Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Travel Blogging II

Banff, Alberta, Canada: The drive here from the Calgary area is a pretty one, green rolling hills with the Canadian Rockies as a backdrop. They're the Canadian version of "the far pavilions" or "the front range." 

As you get closer, the mountains bulk larger until you and your vehicle on the Trans-Canada Highway are dwarfed into insignificance. Just outside the park Canmore has turned into a glitzy vacation spot for the wealthy, a kind of Canadian Aspen or Jackson.

Banff townsite has been overcrowded for years and is, if anything, worse than before. The sidewalks are mobbed, the parking is impossible, many of the former cottages have been torn down to build four story hotels featuring hunting lodge chic.

Parks Canada, their equivalent of the National Park Service, has restricted the growth of Banff townsite to its existing footprint so it cannot spread out. All of that sort of lateral growth is happening in Canmore. Instead the growth here in Banff is like that of Manhattan, albeit in a non-high rise basis. They go up instead of out, apparently limited to 4 floors.

We took a drive yesterday up the Trans-Canada Highway to the turnoff for Kootenay and came back via the Bow Valley parkway. With the exception of the parking for Johnson Canyon, it wasn't crowded or congested. Very pretty scenery, much appreciated. This is some of the most beautiful, spectacular scenery in North America.