Day 39 – 41 – Banff National Park

I knew the weather forecast for Banff over the weekend was pretty bad, so we didn’t plan on seeing too much of Banff on Friday. We left Calgary about 11am and ran into heavy rain almost straight away. We stopped at Cochrane for Tim Hortons coffee, where I realised I left my watch in the hotel! Fortunately we were only about half an hour away so we went back to Calgary to pick up my watch, and got back on the road to Banff, still with heavy rain pounding down. On the way we drove through Canmore but didn’t stop for a mooch around as it was still raining.
We arrived in Banff and were fortunate that our room was available, and it turned out to be a pretty nice place to spend a relaxing weekend in! The heating was on and as it was freezing outside it was nice and cosy inside so we stayed in for a bit, waiting for the worst of the weather to clear before venturing into the town. Bumpers Inn is in the outskirts of the town and the hotel provides free bus passes to the town centre, but we decided to walk and see how far it is. Banff is quite a busy town, full of bars and restaurants and we had a drink and a burger in Tommy’s before finding an Irish bar where I tried a pomegranate cider and an expensive glass of wine before heading back to the hotel. The next morning we got going early as the weather was going to be pretty bad in the afternoon again. We stopped by Lake Louise and Lake Moraine before heading north to Saskatchewan Crossing. On the way we stopped a couple of times, but decided to cover more stops on the way back for pictures. At Saskatchewan Crossing we had a ridiculously overpriced coffee before deciding to turn back as the weather was getting pretty bad. We wanted to go to the ice fields but it would probably have been too much driving in bad weather.
On the way back we stopped at Lake Hector and Lake Peyto where it snowed as we walked to the lookout point, but it was worth it! We got back fairly early and spent a chill afternoon watching more Sons of Anarchy and going out for dinner later on at Earl’s. We were planning to go pub crawling a bit but it started raining properly while we were eating so we stayed at Earls and watched the NHL before heading back to the hotel.
Sunday was supposed to be pretty rainy again but we headed out along the Minnewanka loop where we enjoyed Minnewanka Lake and Two Jacks Lake before driving up Norquay drive for some beautiful views of the town and mountains surrounding it. Despite the miserable weather forecast the weather was actually pretty good and we enjoyed the sunshine for a while before going back to the hotel again and just chilling some more. We couldn’t even be bothered to go out for the evening so just had some sandwiches and more SoA; all in all a much needed and very relaxing weekend!

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