banff1I’ve been waiting my whole life to go to the Canadian Rockies– ever since my sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Chevalier, plied us with movie-projector travelogues on the glories of the Canadian provinces. RockiesAnd boy oh boy, Banff did not disappoint! peaksFor starters, thanks to my quick action at a silent auction, we were staying in the fabulous & iconic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Fairmont BanffThen, due to the incredible largesse of a very important friend, we were upgraded to the Royal Suite — where the Queen stays when she hops over to Alberta.

Our own private reading nook.

Our own private reading nook.

...and monster glam bed...

…and monster glam bed…

...and fabulous sitting room (piano not shown).

…and fabulous sitting room (piano not shown).

So yeah … our inside time was luxurious beyond description.

The view from the tub.

The view from the tub.

And outside? Well, let me just say this: in real life, I’m willing to spend 30 measly minutes on the treadmill — at the most — and wouldn’t dream of setting so much as a baby toe on the elliptical machine. peaks2But in Banff, we took 4- to 6-six hour hikes up and down serious mountains every day —trail

..and despite my knees getting a bit creaky, I couldn’t have been more gung-ho. big oneThe weather wasn’t perfect, but the mountains were pristine, utterly unspoiled by development of any kind, and I was drunk on the wild beauty of it all.Β birches

alpine beauty

Lake BourgeauAnd just so happy to be outside — looking at something other than my computer.

WaterfallsTwo days that felt like a month — that’s the sign of a great vacation, in my book.

water daisyAnd then we headed over to Lake Louise …. (to be continued)

me on sulphur

38 thoughts on “Banffantastic!

  1. Great title, Betty. And while it may be impossible to describe the landscape, this sentence comes close to how it must have made you feel: “I was drunk on the wild beauty of it all.”

  2. I am green with envy! The ROYAL SUITE!? Fun to read about and experience vicariously. Did you bring a Bear Bell for your hikes???

  3. Wow Betty, your post and photographic pitch is all I need to add a trip like this to my “Someday I Will Visit…” List.

    I bet the 6 hour hikes left you smiling tired.

    • Hey SD — glad to hear from you!! After spending time in Banff, I have to say I’d recommend it to anybody!! And yes, I was REALLY tired after hiking those long days, but always ready for another hike the next day!!! It just gave you such a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction — when you could look at the mountain and say — hey, I was up there!

  4. Betty – have told you often how I admire your writing and photography skills; this blog is so inspiring. A year is too long to go without my “Betty Fix” so will have to just fix that and set a date to visit.

    Much love,

  5. As little as I’ve travelled, that is most assuredly my favorite memory. I burst in to tears when I saw the mountains. Hitchhiked there in the seventies and slept in a pup tent. Eyed the Fairmount the whole time and will visit again, and hope to stay there. I can’t help but note how thrilled I am to have been in a locale before you!! xo

    • Oh wowsa!! Laurie, I cannot believe you were there in a pup tent in the 70s .. you are the COOLEST — and of COURSE you were there before me, you’re a total early adopter!!! I have to say, being there and in the Fairmont was a total dream come true…. I’m not kidding, I’ve been dreaming about this place for years!!

    • I swear, I still remember “Saskatchewan — the Bread Basket of Canada!” from those Canadian projector movies — and it always made me long to go see every single province! You can’t believe how beautiful these parks are — when you get home from Ecuador, darling — try Canada!!!

  6. Gorgeous photos, so envious of your staff at the Fairmont. What a classic hotel in a stunning location. Sounds like you made the most of your stay and the beautiful surroundings.

    • Darling Jeff — it was the hotel experience of a lifetime! I can’t believe those two Fairmont properties up there — they were built by the Canadian Pacific Railways to try to get people to take the trains … and they are just such glorious buildings in unbelievably pristine settings! You and Andrew would LOVE it!!!

  7. I am so blessed to live in Alberta- these majestic mountains are in my backyard!! Not literally- but a couple hours drive. Silly that we take them so much for granted. If you do get to go to Banff, do plan on including the ice fields between Banff and Jasper- the drive between the two will literally blow your mind!

    • We did go on the Icefields Parkway because I’d read that National Geographic called it the most scenic highway in the world — and we loved it! Going to include photos from that in my next blog!! You are so lucky to live in Alberta!!!

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