Our first stop in the mountains was in Canmore for lunch. We did a little shopping, checking out a whimsical book store, Café Books, for some reading material & a souvenir (a ceramic rattle in the shape of a mountain / cone) & Rocky Mountain Soaps for some handmade soap & sugar scrub. Here I am holding the rattle in our room in Banff, with evidence of our purchases & my trip scrapbook on the table.
We didn't stop to take any pictures because it was raining pretty hard. On to Banff & our fabulous room at The Fox. The hotel is built around an inner courtyard - and in that courtyard, there's an opening to "the cave" - the hot spring pool in the basement of the hotel.
Our room was amazing! We upgraded to a loft when we got there & I'm so glad we did! (Check out the fun wallpaper!)
We had a fireplace & kitchenette downstairs - and a lovely view from our balcony:
As you can see, the city of Banff is quaint, straight out of a fairytale.
A fairytale set in a tiny mountain village.
After checking out our room & taking a quick dip in the cave, we put on our warmest clothes (it was around 10C - very chilly!) & went for a walk downtown Banff.
All the buildings, houses & stores have an alpine-chalet style (wood & stone abound), just like in Canmore - these towns were built for tourism! Even the street names in Banff are geared for the tourists: they're all animal names, like Lynx, Elk, Buffalo & Beaver.
Everywhere you look: mountains.
We even found a signpost pointing out all the peaks & their elevations:
We walked by the art installation by Susan Detwiler: Mountain Camp.
I couldn't resist the photo-op.
That evening, we dressed up & went out for a fancy dinner at The Evergreen. We tried the game platter, with elk, quail & duck. I've had both birds before, but the elk was a first - it was delicious! Not gamey at all!
We went the wrong way on our way out of town the next day & turned around at a beautiful little campground overlooking the Bow river.
I got in a few great shots before we left for Moraine Lake & Lake Louise. The Bow was almost the same blue as Lake Louise - and the clouds on the mountain foreshadowed our sight-seeing for the day. But you'll have to wait for tomorrow to see that!