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Banff, Alberta, Canada title graphic

Banff, Canada

After we sold our apartment in NJ, we decided we had to have a Canadian adventure before leaving the area. We had been looking at photos of Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and decided that we wanted to experience it for ourselves. We used momondo.com for the first time, as Emille’s research found them to have the cheapest flights. We also use kayak, skyscanner, Brazilian Express, and others. If you know of any other cost-saving companies, please feel free to let us know. We are always looking for great deals.

Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

 

Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

Lake Louise, Banff, Canada

 

Partially frozen Lake Louise looked like Narnia from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. If we return, it will be during the summer to hike Lake Louise and Yoho National Park and enjoy the outdoors when the wind chill is not a factor, or during ski season.

First Subway Handle photo taken from the drone

First Subway Handle photo taken from the drone

 

Canadian Elk watch as John and Mark hold the Subway Handle

Canadian Elk watch as John and Mark hold the Subway Handle

 

Elk grazing in Banff, Canada

Elk grazing in Banff, Canada

 

Emille’s Tip—we booked through WestJet.com and discovered that they, much like many airlines, don’t have proper snacks; so we recommend that you get the AMEX Platinum card, so that you can have a proper meal in a lounge for free beforehand. This tip sounds like a plug, but it’s not; Emille did the research. To paraphrase our favorite perks: the lounges, TSA pre-check, yearly credits ($200 for Uber, $200 for baggage) and flight credit points worth $500.

Sulphur Mountain observation deck

Sulphur Mountain observation deck

 

We arrived in Alberta, Canada, the closest airport to Banff on a cold, 24th day of November, 2017. Well, it wasn’t as cold as NYC in February, but it was pretty cold by a displaced Floridian’s standards. The airport is only about an hour away from Banff. Emille’s Tip—Downtown Banff is a bit pricey and was almost completely booked, so stay at an Airbnb in Canmore, which is 10–15 mins outside of Banff, instead.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

 

It was raining the day we arrived, so we visited the Twin Lakes, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel and to sightsee around downtown Banff. We had a memorable lunch at The Maple Leaf (137 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1C8, Canada). The food was delicious and the restaurant was decked out like a rustic lodge. The bison burger was fantastic! Unfortunately, the Bison Restaurant was closed for renovations, and the famous Grizzly House looked amazing but was completely booked.

Johnston Canyon Trail

Johnston Canyon Trail

 

Johnston Canyon Trail

Johnston Canyon Trail

 

Johnston Canyon Trail

Johnston Canyon Trail

 

We tried to visit the Cave and Basin National Historic Site (311 Cave Ave, Banff, AB T0L 0C0, Canada) +1 403-762-1566, but every time we tried, either a beer festival or closure on a Monday prevented it.

Sulphur Mountain gondola in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

Sulphur Mountain gondola in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

 

Sulphur Mountain gondola in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

Sulphur Mountain gondola in Banff National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains

 

Sky Bistro on top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park

Sky Bistro on top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park

 

A two course meal took two hours, but the company, view and wine more than made up for the tardy food service.🍷😂 We love a fruity, robust red wine, so we found the Pelham Henry that we sampled to be delightful. If you like fruity wines, this a must try!

Banff Springs Hotel from the top of Sulfur Mountain with the new 70–200mm lens

Banff Springs Hotel from the top of Sulfur Mountain with the new 70–200mm lens

 

Emille warming up by the fire at the Sulphur Mountain observation deck with the Subway Handle

Emille warming up by the fire at the Sulphur Mountain observation deck with the Subway Handle

 

Banff from the Sulphur Mountain ridge observation deck

Banff from the Sulphur Mountain ridge observation deck

 

Emille enjoying a cup of coffee on the Sulphur Mountain ridge boardwalk with the Subway Handle

Emille enjoying a cup of coffee on the Sulphur Mountain ridge boardwalk with the Subway Handle

 

Banff from the Sulphur Mountain ridge observation deck

Banff from the Sulphur Mountain ridge observation deck

 

Banff from the Sulphur Mountain ridge observation deck

Banff from the Sulphur Mountain ridge observation deck

 

Banff from the Sulphur Mountain ridge observation deck

Banff from the Sulphur Mountain ridge observation deck

 

Dan and Emille enjoying the view at the end of the Sulphur Mountain boardwalk with the Subway Handle

Dan and Emille enjoying the view at the end of the Sulphur Mountain boardwalk with the Subway Handle

 

The highlight of the trip was the gondola ride to the summit ridgetop of Sulphur Mountain. The upper terminal has observation decks with stunning views of the Bow Valley and surrounding mountains. We walked the beautiful boardwalk leading to the top of Sanson’s Peak, with even more amazing views and an elevation of 7,402 ft (2,256 m). It was so stunning that we continued taking photos long after we felt like we were getting frostbite. After the brisk walk back to the Banff Gondola summit, we were warming up inside the Sky Bistro, where the view is second to none.

Canmore is a quaint, charming little town. We attended church at Crossway Life and had a great experience and made some wonderful Canadian friends. (117 Bow Meadows Crescent, Canmore, AB T1W 2W8, Canada) +1 403-678-9801

 

Some names and locations of places we visited:

Johnston Park (Johnston Canyon Hiking Area)

Bow Valley Pkwy, Improvement District No. 9, AB, Canada

Crossfit Banff (#5 200 Hawk Ave, box 4731, Banff, AB T1L 1B3, Canada) +1 403-431-6611

CrossFit Canmore (100A – 56 Lincoln Park, Canmore, AB T1W 3E9, Canada) +1 403-679-1033

Banff Gondola (100 Mountain Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B2, Canada) +1 403-762-7475

My Greek Plate restaurant (110 3 Ave, Cochrane, AB T4C, Canada) +1 587-362-3332

Sky Bistro (Mountain Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J3, Canada) +1 403-762-7486

Lake Louise (Improvement District No. 9, AB, Canada)

Yoho National Park (Yoho National Park Field, BC V0A 1G0, Canada) +1 250-343-6783

 

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Hi, we’re Dan and Emille. We met at church in NYC in 2010 and in 2011 we were married in Central Park on the bow bridge. In the last 6 years of marriage we stopped paying NYC rent, and bought a place on the edge of Hoboken, NJ, with spectacular views of the NYC skyline, which has been really fulfilling for photography enthusiasts. We have been talking about having kids for the last 6 years, but the New York lifestyle would make it difficult as our families are in Florida and Brazil. So we sold our place and furniture, left some great jobs, and friends and decided to have travel the world before we have kids. We’re cultured, but not fancy. We've been to 21 countries, and would love to visit all of them. We try to experience things like the locals as much as possible. Read more about us here http://nyseeyoulater.com/2017/11/07/about-dan-emille/.

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