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Posts Tagged ‘banff

DAY 4 – Banff Downtown and Revelstoke

 

This was the much less hectic day for us as we woke up a bit later and spent a day exploring other side of Banff. After we checked out from the hotel, we went to Banff Centre. My husband recommended it since he went there years ago. When we arrived there, it looked like a ghost town. It reminded me of a university campus with lots of big arts building. We decided to leave after only spending 10 minutes there hahaha… Maybe if there was an event, we would love to stay longer and explore more.

On the way back, we decided to stop at a viewing area. It overlooked The Fairmont Banff Spring hotel. It really looked like a castle in the middle of an enchanted forest! So pretty! We decided to went to Fairmont Banff to check out the hotel like we did in Lake Louise hehehe… Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel has a castle themed inside and outside. The exterior of the hotel is made of big brick like European castle. The lobby is decorated with shield and beautiful chandeliers! There is a display of knight armor as well as gothic wooden chair. I really love the atmosphere there!

22 Fairmont Banff

The Fairmont Banff Spring Hotel

Our next destination was Banff Indian Trading Post (it was recommended by the hotel clerk). I thought this is an Indian museum but it is actually a shop where you can buy crafts made by Indian people, such as moccasins, leather bags, hats from real fox and rabbit fur, etc. They have a display of a mermaid skeleton believed to live in Lake Minnewanka. I curiously asked the lady on the cashier if the mermaid is real and she said that nobody knows but she believed so. I guess it’s part of the mystery of Lake Minnewanka. There is also a display of fake trout fish that was claimed to be the biggest trout (38 lbs!) to be caught in Lake Minnewanka. After browsing for a while, my husband picked up a dream-catcher and I bought a real rabbit fur that reminded me of my last rabbit, Honey.

23 Indian trading post

Banff Indian Trading Post

Next to Banff Indian Trading Post, there is the Buffalo Nations Luxton Museum. We took a peak of the exhibit from the shop and it contains a lot of artifacts from First Nations People of the Northern Plains and Canadian Rockies, such as their traditional costume, hunting equipment, arts & crafts, etc. We didn’t go into the museum and browsed the shop a little bit. The most interesting part about this museum was the animal head hung on the wall around the museum shop. There are buffalo, bison, deer, and moose – all in various sizes.

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DAY 3 – Jasper National Park (Glacier Adventure & Glacier Skywalk) and Banff Gondola

 

The third day of our trip filled with lots of sight seeing and a bit of driving. In order to do the glacier adventure and see the skywalk, we had to go to The Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre which is located in Jasper National Park. It took us about 2.5 hours drive from Banff downtown and this time was my turn to drive. The road leading to the Discovery Centre is actually inside the Banff National Park which later will turn into Jasper National Park. Before entering the park, we had to pay for entrance fee. The cashier asked us about our destination, where do we stay for the night, and how long we would be in the park. The one-day pass (good until 4pm the next day) for group (2-7 people) and a vehicle is Cad$19.60. Not bad… Along the way, there were so many beautiful mountainous sceneries as well as gorgeous lakes. If you have time, you can stop at one of the following: Herbert Lake, Hector Lake, Mosquito Creek, Helen Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake, Bow Glacier, Peyto Lake, Waterfowl Lake, Glacier Lake, Nigel Lake, and Parker Ridge. From my research, Peyto Lake is very beautiful. We actually turned into the small road toward the lake on our way back to Banff. However, we decided not walk down to the lake since it would be a small hike and we were super tired from the tour. We did stop at 2 of the lakes – I forgot which ones – where there were designated viewing areas. Looking at the gorgeous turquoise lake with snowy mountain at the background was just breath taking! It was also an interesting drive in this area. The shape of the mountains differs from one to another as if it has its own character. Some are very pointy, some have flat top, and some are covered with patchy snow looking like a dalmatian or an orca.

13 Otw Icefield

Highway prior entering Banff National Park

14 Banff National Park

Beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery along the way to the Discovery Centre

We finally arrived at the Discovery Centre. There is a spacious parking lot on the west side of the centre. We immediately went to the ticket booth to redeem our real ticket for both glacier adventure and the skywalk. Luckily, we didn’t have to wait long for the glacier adventure. As soon as we got our ticket, we lined up for the shuttle bus. I was a bit shocked since I thought that we were going to ride the big bus with the huge wheels up to the mountain. It turns out that the shuttle bus took us to the Ice Explorer station at the foot of the mountain. *I was super excited!!!* The Ice Explorer bus moved pretty slow – well, it’s better to be safe than sorry when driving on icy path, right?! At one point, the driver warned us that we were about to going down a very steep hill. As you can see in my picture below, we were almost 45° downward angle relative to the ground! It was like riding a super slow roller coaster hahaha…. Once we passed the steep hill, there was a pool of water before we continued to the icy path. The driver said that the water pool is used to wash the Ice Explorer’s wheels so that the bus won’t slip.

