My Favourite Places – Banff

Since frigid temperatures are negatively impacting my photography hobby lately, my next few posts are going to be about some of my favourite places.  

A couple of days ago I was looking at pictures from a trip to Banff in October 2012 so I’ll start there.  I could easily place Banff in my top three of my favourite places. The drive from Calgary to Banff still thrills me like it did when I was a little kid and we went there on family camping trips. I feel like I’m going somewhere, like it’s an important place. The mountains in Banff are my favourite mountains because they are the ones I first saw as a kid.  It is one of those iconic places, even the tacky tourist shops appeal to me.  And, on this last trip, I felt grown up enough to actually go into the Banff Springs Hotel, so along with the tacky tourist shops, Welch’s Chocolate Shop and the Canada House Gallery (I like looking at the sculptures), the Rundle Lounge with a spectacular view is one of my new favourite places in Banff.

And… like when I was a little kid, I still watch, with much longing, the mountains disappear in the rearview mirror on the return trip home.  So, here’s hoping 2014 includes a trip to one of my favourite places.

me in Banff - 1978 or 79

me in Banff – must be 1978 or so

driving from Kananaskis to Banff

driving from Kananaskis to Banff

Bow Falls

Bow Falls

this way to...Banff Springs 1Banff Springs 2 Banff Springs 3

Looking down to the Rundle Lounge

Looking down to the Rundle Lounge

view down to Rundle Lounge

Bow River

Bow River

One of my favourite pics I took in Banff last year...

One of my favourite pics I took in Banff last year…

beautiful morning light to start the trip home...

beautiful morning light to start the trip home…

through the clouds

I’ve been on some pretty cool drives in North America – Maui’s Road to Hana, the Beartooth Highway outside Yellowstone, and Port Alberni to Tofino on Vancouver Island. They all are amazing in their own way and the drive between Banff and Lake Louise is no exception.  Banff will always be one of my favourite places because of scenery like this:

through the clouds 1through the clouds 3through the clouds 2

Athabasca Falls

I haven’t posted any pics from my camping trip with my parents to Jasper in July lately so here are a few from Athabasca Falls. The falls were quite close to the campground we were staying at so it was our first touristy stop.  It was a rainy day and raining the evening before when we arrived so I was a bit worried we were in for a rain-filled week.  I do a love rainy day, but of course when it’s raining in the mountains, those mountains are hidden and it’s also more challenging to take pictures in the rain (a plastic bag and tea towel were hastily put together) and my dad and I planned to take a lot of pictures on this trip.  The rain did eventually stop and the temperature ended up being quite comfortable for sight seeing and short hikes.

As much as I like checking out the sights, I also enjoy people watching, especially other tourists!  A few years ago when I was visiting Yellowstone and walking back to the car after checking out the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, a middle-aged couple were pulling into the parking lot, the driver rolled down his window and asked how far it was to the first look-out point.  I said it was a quick two minute walk, he said “Really? That’s too far for us to walk” and drove off!  Really?  It made me wonder what else they missed out on while they were in Yellowstone.

Anyway, here are the Athabasca Falls pictures and one of the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.