North-America

Rainy and cloudy times in Banff National Park

On the fourteenth day of our trip through the west of Canada, the town of Banff welcomed us with more grey clouds and rain. Bummer.

So sadly it was time to put our hiking boots away for the afternoon and evening and adapt our plans to Mother Nature.

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The entire road from Lake Louise to Banff the rain came pouring down like never before. So much for a sunny afternoon stroll through the charming town…

But fortunately that afternoon we had planned one of the only indoor activities of our entire trip; a visit to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Did we provoke the weather with these plans? I hope not!

This museum can be found right outside the town limits of Banff and commemorates the birthplace of the first national park of Canada. You can learn all about the first national parks and the national park system in general.

All very interesting information -honestly!-, but the main reason I wanted to visit this museum was for the indoor cave, the actual birthmark of the national parks. This cave was discovered by railway workers in 1833 and around that and the other natural thermal mineral springs they later built the Site.

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The Cave and Basin National Historic Site also offers a 45 minute guided tour – the Discovery Tour – every day at 11am and at 2:30pm. This is also included in the Discovery Pass (your entry ticket into the national parks of Canada). We arrived right on time for the 2:30pm tour but considering that most of this tour was outside and it was pouring rain, we let that one pass.

That of course left us with some time on our hands, so we headed to downtown Banff for some afternoon coffee and pie. We found our sweet fix at Evelyn’s Coffee Bar. One delicious chai tea latte and a slice of warm pumpkin pie later I wasn’t all that bothered about the weather anymore.

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Our motel for the next two nights, The Gateway Inn Motel, wasn’t in Banff, but in the town next to it; Canmore. There you have much cheaper lodging alternatives. Because we didn’t want to go through the check-in process after dinner when it was dark, we went to Canmore after our coffee and pie moment to drop off our luggage.

For dinner we then returned to Banff and opted for another round at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Yup, the same one as in Whistler. Why look for something else when you can have such amazing food for such a reasonable price, right?

Before turning in for the night, we drove along the Bow River for a glance at the Bow Falls and the majestic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Yeah, our motel didn’t quite look like that…

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On the morning of the last day of our trip we were still in the Banff National Park. We drove a bit back north towards Johnston Canyon. There you have a trail to the Lower Johnston Falls and the Upper Johnston Falls. One way to the Upper Johnston Falls it’s 2,7 kilometers. Along the way, there are beautiful river and canyon views.

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I think by that time we had reached the point where we we were a bit saturated by all the waterfalls and sort like views that it wasn’t all thát impressive anymore and left me a bit unsatisfied. The area was also quite busy with tourists so that didn’t help either.

It was quite a contrast from the day before that, which we spent in the spectacular Sunshine Meadows. But I kept that for next week, so more content to look forward to!

♥ 

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