Tuesday, August 16, 2011

O Canada! part 2: Banff

Banff was named in 1884 by George Stephen, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, recalling his birthplace in Banffshire, Scotland. (Wikipedia)  We figured it's 13 kilometers (or 8 miles) up the road from Canmore where we are staying.  We like to be challenged on our vacations and with everything here in the metric system, it's an unending mental conversion exercise when figuring out distance, temperature and liquid measurement.  All of this points out how inefficient our systems are but I still can't judge how fast we're going in kilometers or discern if $1.11 CAD is reasonable for a liter of gas. 

The use of the 24 hour clock also creates pause when encountered and the currency conversion is almost (but not quite) 1:1 so when buying something, it really is that expensive.  Sometime during our trip my brother Austin proclaimed, "How inconsiderate of Canada to make us to use foreign currency."  I laughed because soon enough with this economy we're going to be trading in gold or Chinese moon cakes, so Canadian Dollars aren't that bad.  Their money is rather pretty, I must say.

So Banff--yes.  Dad and Anne hiked to the top of Sulphur Mountain while Austin, Sidney and I took the Gondola.  This is one of Sidney's favorite words now: GONE-dol-LA--said with excitement.  We could not have asked for a better day to ride to the top to look at the gorgeous mountains and surrounds.

I went despite feeling a little under the weather but not as bad as Ken, who we left behind in bed at the hotel.  It never fails, when Ken and I go on family vacations, one or both of us take ill.  This triply sucks because 1) we finally go on a vacation and can't fully enjoy it 2) the other family members who accompany us are like "see you later, keep the germs" and 3) we finally (finally!) have constant babysitters in our midst but we have no inclination to go out.  Aggh.  Stay tuned for our visit to Lake Louise and more landscape photos in the next installment.

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