Saturday, September 5, 2015

Exploring the Town of Banff (Rocky Mountain Trip Volume 5)



This is my fifth post containing photos from my trip through parts of North America's Rocky Mountains.  You can read my previous posts with photos of Glacier National Park, the Cowboy Trail, Lake Louise (the lake), and Lake Louise (the village).  In this post, I'll focus on the town of Banff.

Fairmont Banff Springs Among the Canadian Rockies

The beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs is the crown jewel of Banff.  I was fortunate enough to stay there, which afforded me the opportunity to take quite a few photos.



Banff is really the only town in Banff National Park.  There is also Lake Louise, but it doesn't have anywhere near the same level of offerings of Banff.

Banff from Mt. Norquay

Mt. Norquay offers an opportunity to view Banff from above.  Above is a wider view, and below I've zoomed in to make the Fairmont more prominent.



Surprise!

Another great place to photograph the Fairmont is from Surprise Corner.


Above are natural formations called hoodoos.

What's He Thinking About?

Even better than the bear I saw in Lake Louise, this grizzly bear was munching on some grass up the hill on the side of the road.

In town, carriage rides evoke a bygone era.

Banff Avenue is where many of the shops and restaurants are located.  It's also where you can get the below view looking towards Cascade Mountain.
Looking Down Banff Ave

Arriving at the Fairmont Banff Springs

In contrast to the many opportunities for nature photography at Banff National Park, the Fairmont is full of opportunities for architectural photography.



Entering the lobby, you are immediately whisked away to a Scottish castle.

View from the Fairmont Banff Springs

The view from the hotel room window wasn't quite as magnificent as the one in Lake Louise, but it still was gorgeous.  You can see the Bow River and the golf course down below.
Ramsay Lounge

The Ramsay Lounge was empty, making it a lot easier to photograph.


A walk to the Waldhaus Pub involves going outside and enjoying the beautiful grounds of the hotel.
Waldhaus Restaurant

The Waldhaus Pub and Restaurant are a bit of a departure from the hotel's Scottish theme.


I had to try a Bloody Caesar, which is Canada's version of a Bloody Mary, with a clamato juice base.


Taking a tour of the hotel allows you to see some of the gorgeous rooms and halls (which you can also explore by yourself, but you don't get the historical back story).  Above is the Cascade Ballroom.

Entering the Spanish Walk

Above and below is the Spanish Walk, which looks out over the Mount Stephen Hall.

Above is the Riverview Lounge, which is beautifully sunlit during the day.


The Conservatory, above, would be a great location to have an event.


Excuse the abundance of photos of this area; I just love it.  This is the Oval Room, which leads to the Riverview Lounge.


There is a legend that a bride fell down the staircase pictured above, and unfortunately, did not live to tell about it.  There is a small plaque on the wall at the bottom of the staircase that tells the story.


Above is the Rundle Lounge, and below is Mount Stephen Hall, photographed from the Spanish walk.


Above is a statue of a mounted policeman in the courtyard area in back of the hotel.  Below is an outdoor lounge with a beautiful flowerbed situated next to it.


Back out in the wilderness, I  had a chance to photograph these deer in a group (and one that wasn't afraid to hang solo, below) on the Lake Minnewanka loop.


Elk on the Lake Minnewanka Loop



The Parks Canada Administration Building caught my attention for a photograph.

Cave and Basin National Historic Site

The Cave and Basin, pictured above, is where Canada's National Park system originated, so it is definitely worth a visit.

Although this is my fifth post in this series, I still have one more, where I'll share photos from the Icefields Parkway, the Bow Valley Parkway, and Yoho National Park.

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