I had to post a few pictures of the Banff Spring Hotel, it is so beautiful, and they were slowly adding Christmas decor everyday we were there:) How wonderful it would be to spend the holidays there!
Friday evening we took the guided tour and heard a tiny bit of this hotel's history. One fact that I must share is pretty interesting. When William Cornelius Van Horne built this hotel in 1887, his vision was to build luxurious hotels to bring tourism to the area and capitalize on the beautiful scenery. After construction had already begun he noticed that they built the hotel backwards! Instead of the front of the hotel facing the gorgeous mountains for all of the guests to enjoy, which was his intention, the hotel was built facing the other way! So he had windows installed on the backside so his intended view could be seen.
It really doesn't matter though, the views are beautiful on all sides.
Here are just a few pictures of the areas we got to view.....
Saturday we went on our gondola ride, went into town and walked and walked, then back to the hotel where we hunkered down for the evening, enjoying a glass of wine.
Sunday morning we started the day going to a Christmas market, it was so quaint, and they had fires going for the outside vendors (there were only two!)
Then we drove the hour drive to go see Lake Louise. I couldn't believe the view, breathtaking, but it was so cold we could only spend about 15 minutes enjoying this beauty.
On our drive back to Banff Rick got his wish, to see some kind of wild life. There were eight Elk dining in an open field.....
Then we got back to Banff we visited the Cave and Basin, a hot springs cave and what used to be a hot springs pool that people could swim in, but has since been closed due to safety I assume.
We had a wonderful time, the sun shined so brightly every day we were there, and although the temps dipped into the -20's, it didn't stop people from enjoying the outdoors. They walked......EVERYWHERE, rode bicycles, pushed strollers etc. it was pretty amazing and made me feel a bit lazy using the cold as an excuse not to go for a walk:)
I can also say that we haven't experienced this kind of customer service in a long time. Everywhere you went everyone was so friendly and willing to help with everything. This whole trip was such an amazing experience.