It’s amazing that Jeremy and I crossed the border into Canada, much less reached our destination of Banff. Why? Umm, well Mr. “World Traveler” forgot his damn passport. OH OH! It seems that the Canadian immigration services have a couple of issues when you do that. However, charm, good looks, and being very, very circumspect about answering their questions won the day and after an hour wait at the border, I was able to convince Canadian authorities that I was not a terrorist planning my next gig in their fair country.
This wan’t the only issue that deterred us or perhaps, I should say detoured us, as unbeknownst to us, the Calgary area suffered a flood of biblical proportions. Consequently, we had to detour quite a few miles to reach our destination. During our journey, we stopped in Lettridge, where we wanted to exchange American currency for Canadian ducats. However, it seemed that all the banks were closed. We wondered what was going on? It was Monday and that seemed like a weird day for the banks to be closed, especially since everything else seemed open. We decided to go to this one bank that looked close and just use the ATM versus exchanging money as we originally wanted to do. While waiting in line, we finally figured out what was going on. The Canucks celebrate June 30th as a sort of “Unification Day,” where most of the provinces united as a country. Again, we weren’t certain that this is what it’s officially called (maybe Canada Day????), but we were told fireworks would be part of the celebration, so we were down with that.
We arrived – a bit tired and worn out – in Banff at around 8:30pm. We checked into our hotel and took well deserved showers, then headed out to dinner at a place called the Balkan Restaurant, which served mostly Greek food. It doesn’t get dark until quite late, so we had plenty of time for the fireworks display that started at 11:00pm. After dinner, we headed to the park near a river and watched the display which was absolutely awesome. The Canadians really know how to put an exclamation point on a celebration! Afterwards, Jeremy and I went to a dance club and I must have been the oldest dinos . . . Umm, person in this place. Sheesh, even Jeremy thought they were no more than 18-21 (the drinking age is 18 in Canada). Ha. Anywho, we stayed for a bit, then headed back to the hotel, where we called it a night.
The next day we awoke early and walked down main street and took photos, as well as got our coffee. We checked out of the hotel and went to Johnstone Canyon and Waterfalls. We hiked to both the lower and upper falls, probably a bit more than 4 miles roundtrip. The scenery was stunning. The photos I took don’t do justice to what we saw here. The slot canyon and multiple waterfalls we saw at various elevations were quite gorgeous. After our hike, we were on the road again, heading further west to Lake Louise.
We decided to get something to eat before viewing the lake. After eating a light lunch, we headed to the lake and both of us were awed by what we saw. The lake is surrounded by magnificent glaciers and forest. Frankly, there aren’t enough adjectives to describe the picture perfect postcard scene we saw here. I will probably do a separate post, utilizing some of the excellent photos that Jeremy took with his camera. My photos below will have to suffice until then. Enjoy!