Banff Travel Blog› entry 5 of 9 › view all entries
May 26th, 2009 – by: hauteboy
Hotel: Fairmont Banff Springs
Today the plan was to pick up our rental car and explore the area around Banff. We had arranged a one-way rental from Avis to drop off in Calgary the following Saturday. That ended up being pretty pricy; a one-way rental that was 1 day too short to be counted as a weekly; also picking up from a neighborhood Avis station. Nome of the coupons/AWD I tried really brought the price down any! There was also the issue of parking; the Fairmonts in Banff and Lake Louise charge ~$30-$35 per night for parking! Luckily I had read on Flyertalk just before leaving that there were places to park nearby for free.
We caught the bus into town; route 4 runs from the Fairmont hotel every 20 minutes or so and is $2. We had to do laundry today as well, we had found a coin-op laundry right next to Avis. The book had also mentioned Melissa's as the place to go for breakfast; this was also nearby (well, everything is close in Banff). So in 10 minutes we had already dropped off our laundry, gotten car keys and were sitting down for breakfast. I had the huge Swiss apple pancake; delicious covered in cinnamon with tart apple chunks inside. Our waitress also gave us lots of good info about things to do and see in the area. After breakfast we headed to the Banff Tourist Information center to purchase our Park pass.
After the gondola, we drove over to Lake Minnewanka and Johnson Lake. Along the lakes we came across a herd of bighorn sheep just grazing along the side of the road. I guess they're alot more used to people here. At Johnson Lake we had a picnic lunch then spent an hour or so on an easy walk around the lake. Nothing spectacular, but peaceful and quiet. After here we headed to the Hoodoos on Tunnel Mountain road. Hoodoos are formed from uneven erosion; they often look like fairy castles or mushrooms (Cappadocia in Turkey is an example). The ones here were pretty small in comparison though. We came around to Surprise Corner, which offers a stunning view across the valley to the Banff Springs hotel. We were back just in time to pick up our laundry; then headed to dinner at the Bison Restaurant.
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