Banff in Alberta, Canada, is a tourist town or to some people a tourist trap! It is situated alongside the Bow River and surrounded by fir tree forests and mountains. Beautiful majestic mountains, which are covered in snow during the winter months as the town transforms into a popular ski resort.
It is mainly a one street town. A few side-streets branching off the main road complete the town centre. The main street is just one spending mile of souvenir shops; one after another, all selling the same items. Prices must have been agreed upon before the season starts because there is no real competition between them to lower their prices.
As per usual to find anything that is made in Canada is expensive and if you wanted anything related to the First Nation, well then you need a big cheque book.
The shop owners must all belong to the same online shopping channel or visit the same shopping warehouse which is a shame. But it is commercialism at its best!
On the way into Banff, both sides of the road are lined with hotels and lodges for guests; a mixture of holiday Swiss-style chalets often seen in Alpine regions of Europe.
One hotel, which could be seen from our hotel balcony, was based on a Scottish Highland castle complete with turrets. It was huge and it nestled quite nicely between two mountains and the view that greeted us each morning was lovely.
Banff is a bustling, busy town with hikers, backpackers and regular money spending tourists and at the time I was there, with my lovely husband, four coach loads of Japanese tourists, complete with cameras and tripods were to be found visiting the sights.
A walk along the river and the roar of Bow Falls can be heard. A fast flowing weir of white froth cascades over rocks emitting a spray of rainbow mist.
Photo opportunities abound as was testified by the number of visitors getting in each other’s photo frames along the walk way. Everyone naturally wanted to have their photos taken in the best possible spots and so queues and queue jumping took place.
A walk back in the afternoon sun was nice because it was much warmer than we expected. We were ready for a drink in a local café but what interested me the most on this walk was the names of the roads.
It would have been really cool to live on one of the roads named after predators such as; Wolf Street, Cougar Lane, Bear Avenue, Lynx Road or some of the more famous wildlife, which are numerous in these parts such as; Elk, Moose and Caribou.
But what made me laugh and would have been a great disappointment to me if I lived on one of the smaller creature roads such as; Gopher Street, Squirrel Avenue, Rabbit Road, Muskrat Lane, and so on.
What I also found amusing was the local acronym for the letters B.A.N.F.F.
Tourists --- BE AWARE NOTHING FOR FREE!