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Hiya…

This early July, I had 2 weeks break from my full time job. Me and my hubby had an idea to do a road trip since we hadn’t really done a road trip before. So, we decided to have a trip to Banff. Total time driving from Vancouver straight to Banff is 10 hours! However, me and my hubby are not fans of long drive. Hence, we stopped approximately half-way from Vancouver to Banff on the way there and on the way home. Our itinerary is Vancouver – Kamloops – Banff – Kelowna – Vancouver. We spent 4 nights 5 days for our trips and we were exhausted by the end of the trip.

 

DAY 1 – Kamloops

We woke up pretty early on our way to Kamloops – 5.00 AM!!! Luckily, it was my hubby turn to drive – so I could have a little nap hahaha… We stopped at Tim Hortons to get a black coffee for my hubby and the strawberry glazed Timbits for me (OMG they are super goooooddd!). From Vancouver, we took Highway 1 East (Trans-Canada Highway) passing Langley, Abbotsford, Chiliwack, and Hope. It was just a straight boring highway so as you know, I fell asleep after eating my Timbits hahaha… Continuing the journey, we took BC Highway 5 North (Coquihalla Highway) passing Merritt and through some beautiful mountainous scenery! We arrived at Kamloops by noon – just in time for lunch. We planned to have Japanese for lunch at Eden Bento Cafe but unfortunately, it was closed. So, we went to Taka Japanese Restaurant. The food and the portion was good for the lunch bento.

Before going to our hotel, my hubby suggested that we visited Peterson Creek Park. We thought this park would be a green lush park with lots of trees where we could relax and enjoy the scenery but we were totally WRONG! The park actually has several hiking trails and apparently, a popular hiking place for Kamloops’ residences. The sturdy bridge built above the park area is actually the Trans-Canada Highway. We accessed the park via Columbia St at Glenfair Drive (see the park map here) where we parked our car. Our goal was to see the Bridal Veil waterfall so we followed Tom Moore trail. On our way, we met a couple who hiked down from the trail and they said that the trail to see the fall was easy. With good confidence, we continued our hike up along the small river. When we were at a trail junction, we were confused as to turn right toward a small wooden bridge or to walk straight toward the area marked “Danger: Unmarked Hazard”. My gut feeling was to follow the river, so we walked to the unmarked area. Little did we know, this was where the very difficult trail began and I only wore my flat shoes, NOT my runners! Since we were already halfway, I braved myself hiking through the slippery stones, crossing the small creek, and climbing the rocky cliffs. As you can see on the pictures below (bottom 3rd from right), hikers only have small rocky area on the right hand side to pass through in order to go to the fall. I felt like as if I was doing those obstacle challenge – like in the Spartan race hahaha… Finally, after 40 minutes, we arrived at the foot of the fall. In order to see the top of the fall, we had to climb a little bit more on the rocky terrain. Yay! The hike down was as difficult as the hike up. Since we already knew what to expect, we were pretty quick to go down and back to the parking lot. Lesson for us: hiking a very difficult terrain is NOT a good way to start our holiday! 😛

1 Peterson Creek Park

Peterson Creek Park

Oh did I tell you that summer at Kamloops was really really really hot! We were sweating non-stop! After a very tiring hike, we checked in to our hotel, Four Points by Sheraton and cooled our selves inside the air conditioned room… ahhh…. The cool thing about the hotel is that it has a small swimming pool with a waterslide and a jacuzzi!!! We immediately marched to the swimming pool and had fun sliding down the waterslide as if it was our private pool hahaha…. In the evening, we went to Pizza Hut – since my hubby craved for it – and ordered 2 medium pizza nyummmm….

 

DAY 2 – Lake Louise, Lake Minnewanka, Banff Downtown

The trip from Kamloops to Banff was about 6 hours drive so we woke up around 6 am in the morning. We drove through Trans-Canada Highway passing Salmon Arm, Revelstoke, and Golden. We stopped at Golden to have a quick breakfast at McDonalds. Along the highway, the beautiful snow capped Rocky mountain was around us. We also passed some small lakes and creeks with sparkling turquoise water. I felt like I could just jump into the lake and swim on the cool water during the scorching hot day. Along this highway, you can stop at some attractions, such as Mt. Revelstoke, Illecillewaet Camp Ground near Rogers Pass, Glacier National Park, Bear Creek Falls, Beaver Valley, Yoho National Park, and Lake O’Hara. The most scenic drive was through Rogers Pass. It’s a straight highway with mountains view in front of us (see picture below: top left). Simply gorgeous! We just had to stop on the side of the road to take picture of the beautiful view.

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