Nothing can prepare you for the sheer size and majesty of The Banff Springs Fairmont Hotel.
It’s like a French Chateau/ Castle in it’s prized position amongst the Mountain peaks and with over 700 rooms it can house a lot of guests and we are lucky enough to be two of them for the next 3 days. Our room is on the 7th floor in the roof section and has a lovely view up the Bow Valley and once we ate and got over a bit of the train spins we had a lovely nights sleep in a excellent bed.
After breakfast in the Bow Valley Grill we needed a walk especially after 2 days in the train so a nice 3 km walk along the Bow River Falls into town was just ideal. The Water colour is again that milky blue and we found a beautiful sculptured log on the bank that looked like an art installation.
The temps are still high at 25 deg today so lovely in the sun and it was very pleasant wandering down Banff street and listening to all the varied languages around . We had a spa and massage booked for 1 pm so headed back over the river to make sure we made full use of the facilities that are charged like a wounded bull.
The Spa was Amazing, a fabulous selection of pools and waterfalls as well as a mineral spring pool and the massage was brilliant, maybe even worth the expense ?????.
Another day dawns and the temp has dropped to 4deg this morning and a high of 12deg by 2pm, add to that a nice wind chill and our trip up the Gondola is going to be frosty. We walked into town and after a nice Aussie/Italian style cappuccino we picked up our rental car and our Park Pass and went exploring. First stop was The Sulphur Mountain Gondola up 2,200m and it was chilly but the views were spectacular as the following photo series shows in every direction. The first photo shows The Fairmont at the bottom of the shot..
You can see why the planners of Banff sited the town and resort where they did with Hot Springs, Lakes, confluence of rivers and a wide expanse of plains it was perfect for the long term use of this beautiful country by all the generations who have come here.
Our next stop was Lake Minniewanka a man made lake close to Banff and Two Jack Lake just around the corner but we still have not found Lake Majorwanka.
( Rumour has it that it can be found somewhere in The USA although some have said that it is somewhere near Bondi) The water is again that beautiful blue but you need the sun out to show it off the best.
It was just a short drive to Johnson Lake and as it was more protected from the cold winds we decided to take the 4km lake loop walk to get those train legs moving again and while there we did our best to model the latest black winter fashions.
We came back to Banff to drop the car off and to pick up the bus to Calgary so we saw a few sights we missed on the overcast days. The sun was shining and the Bow river and The Fairmont looked spectacular.