Day 3! We were going to make a trip to Canmore, Bow Falls, Banff, and my day’s favorite – Lake Louise Gondola. We also went to a ghost town on our own 🙂
Bzzzzz …. the morning call woke us up at 4 AM. We know that Alberta’s time is one hour ahead of British Columbia but how did the tour guide messed up? Because of that, we went to the cafeteria right when it started, 6:30 A.M., relaxed and ready to go.
It was one of the two best meals we had in the trip (the other being at Lake Louise Gondola).
The tour bus stopped at a visitor center that had yet to open, the tour guide said we won’t have a chance to go to the washroom for the next two hours (long bus journey?… but … )
We only drove 20 minutes into the town of Canmore when were brought to a strip mall to attend a presentation on acai berries. Since it was going to be Korean, those who did not understand Korean were given the OK to leave (YAY!) . [ Long before, I already got suckered into buying a bottle of acai berries and its capsules were so large I almost choked].
Anyways, we were given 40 minutes to explore the town of Canmore. It is a nice quiet town with buildings no more than two stories high. It is surrounded by mountains and on an early Monday morning, there were barely anyone on the street.
We walked towards the town center in search of coffee and found an art piece. The art is called Big Head, which in Gaelic .. is Canmore! Canmore, in turn is named after an 11th century Scottish king – Malcolm of Canmore.
The architecture of the town is also quite interesting and taken from an angle, I almost felt like I was in Switzerland (I’ve never been, so I assume). Here is also a small white church called Ralph Connor United Church, which was built in 1890.
Canmore was once a mining town, but with the decrease use of coal, it was on a decline until the 1988 Calgary winter Olympics brought tourists and new infrastructure to town (it was home to the Nordic events).
There is also a place called Policeman’s Creek, located just across from a police barrack built in 1892. Furtherdown is Canmore Hotel, still serving thirsty people since 1891; however, we did not make it that far, the town is much bigger than we thought.
We found our coffee shop! I bought a hot chocolate which was about $3.25, quite reasonable. The staff and people were also quite friendly. On the wall is also a list of hiking trails and their current conditions. Apparently, the bears have been out and about a lot recently!
We returned to the parking lot where our bus driver was waiting for us. Just next to us was a railway track and we got to see the train pass by carrying all their goods across country or perhaps to the port in B.C. for global trading!
It was a great way to start the morning, and we were on our way to the next stop, into Banff and towards Bow Falls. Bow Falls is located below the Fairmont Banff Springs and has been ever changing due to glacial retreats. Apparently, it looks the best in spring when its surrounded by snow.
Finally, we were in downtown Banff … Unfortunately, we spent way too much time at the acai berry place so we had to cut our visit to Banff to about 20 minutes. After lining up for the washroom and what not, that had only 10 minutes left.
.. we were only on the main street but it seems to be a shopping district, lined with the typical boutique shops, souvenir stores, and restaurants. Next stop: Lake Louise Gondola!