Day 9: Sunday, September 22

Banff Or Bust

A bright and sunny day today. Time to move on to Banff!

Karen prepared and served another delicious and hearty breakfast at 8:00AM. Vince and I then packed the last of our stuff and said our thanks and goodbyes to Karen, Norma and Gerald. We got on the road to Banff at about 10:00AM. I took Highway 2A to Innisfail where we refueled at the FasGas. With a full tank in the trusty Santa Fe we left Innisfail via the south exit on to the #2 and were on our way.

We had absolutely no issues on the way down to Calgary. We took the 201 “ring road” around Calgary which joined up with the #1 Transcanada Highway leading to Banff – very easy and handy.

We arrived in Banff around 1:00PM:

We tried to check in to Irwin’s Mountain Inn but the nasty <expletive> at Reception curtly informed us that we could not check in until 4:00PM. In all my years of travelling the world and staying in various hotels, early check-ins have never been a problem but it definitely is here in the Banff tourist trap.

It was past lunchtime so we had lunch at Boston Pizza on Banff Avenue, then visited the Tourist Information place to get some info. We were still hours away from hotel check-in, so we went to the former mining town of Bankhead (north of Banff by Lake Minnewanka) to see the ruins of this destroyed and deserted mining town. Fascinating place!:

It was well after 5:00, so we returned to Irwin’s Mountain Inn to check in. The <expletive> from earlier was nowhere in sight, thank goodness. We were booked into Room #257, right at the end of the hall, looking on to Banff Avenue:

We unpacked our stuff then went out to seek dinner – what an ordeal! Everything in the town was either too expensive, absolutely packed, too high end, or had a massive waiting line to get in. We finally settled on a place called Wild Bill’s, where we were seated on their second floor overlooking bustling Banff Avenue. The food there was quite good:

After leaving Wild Bill’s we walked down Banff Avenue looking at stores and people. At the end of the avenue we went into the “Cascade of Time Garden” and explored these beautiful gardens (these shots are a little dark as evening was quickly falling):

It was almost completely dark by now so we headed back to the hotel at around 8:45, but not before we stopped for a Beavertail on Banff Avenue!!:

Love those Beavertails!

Once we reached our hotel room we simply took it easy for the rest of the evening. Off to bed around 10:00.

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