Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MONTANA CANADA TRIP. DAY 9. Glacier National Park -> Banff National Park, Alberta

We got a very early start out of St. Mary and headed to Many Glacier, on the west side of the park. I'm not sure where the strange name came from. This is a part of Glacier National Park off the beaten track, so much so that the local animals think the road belongs to them:

Many Glaciers is not to be missed. The main area consists of a fancy mountain lodged situated next to a small lake, all of which is surrounded by glaciated mountains. Here are photos of the lake and of the lodge:

Many Glacier was one of my favorite destinations on this trip, and it certainly helped that this was one of our few clear, crisp, sunny days. Weather aside, this spot is hidden away from the crowds of the main park (all 500,000 of them), with as much physical beauty, and an atmosphere of easy informality.

We pulled ourselves away from this shangri-la and headed for the Canadian border -- our destination for the evening was Banff. I wanted to go through Calgary because I wanted to experience an interior Canadian city, but it turned out to be a mistake because we got lost in the city during rush hour and we wasted a couple of hours maneuvering through one way streets, traffic lights, and misplaced road signs. Despite our troubles, Calgary is an interesting city. It is a big city of more than a million residents, half of which have arrived in the past 30 years. This is all because of the Canadian oil boom. We recognized all the signs of a boom area (as we know from the Bay Area) in the miles of suburbia and exurbia, the prices of real estate, the clogged traffic arteries, and ugly thrown together buildings. But the city must still have some of its cowboy spirit because it hosts the Calgary Stampede, which they claim is the biggest rodeo in the world. We didn't stick around for it -- in fact we avoided it, but it sounds like the whole goes rodeo crazy for the whole month of July.

But we made it through the traffic and arrived in Banff late in the day, but in time for dinner at the Balkan Restaurant, one of the best meals in Canada.

More photos

Accommodations: Blue Mountain Lodge, Banff **


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