Just returned from Banff, Jasper,LL

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Jul 11th, 2004, 04:37 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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Just returned from Banff, Jasper,LL

Thanks to all the Fodor helpers who made our trip so successful. Here is a description of out 20th anniversary trip to help others.
The trip began June17th. We traveled from Nashville,TN to Chicago and on to Calgary. We rented a car and headed to Banff Springs Hotel. The ride was about one hour and not hard at all. We walked around downtown Banff to see the shops.If you like tourist shopping the downtown was okay. Our snack at Tony Lomas was fair. We had to wait so long we didn't want to eat a big meal . It was a long day. The waitress was very nice though. The 18th we went on the Banff Gondola and were treated to an outstanding view.We drove around and saw mountain goats. Later we took a tour of the Cave and Basin, the guide was very informative. We ate at the Grill at Banff Springs Hotel and had a wonderful meal of Alberta Beef Prime Rib.The view from the back of our hotel was beautiful and there was a waterfall a short drive from it. On the 19th we drove to the Icefields Parkway to the Jasper Park Lodge. This drive is full of places to stop and see-waterfalls,snow-capped mountains, aqua-colored glacier fed lakes and wildlife.This drive is a must if you love pretty scenery.We stopped to see Peyto Lake, the climb was hard for a 54 year old who is not in tiptop shape, but worth it!This lake is the most spectacular color. We also took the snowcoach ride to the glacier which was interesting. Everything requires lots of walking so take comfortable shoes.The Jasper Park Lodge did not have air conditioning, but we survived since you're not in your room much. They said it rarely gets as war as it was during our stay. Everyone at all the Fairmont Resorts go out of their way to make you happy.We loved our stay at all the resorts and this made our anniversary seem that much more special-to be pampered.My husband played golf on Sunday, Father's Day,at the Jasper Park Lodge course and had a ball. His tee time was 6:30P.M. and it stayed light long enough for him to finish at 10:45.I rode along and he played with some of the employees. They were such nice young men and Tim could hit the ball farther than anyone Mike had ever seen. It wasn't cheap, to rent clubs and play was probably $130 American, but to play with a backdrop of mountains and see elk near the course was so much fun. We also took the cruise on Maligne Lake that day, the cruise guide was great and the water was so pretty, you are surrounded by mountains and glaciers. Monday we drove to Lake Louise and had a picnic along the way. The table was near a lake, we bought a cooler in Jasper and it came in very handy. Upon arriving at Lake Louise we were glad our room had a view of the glacier and lake. The hotel was nice, but the best part was the view. Our meal at Tom Wilson's restaurant there in the Fairmont Lake Louise was fair-the only bad service at any of the Fairmont Hotels.We drove to Moraine Lake which was okay, but not as pretty as others we had seen. On Tuesday we drove to Natural Bridge, which I liked because it shows how a gorge begins to form. We also went to Emerald lake which was nice, but not my favorite. Some people took a canoe ride on it.We went to the town of Golden for lunch, which I don't recommend unless you want to go whitewater rafting which looked like fun-we didn't try it here because we have rafted on the Ocoee and in West Virginia. Later that night we ate at the Poppy Brasserie at the Fairmont Lake Louise. We had a wonderful meal and a fabulous view. Our waitress was so nice, too. Our late evening was spent in the lounge there listening to the classical guitar player and enjoying a spectacular view. We left the next morning for Calgary where we saw the Olympic Park on the way to our hotel.
comments-Our visit would not have been the same without staying at the 3 Fairmont Hotels. We splurged and are glad we did. Cartan Tours helped us plan this driving trip. We are so glad our Fodor friends suggested we do that instead of the tour buses, these are fine if you are not able to drive ourself, but for a couple in their 50's on an anniversary trip this was the way to go. The weather was in the 70's(F) and sunny with low humidity, which to us was perfect. We were lucky as they said they often have rain in June.We wore jeans and a jacket at first and later shorts. The mornings were cooler,but refreshing. The Canadians were polite and friendly. We were impressed with all the healthy people cycling, hiking, etc. We were even inspired to hike around Lake Louise, but didn't make it to the tea house which others told us was so nice.It is a trip I will always remember.
Haney20 is offline  
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Jul 11th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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maj
 
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I really enjoyed reading your trip report. Thanks so much for posting it.
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Jul 11th, 2004, 06:26 PM
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Haney I'm glad you had such a nice anniversary celebration! Staying in those old former CP and now Fairmont hotels is a nice treat. Good choice. Thanks for posting your trip report.
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Jul 11th, 2004, 07:44 PM
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Thanks for the trip report, Haney. Glad to hear you had a memorable time.
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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:16 AM
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Many thanks for posting your trip report.
It's always interesting to hear about first impressions, and it's especially intriguing to find out about your experiences after reading all the questions that were posted here during the planning stages.

Glad to hear that you enjoyed your holidays in the Canadian Rockies!!

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Jul 12th, 2004, 09:21 AM
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It sounds as though you were treated very well during your stay here. Very glad to hear it!
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Jul 13th, 2004, 02:41 PM
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Thank you for your comments, I was especially glad to hear from those of you who helped me with my plans. Thanks again for the advice. It really made a difference. I have told everyone here about your beautiful scenery!
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