I took a greyhound bus from Vancouver to Calgary so I can figure out how I can go about Banff National Park. It was an overnight then overday bus so I just slept until we passed by Glaciers national park. I wanted to go to Glaciers, but didn’t get too, but I did get to see it through the bus window. Most of the places in Glaciers are closed because there were a lot of snow. Then the bus passed by Yoho and Banff. The snow scenery was amazing and also helped me decided which place I wanted to go next. Eventually the bus arrived in Calgary at night and there is a metro train system that gets you everywhere in the city.
I was talking to a guy who lived in Banff as a cook for some advice on where to go in the area when I go there on the bus. He told me a bunch of shit, but he kept going on tangents about music festivals and the only real advice he gave me was there are a lot of Australians in Banff and people party a lot. He said there is a bear king in Banff that eats other bears after hibernation, that was a pretty good story thou.
Anyways, Calgary is kind of an expensive for being in the middle of Alberta and snowing in the beginning of November. Skyscrapers are everywhere and they were all built with oil drilling money. The dude on the bus told me to try bratwurst stuffed in a chicken wing at a bar called Wurst. It sounded amazing so I did, but it was just one wing and it was bratwurst stuffed under chicken skin, so bad advice again. However they did have the panthers and colts game on where Andy Luck throws his team to loss.
I think 17th Ave x 4th Street southwest area is where the bars are at. They are pretty popping and they are not expensive as downtown.
It was -5 Celsius in Calgary but I didn’t feel that cold, however, the next day was extremely overcast and snowing. While I was going about the town, I had to take coffee breaks so my body can warm up again. It is the kind of cold chill that goes all the way to your bone. However, Cali boy was doing pretty good in the cold, I went up the Nose Hill to see the Calgary skyline, Prince’s island park, and heritage park. I also checked out downtown, Stephen street, where everything looked so glorified.
All the places are pretty cool, but nothing too special and it was cold that not many people are out. The train was really handy, but there was an shooting incident in downtown and after that there was an electrical switching problem that slowed all the trains to a halt.
I think I might actually ate really healthy is South America because in Canada I have been eating burgers and fries everyday that I might be getting fat despite all the walking and hiking I do. Not that it’s a bad thing, I need a little fat for the cold.
I know this is a boring post, but sometimes I just chill and do boring things, so there isn’t much to tell. However, Calgary definitely deserves a look, even thou most people go just for Banff national park.
There are 3 towns in the Banff national park, Canmore, Banff and Lake Louise. From the bus I noticed that Banff is a pretty big town, Canmore has the best mountain view, and Lake Louise has the most snow. I can only do two places, so I chose Lake Louise and Banff.
I took the bus to get around the 3 towns and Calgary. In developed countries, normal people don’t take the bus, so you see all kinds of weird people. Sat next to an old lady and she started on some really ignorant rants about everything. The dude sitting in front of me told me it shows fortitude that I listened for that long. You kind of get to see the bad about a place, like how there are homeless everywhere asking you for change. Especially the “can I have train fare” beggars, because the train is essentially free, no one checks if you bought the tickets. If they are going to lie to beg for money, I don’t want to keep fueling their heroin habits that put them in the spot in the first place.
Most people go to Lake Louise to ski or see the lake. I wasn’t sure if there are any good snow hikes out there because dude in the bus wasn’t that clear. However, the snow was superb, calves deep and reminds me of childhood. Most people drive to the lake, but I walked through the snow because the view was gorgeous and I haven’t seen that much snow forever. I passed by streams half frozen and closed campgrounds that looked like Santa’s workshop.
4km later I reached the lake, it was like all other glacier lakes, but with a lot of snow and there was a huge hotel. The hotel really took away from the nature and exclusivity of the lake. Not only that, there are bunch of tourists everywhere because you can drive up to the lake. I made some snowballs and threw in the lake, the noticed there are couple trails around. The one looked particular interesting was the 6 glaciers plain trail.
I walked along the lake and up the mountain in the snow. The views were astounding. I feel like that’s what I was robbed of in Chimborazo. I took a really early bus to Lake Louise, but there was actually sun that day it was pretty warm out in the snow. There is supposed to be a tea house at the end of the trail but it was covered in snow. There are 5 mountains and 1 glacier surround the lake and the trail takes you deep in there.
Shit got a little interesting on my way back, the snows are melting, I can see the giant ice spikes hanging from the cliffs dripping water and there are more ice on the trail because it was hitting noon. One particular spot is the corridor under the cliff where water is running underneath ice on the trail because it was hitting noon and getting really sunny. I also saw a bunch of snow falls off the cliff and making a boom sound.
On my way down, I saw a bunch of people coming, I have no idea why they decide it’s a good idea to do snow hike on the middle of the day. It reminds me of the guy who died on the Ilinizas and fucked it for everyone in Ecuador because everyone needs a guide now.
It is also funny to notice that people who go on the trail say hi to each other and smile, while the people visiting the lake just mind their own business. It shows different people make different choices, kind of interesting I think. I really wanted to stay there longer but I pre bought my bus ticket to Banff, so I had to leave.
Banff is like a better verso n of Whistler. Largely overtaken by the Australians or what else staying for the snow season. It is a pretty cool town and party town. Think a good comparison is Montanita in Ecuador. I didn’t spend a lot of time here and wish I did. I don’t want to camp out in the -10 degree and in the snow, and I didn’t want to throw money around for staying cuz I thought it would be expensive. Turned out staying is not too expensive, but I only stayed for one day anyways.
Met some cool Australians, and learned that they like to travel and think snowboarding in Canada is a fun and good idea despite not really good at it. I always thought these “can’t wait for the snow season folks” are good snowboarders and ski bums that live for this shit, but it turned out its just another adventure and I do respect that.
They also showed me they drink rum mix with apple juice and it has to be freshly squeezed in Australia and liquor is really expensive in Australia. It is like I went to Canada to learn about Canada, but came back with a handful of Australia.
I did what people do in Banff and got pretty drunk and then really hung over. I don’t know if it’s the “I’m hesitant to drink tap water” mentality inherited from south america or the Canadian cold, I been getting a lot of hangovers I don’t normally get, which sucks. Bars are in Banff are really popping, like everyday, with live music and dancing so it is pretty cool.
I wanted to go to the hotsprings and lake Minnewanka, but I didn’t get to because I was pretty dead and aggravated my foot injury in Lake Louise, so oh well. Life is full of “I wishes”, you can’t have it all. Now I’m on my way to Edmonton, with a fat headache.