores, free entry to clubs free parking (OK that is extended to everyone) and locals weekend! One weekend every few months the tour operators open up the doors of boats, gondolas and buses for all of those living in the Bow Valley so we can experience what millions come to see every year for the price of nada! This particular weekend, we started off with the Gondola which goes up Sulphur Mountain, the day being reasonably warm and a bit cloudy, until we got up 2,451 metres and it was freezing cold and snowing!
There was an almost perfect line, half way up the mountain, separating spring from winter and emerging from the cable car was a bit like going through the wardrobe and emerging in a different world. Icicles hung from ledges, trees buckled under snow, breath was visible and fingers were freezing. Due to the cloud we didn’t manage to see any views but it was worth it at the top and the bizarre feeling of being in winter when flowers were blossoming below.
And I felt ever so slightly close to home when I saw this sign for my other home!
The next day, wanting to continue with our tirade of freeness, we made our way to Lake Minnewanka to experience a boat cruise, beautiful scenery and an abundance of ground squirrels. The difference compared to being on top of the mountain the day before was huge, and made me feel as though I had travelled to two different lands in as many days.
It was a stunningly sunny day and the blue of the lake made me feel like I was on a tropical island somewhere! But don’t let the colours fool you, the water here is so cold that a human being wouldn’t be able to survive longer than 5 minutes, a facts we picked up from our brilliant tour guide.
These little critters were and are everywhere and I love watching them scurry around, with them being more than happy to pose for photos. Don’t believe me? Search ‘crasher squirrel’, it was taken at the lake and it will make you laugh! After some wondering around the lake it was time to hop on the boat and partake in the cruise.
I was really interested to learn that there is a small town submerged under the water and you can see it if you do a diving course here. I don’t fancy going into freezing cold waters at this moment in time, but I’m not saying never!
So there it is, two days in Banff, told you there is never a dull moment here!