Jasper is a mountain town; expansive roadways with tree lined avenues and wooden chalet houses.
Surrounded by mountains it is nestled in a wide valley complete with train station, shops, restaurants and nature trails. There are tourist attractions nearby such as a gondola ride up one of the nearby mountains and water activities on a nearby lake. In fact we found out that white water rafting is one of the main tourist attractions for this area.
However we decided to have a rest from sightseeing and spent our time exploring the town.
It has all the main conveniences needed to sustain a growing population with a school, fire station, doctors, dentists, a health centre and library. It is all set out in a pleasing town plan. The people are friendly and the whole atmosphere is one of tranquil relaxation.
On the two hot summer days that we stayed there, the locals mixed with the tourists shopping in the few souvenir shops (a complete change from Banff). The tourists were very low key; checking out maps and leaflets from the information centre, sitting in the small park eating tasty ice creams or just chilling with friends.
Gentle, slow drivers, pleasantly polite, stopped easily so people can cross roads safely. Even though the town is busy it is surprisingly quiet and peaceful.
On Wednesdays there is a farmers' market. It is held in the ground of one of the local churches. There are about six stalls in total selling locally grown cherries, which are big and bold and extremely juicy to eat. The raspberries look luscious and that particular stall did a roaring trade with long queues.
Backpacks galore adorn shoulders as people meander around on a lazy quiet day.
Around the town there is a feeling of community and local support. Everyone seems to know everyone and there is an atmosphere of family and friendship.
Tourist buses arrive and leave regularly carrying the much needed revenue from their occupants but there is never a feeling that this is a tourist town. No- it is very much a place where people live and work and tourists just come, stay a while and then go!
Surrounding Jasper the mountains are seen in the distance (not close up and personal like in Banff) and they are just as spectacular.
It is a lovely place and one that could quite tempt me to relocate!