There’s nothing like going from eating Wartime Rations to a slap up afternoon tea at the Banff Springs Hotel.
Growing up in Scotland, our family frequently took summer holidays in Banff in the north east of the country, so it sort of fits that I now find myself living with another Banff in my backyard.
Any visit to Southern Alberta isn’t complete without a trip to this mountain town. One and a half hour’s drive from Calgary – if you stick to the speed limit – it’s the perfect place to visit no matter what the season.
The image of the Banff Springs Hotel (and yes, there is also one in Scotland, but not nearly so impressive) is world famous. If your budget doesn’t stretch to staying here for a night or two, try and take in the afternoon tea. ($41 per person) enjoyed in the Rundle Lounge where the view stretches down a river valley surrounded on all sides by mountains.
Owned by the CPR, the original hotel was built in 1888 with the replacement (current) structure commencing in 1911. When its president Cornelius Van Horne came out to check on its construction, he discovered that the builders were building it back to front with the kitchens overlooking the million dollar view. Well, he soon sorted that out. In commemoration he painted a picture which currently hangs in the Spanish Gallery. If you look closely in the bottom left hand side you’ll notice he signed it… back to front.
So much for my plans to return to blogging about writing. Well, I did say I’d be writing about travel in this blog too, so maybe I’ll just stick to my neighbourhood for the rest of the week and tell you about some of my favourite places in and around my current home city of Calgary.