We really have been very fortunate with the weather on this trip. Today has been another perfect day for sightseeing and driving. Long may it last!
We woke up early and switched on my laptop to see the final result of the election. The Conservatives were 20 seats short of an overall majority, so the haggling will now start to see if they can join with the Lib Dems to form a government.
Our drive today was a comparatively short one of about 150 kms. Our first stop was in Banff to visit the Banff Springs Hotel. This is another Canadian Pacific built hotel and is a very impressive building.
Not sure I like the architecture which is a bit stark for my liking, but the inside was quite different. I hope this photo does justice to the enormous lobby.
We had morning tea in the hotel and then went out on to the terrace to take in the wonderful views. Just below us was an open air swimming pool that is heated by water from the nearby hot springs.
We left Banff after about an hour and took the short loop off the main road that goes to Lake Minnewanka. On the way to the lake we saw these Rocky Mountain Longhorn sheep sitting by the side of the road.
We drove on and stopped by the side of the lake which was half covered in ice and half unfrozen. With the backdrop of the surrounding mountains, it was some view!
We noticed this little chipmunk scurrying about on the bank of the highway.
As we were driving back to the main road we went past this war memorial to soldiers who had died in the First World War. It was so unexpected to find such a monument in the middle of nowhere.
The drive to Calgary took us out of the Rockies. We both felt a tinge of sadness leaving behind such magnificent scenery, especially as we reached the start of the flat prairie plains that we will have to drive over as we head east out of Alberta.
We arrived in Calgary at about 2pm. We checked into our hotel, the Fairmont Palliser, which is right next door to the Calgary Tower. The tower is over 500 feet tall.
We decided to go up the tower and from the top you get the most wonderful views of Calgary. In the far distance you can just see the snow capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.
There was one interesting aspect to the tower and that was the glass floor you could stand on that projected out over the edge of the viewing platform. It was a weird experience to stand there looking down over 500ft to the street directly below!
We left the tower and walked the short distance to the Glenbow Museum which has a very interesting series of exhibits on the history of Alberta and specifically on the First Nations, particularly the Blackfoot.
This evening we are eating in the revolving restaurant at the top of the Calgary Tower. Tomorrow we drive nearly 400 miles across Alberta and Saskatchewan to our overnight stop in Saskatoon.